Japan names contractor to build its future fighter jet

MELBOURNE, Australia — Japan has named Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as the prime contractor to build its next-generation fighter jet, with the Defense Ministry announcing earlier Friday that it signed a contract with the company.

“We will steadily proceed with the development of the next fighter (F-X) together with the company,” the ministry said in a brief statement posted on it website.

Local media is reporting Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the country will select an overseas partner by the end of this year for collaboration on aircraft technology, with stealth technology being one area of focus.

The selection of MHI as the prime contractor for the F-X program comes as little surprise, given Japan was determined to restart its indigenous fighter aircraft capabilities. The company is the only one in Japan with experience in this area. The firm took the 21st spot on Defense News’ most recent ranking of the

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F-22 Raptor: The Best Fighter in the World That Was Never for Sale

The U.S. Air Force F-22 is widely regarded as the most dominant fighter in the world, and while there has been much discussion about why its construction was truncated or halted, there has been much less conversation about a related, yet interesting question: Why was it never sold abroad? 

After all, many of the most promising U.S. Air Force platforms, such as the F-15, F-16 and F-35 have for many years been sold extensively around the world to strengthen U.S. partnerships with allies and further fortify U.S. friendly military forces. Saudi Arabia, for instance, made an enormous F-15 buy in just the last few years, and the foreign reach of several U.S.-built fighters has been quite significant. 

The U.S. has a history of selling export variants of major platforms abroad, to include even some adjusted variants of the Abrams tank. 

Why not the F-22?

Well, exact reasons may not be

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