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Defense ministers of Japan, UK, Italy meet in Tokyo to discuss new fighter jets – Ministry

MOSCOW, March 16 (Sputnik) – The defense ministers of Japan, the United Kingdom, and Italy held a trilateral meeting in Tokyo and discussed the joint construction of the next-generation fighter jet, among other things, the Japanese Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

“Japanese Defense Minister [Yasukazu] Hamada welcomed the visit to Japan by [UK Defense] Secretary [Ben] Wallace and [Italian Defense] Minister [Guido] Crosetto and the hosting of the Trilateral Defense Ministerial Meeting in Japan.  He also mentioned the trilateral joint leaders’ statement on the joint development of the next-generation fighter aircraft,” the ministry said in a statement.

Hamada expressed belief that the fighter aircraft program would lay a foundation for “a wider collaboration with both the UK and Italy over many generations” and contribute to improving global security.

Meanwhile, Wallace and Crosetto said that the security of the Indo-Pacific was critical for their countries and reaffirmed commitment to finish the development of the sixth generation fighter “through unified trilateral collaboration,” the statement read.

In December 2022, the three countries agreed to launch the Global Combat Air Program to jointly develop a new generation fighter by 2035. The project is designed to enhance the defense capabilities of the participants, develop their technological advantages and strengthen supply chains.

The next-generation fighter jet is expected to replace the Mitsubishi F-2 fighter in Japan, and the Eurofighter Typhoon in the UK and Italy. The main contractors in the project are Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the UK’s BAE Systems Plc, and Italy’s Leonardo.

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