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