According to The Nikkei Asia, Japanese aerospace equipment maker Kawasaki Heavy Industries and electronics company NEC will join the country's next-generation fighter jet program, Nikkei has learned.
The program, overseen by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and supported by Lockheed Martin, aims to develop multirole fighter jets capable of attacking land and sea targets as well as engaging in aerial combat. The government seeks to deploy the aircraft as early as 2035.
Major defense industry companies are collaborating on the jet's development, and negotiations are underway with U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin to provide technological support.
Kawasaki Heavy's and NEC's participation brings the total number of Japanese companies taking part in the program to eight.
Heavy machinery maker IHI is in charge of building the engine. Automaker Subaru and Kawasaki Heavy will engage in the development of the aircraft body. The mission system, which controls electronic warfare, will be developed by Mitsubishi Electric. Toshiba, Fujitsu and NEC will produce electrical equipment, including the radar.
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