BAE Systems has responded to a Request for Information from the Japanese Ministry of Defence, proposing a package of integration support to Japan’s F-X next generation fighter development programme.

The response to the RFI, which was issued by the JMOD’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, outlines technical capabilities across a range of key areas, which BAE Systems can offer into supporting development of the F-X programme.

Andy Latham, Campaign Delivery Director – Japan, for BAE Systems’ Air business, said:

“We firmly believe that we can add significant value to the F-X programme. We look forward to further progressing our discussions and we are honoured to have the opportunity to collaborate with Japan on this programme.

We have decades of experience of partnering with nations around the world to deliver sovereign capability. Our track record of collaborating on complex combat aircraft programmes has provided us with insight and understanding of the likely challenges and the range of capabilities, technologies and relationships required to successfully deliver the next generation of such programmes.”

BAE said in a release:

“BAE Systems and its predecessor companies have worked with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and international partner nations over the past 60 years on the development of increasingly complex programmes such as Jaguar, Harrier, Tornado, Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35.

BAE Systems provides some of the world’s most advanced, technology-led defence, aerospace and security solutions and employs a skilled workforce of some 85,800 people in over 40 countries. Working with customers and local partners, BAE Systems develops technology that helps to save lives, protect borders and people, strengthen nations, and keep critical information and infrastructure secure.”
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Not sure why we are not hooking up on Tempest in that case….


If I remember correctly we spent quite a bit of effort trying to get Japan on board and the signs were hopeful for awhile. However, I think some comments from the US suggested that the UK ‘muscling’ in on a traditionally US market would not be welcome. So the Japanese decided to go their own way and develop a national independent capability. Of course, BAE Systems being on board could perhaps open the door to some Tempest tech being sold into the Japanese programme, so may be we should look at this as a looser kind of sharing arrangement… Cheers… Read more »


It wasnt so much the tech they had decent assurances on that from BAE and not unsurprising they were wary after the US burned them on F-35 tech transfer refusing to hand over black box technology to allow them to pursue their own weapon and component upgrades. The issue is that the Japanese government see this as an attempt to revive the Japanese aviation industry so they were very keen on export sales (Japan hasnt designed an indigenous fighter for many years and the F-16 clones finished production some time ago, the civil airliner programme has also been a disaster).… Read more »

Barry Larking

Most interesting. I am sure you are correct about Japan joining a full on Tempest programme in the face of U.S. disapproval. However, the ‘shared platform” is another matter. It can only help get Tempest – and the F-X – to become reality. In the event is impossible to think the U.S. would share its most advanced technology.


Morning Geoff-regards geoff


Japan has historically favoured domestic build too. They certainly use a lot of US gear, but they also spent well over the odds in developing their own version of the F-16 just to give their industry a boost and maintain technological knowhow.
ChariotRider is doubtless quite right too, but I think the Japanese will go domestic where they can.

A. Smith

We should be pushing the sale of Tempest instead of helping them build their own aircraft.

A. Smith

and offering to build them a QE carrier…

Mark B

or three


The Japanese want their own domestic product, so we can either participate in it or let Boeing and Lockhead hoover up all the work instead.


In truth there is nothing to say that the Japanese and UK can’t have their own domestic product that has shared components or even design.

I think we could leverage Japanese skills in electronics and miniaturisation and they could gain from our engine and design expertise.

nothing to say this can’t be a win win all round, if nothing else sharing common parts with separate assembly lines is a fair and possible outcome that could reduce cost and risk for both countries.


I think and certainly hope that you are right. I think there is a lot of accuracy in reports that the US would not have been happy for Japan to overtly partner with a foreign project (other than US) it would have looked very bad for the Make America Great trope, would have been a big hit on US defence sales potentially, opened the door for further such breaks from US industry and I suspect a belief in the (hopefully) previous President that the Tempest project would be ripping off all manner of US IP and of course any success… Read more »

Robert Blay

Tempest is still only an engineers CAD drawing, Tempest is at least 15 years away, so nothing to sell

Daniele Mandelli

Imagine a UK Japanese link up combining the best aspects of both, and excluding the USA. Oh the scenes!


