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Aerospace & Defense Industries

Japan eyes JV and shared assembly for fighter with U.K., Italy

Prime contractor Mitsubishi believes single structure would be more efficient

Japan, the U.K. and Italy have agreed to join forces to develop a new fighter jet. Details of the program are still under discussion. (Illustration courtesy of Japanese Ministry of Defense)

TOKYO -- The next-generation fighter jet planned by Japan, the U.K. and Italy may be developed through a joint venture and built in more than one country, according to officials at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), one of the prime contractors for the program.

The three countries announced this month that they will jointly develop a sixth-generation fighter jet by 2035 in an ambitious move aimed at expanding Japan's security partnership beyond the U.S., its treaty ally, and developing the ability to source its own defense equipment.

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