ua en ru

Japan, Italy, and UK to develop new fighter jet

Japan, Italy, and UK to develop new fighter jet Photo: UK's Defense Secretary Grant Shapps (Getty Images)

Defense ministers of Japan, the United Kingdom, and Italy have signed an agreement to create a joint organization for the development of a new advanced jet fighter, reports Associated Press.

The countries aim to strengthen their collaboration in the face of growing threats from China, Russia, and North Korea. Last year, the three nations agreed to merge their individual plans (Japan's Mitsubishi FX replacing the phased-out F-2, developed in the USA) to produce a new combat aircraft to be deployed by 2035.

Japan, rapidly expanding its military, hopes for increased capabilities to counter the growing pressure from China, while welcoming the broader presence of the United Kingdom in the Indo-Pacific region.

Grant Shapps, the UK's Defense Secretary, stated that the development of a new fighter will enhance collective security, given the evident risks and challenges spanning from Europe to the Indo-Pacific region.

Japan needs to abandon the prohibition on the export of lethal weapons

It is noted that Japan is progressing despite the delayed easing of its current policy, which prohibits the export of lethal weapons to third countries. Restrictions imposed by Japan's post-war pacifist constitution prevent the country from selling the jointly developed fighter, potentially complicating the project, as the UK and Italy hope to sell the new aircraft.

This project marks Japan's first participation in a multinational organization for the joint development of new military technology.

To counter growing threats from China, North Korea, and Russia, Japan is expanding its defense partnerships with European countries, Southeast Asia, and the Indo-Pacific region, including Australia and the Philippines.


The creation of the next-generation fighter named GCAP, announced by Japan, Italy, and the UK at the end of 2022, involves developing a jet that combines the British Tempest project with the Japanese FX fighter program.

The Italian-English-Japanese program for creating the next-generation fighter, GCAP, is expected to cost tens of billions dollars, but partners have not yet finalized how the budget will be allocated.

This trilateral partnership emerged in 2022 when France, Germany, and Spain proposed a competing plan to create a military aircraft as part of a broader European effort to strengthen security amid Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.