Japan Issues RFI For Its Next Gen Fighter Aircraft Program

  • Our Bureau
  • 03:46 PM, June 27, 2016
  • 4278
Japan Issues RFI For Its Next Gen Fighter Aircraft Program
Japan plans to replace its Mitsubishi F-2 fighter jet fleet.

Japanese defense ministry has issued a request for information for its next fighter jet program.

The ministry is seeking information on three alternatives: creating a new fighter type, modifying an existing one or importing. The aim is to replace the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) F-2, Aviation Week & Space Technology reported last Friday.

There are strong reasons to suspect that the ministry would only be satisfied with a new type, since no fighter now in production comes close to concept designs of the past few years that likely show what it really wants: a large, twin-engine aircraft with long endurance and internal carriage of six big air-to-air missiles.

That does not necessarily mean foreign companies will be wasting their time by responding, however. Even a domestic program led by MHI and engine builder IHI Corp., if affordable, would benefit from foreign guidance and technology.

For new designs, the ministry’s acquisition, technology and logistics agency has requested information on respondents’ capabilities and latest technology. For upgrades and straight imports, it wants to know about the current aircraft. In seeking the data, it is not using the conventional term “request for information,” but that is clearly what the exercise amounts to. Responses are due by July 5.

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