Lockheed Martin Corporation, the maker of F-35 fighter aircraft, will help Japan build a new stealth fighter aircraft. Japan wants to reach the level of neighboring China in terms of aircraft technology by 2030, due to which it has signed this agreement. Meanwhile, Japan on Friday said it would build anti-ship missiles that could target warships in the southwestern Okinawa island chain, including the disputed islands of the East China Sea.
According to Japan's Ministry of Defense, Lockheed Martin will partner with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the flagship company of the project. The ministry said work on the project would begin next year. The new fighter aircraft will be known as the F-3 or F-X and will cost approximately $ 40 billion to develop.
This fighter aircraft will replace the F-2. Lockheed had proposed a hybrid design based on its F-35 and F-22 fighter jets, but Japan preferred the indigenous design. Other foreign companies that have expressed interest in developing the F-3 include Boeing of the US making the F-18 Super Hornet. Also included are UK-based BAE Systems PLC and engine-making Rolls Royce Holding PLC.