An unnamed US firm has approached Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy (MHI) for a possible partnership to develop an armored vehicle.
"We are in talks with a U.S. company are also discussing it with Japan's Ministry of Defense," Hisakazu Mizutani, the head of MHI's Defense and Space Systems business was quoted as saying by Reuters Tuesday.
"We were approached by the U.S. company," he added.
"The U.S. is the easiest overseas market for us to do business in," Mizutani said.
Building arms for foreign customers could give MHI more control of the intellectual property and make it easier for the firm to get approval to sell its products overseas.
Mizutani said MHI was keeping the Japanese government informed of its discussions with the U.S. company. The results of those talks may be known by the year end, he added.
A partnership in armored vehicles would provide new avenues for MHI, the maker of Japan's main battle tank, to sell its defense technology in overseas markets.
Potential foreign partners could be attracted by MHI's armored vehicle technology, notably its heavy-duty tank engines, its gear technology and water jet propulsion systems that could be used to drive amphibious vehicles.
Japan plans to begin research on developing a new amphibious assault vehicle to replace its ageing AAV7 vehicles, according to Japan's defense ministry’s latest budget request on Wednesday.