Negotiations to share 40% of development costs for next-generation fighters in Japan and the UK = officials | Reuters

On March 15th, it was learned that Japan, the United Kingdom, and Italy are currently discussing the joint development of the next-generation fighter, with the aim of sharing the development costs equally between Japan and the United Kingdom at 40% each. . Britain’s Defense Minister Wallace visits the defense equipment trade fair “DSEI Japan” being held at Makuhari Messe in 2023. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

[Tokyo, June 16, Reuters]- Regarding the joint development of next-generation fighters by Japan, the United Kingdom, and Italy, it is said that Japan and the United Kingdom are discussing the sharing of development costs, which was the focus, in the direction of equal 40% each. Do you get it. This has been confirmed by multiple people familiar with the matter.

At the end of last year, the three countries agreed to jointly develop a next-generation fighter. Develop a common aircraft and deploy the first aircraft by 2035.

According to people involved in the project, discussions are currently taking place at a pace of about once a month, with Japan and the UK each taking 40% of the development costs, with Italy taking up the rest. One person involved said, “The talks are progressing in a 4-4-2 relationship.”

The ratio is subject to change as details will be finalized by the end of 2024. In the future, we will work out the allocation of work, such as which country will be in charge of which part. According to people involved, a joint venture will be established in 2025 to start actual development.

Japan’s Defense Equipment Agency told Reuters, “We are in the process of discussing joint ventures and work sharing, and will refrain from commenting on cost sharing.”

Italy’s defense ministry commented on a Reuters report that Italy’s defense share was lower than Japan’s and Britain’s, calling it “complete speculation.” “We are working steadily and swiftly under the principle of equal partnership announced last December.” The UK Ministry of Defense said it was still in talks to begin development in 2025.

The three countries will hold a defense ministerial meeting in Tokyo on the 16th to discuss joint development of a fighter. Japan’s Ministry of Defense said, “We confirm the unity of the three countries and their strong will for development.”

* Added comments from the Italian and British Ministry of Defense.

(Edited by Hiroshi Hashimoto)