The US wants to dissuade Japan, which since 1945 has always bought US fighters, from joining Britain’s Tempest next-gen fighter program, and has linked ongoing talks over the cost of maintaining US troops in Japan to the fighter decision. (JASDF photo)
The US wants to dissuade Japan, which since 1945 has always bought US fighters, from joining Britain’s Tempest next-gen fighter program, and has linked ongoing talks over the cost of maintaining US troops in Japan to the fighter decision. (JASDF photo)

Donald Trump Puts Tokyo Under Pressure to Choose US Fighter Jet Over Rival BAE

The Trump administration is pressuring Japan to choose a US defence company to develop jointly a replacement for its F-2 fighter jets as Tokyo considers a British alternative to cut its reliance on American weapons.

Pentagon officials have stepped up talks with Japan amid concerns the US could lose out to BAE Systems, the UK defence contractor developing a sixth generation Tempest stealth fighter, according to three people familiar with discussions about the F-3 programme.

Advertisement

Tokyo wants to replace its F-2s when they retire from around 2035 and plans to start development next year, in a deal that would be worth tens of billions of dollars. It is considering three options: collaborating with BAE; working with Lockheed Martin, the US maker of the F-22 and F-35 jets; or developing a plane domestically.

The US air force is worried that choosing a UK fighter would create difficulties in interoperability with both the US military and other US-made aircraft used by Japan, which could complicate joint operations. American officials are also concerned that opting for a British jet would anger President Donald Trump, just as Washington and Tokyo are engaged in tough talks about how much each should pay towards maintaining their alliance.
Source: Financial Times/Demetri Sevastopulo and Robin Harding

The US wants to dissuade Japan, which since 1945 has always bought US fighters, from joining Britain’s Tempest next-gen fighter program, and has linked ongoing talks over the cost of maintaining US troops in Japan to the fighter decision. (JASDF photo)
The US wants to dissuade Japan, which since 1945 has always bought US fighters, from joining Britain’s Tempest next-gen fighter program, and has linked ongoing talks over the cost of maintaining US troops in Japan to the fighter decision. (JASDF photo)
Advertisement

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.