I think without wanting to big up ours or even the Japanese capabilities, that would be a potential nightmare scenario for the US well beyond any initial cooperation, especially longer term and Trump in particular would do everything to thwart it. If Britain and Japan with the latters inevitable, if presently gradual (for political reasons), commitments to furthering their defence, created strong links on defence technology it could open up Asian markets and cooperations including Australia that would seriously threaten their taken for granted defence influence and sales. Oh they would hate that and politically it would inevitably be seen… Read more »


Try living in the real world, not some fantasy land in which the UK is still a great power, even though it hasn’t been one for a century. The US and Japan have a mutual defense treaty and there are American air forces, naval forces, and army brigades devoted to the defense of a Japan confronting an expansionist China. The UK has no forces in the Pacific worth anything and doesn’t have a mutual defense treaty with Japan. Japan is going to kick that relationship over so that it can obtain some technical expertise from the UK which the US… Read more »


pkcasimir you make the same mistake as you always do|(not mentioning your total lack of knowledge of the UK forces and its ability) ,trying to compare UK power to the US which in modern standards is ridiculous ,considering the US has 5 times the population as the UK, and you have this strange Idea that the UK hates the US . For some reason you have taken a couple of comments from this website and made the assumption that the UK is anti American which is ridiculous, the uk is far from a super power but still is a power… Read more »


You do amuse me with the oh so anti Brit rhetoric. Ave you been knocked out by a Brit while you were choppsing off thinking you were Arnie in Commando? Other half ran off with a Brit squaddie? Don’t you worry about being so negative about the UK, maybe look at the States and see what is happening there. Sort your own house out before whining about others.

Daniele Mandelli

Agree with you. I posted that with just a bit of tongue in cheek wondering if it would get a bite from the usual suspect….from the looks of of it worked! I think he missed your first sentence. 🤣 I don’t dislike our American cousins…but if this is typical of them I might start to. One can grant them their short time as no 1, compared to Great Britain with a history of being somebody centuries before they were even invented! China, like us, also has an even longer history. How is D Trump getting on PK? His comments and… Read more »


I agree as well , I just got distracted by pkcasimir comment

john melling

Agree with your comment on UK and Japan teaming up might cause a few shocks.
I hope something can come of of this and we gain some work and a foot in the pacific door ;P

Been watching the election live and stayed up since 4th November watching ! TRUMP has been acting disgracefully ! Racial slur’s and false accusation’s.
Its taking time for the postal votes
Trump lost 3 days ago he just wont quit without a dirty fight….

Last edited 4 months ago by john melling

Sixth Gen fighter mock ups look more and more like Klingon spaceships every day. Probably just as fictional too.

Jason Holmes

Well it get’s our tech and licences into another advanced aircraft. Will stop Argentina trying to buy it ! 🙂


Good Morning Gents. The world is vastly different from the days when Spitfires and Liberty ships were churned out in days. The complexity and commercial risk attached to the development of new aircraft in these days is such that co-operating with allies in some form or another is essential to spread the load. I am an ardent Americophile and cherish our close relationship but it must be said than in the past the USA’s understandable wish to protect its technology and aerospace industry has employed some dubious tactics. Even with the UK as the only tier one partner in the… Read more »


I wonder how Japan are feeling about Trump permitting the sale of F22s to Israel – since Japan probably has a far greater need for it.


Where did you get that from? The F22 line has been closed down for years. The USAF did an investigation on how much it would cost to start up again. They came away shaking their heads, i.e. too much.

Last edited 4 months ago by DaveyB

If Japan had come on board with Tempest then I would have seen coop as good, But since they didn’t I wouldn’t want UK sharing tech with them without some BIG payback from them for UK.


Slightly off topic but the Korean ‘stealth’ fighter is coming along nicely


Note the top picture is just a photoshop of the parts already in place