Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will decide on other participants in the F-X Project, including avionics, engine and other parts makers. Japan also is considering co-developing some parts with foreign contractors including those in the U.S. and Britain.
Japan's Air Self-Defense Force has a fleet of about 290 fighter jets and is also replacing its F-4 fighters with dozens of F-35s to strengthen its missile deterrence out of concern over North Korea's missiles and nuclear program.
Japan's purchases of American weapons have helped reduce its trade surplus with the U.S. while also responding to demands from President Donald Trump to do more to pay for its defense. But the purchases have raised concerns about weakening efforts to build up Japan's fledgling defense industry.
Electronic equipment fitted in an aircraft.
A major component of the military–industrial complex.
Defense industries need a certain scale in order to maintain self-sufficiency and to produce military innovation.