Textron bannerWith the formal signing of the agreement recently to create the International Government Organization for the development of a new fighter jet under the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), the three signatory countries, comprising the UK, Italy, and Japan, will be able to share expertise and technologies while lowering the development costs. Among other advantages of this joint development is cost reduction for individual programs owing to the sharing of expenditure by these three countries. The development will particularly benefit Japan, which is presently going through economic turmoil fueled by currency fluctuations, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, “Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market Size and Trend Analysis by Segment, Programs, Competitive Landscape, and Forecast to 2033,” reveals that Japan is expected to spend about $104 billion on procuring various categories of aircraft over the next 10 years. Of the total expenditure, 74% will be directed towards the combat aircraft segment.

Harsh Deshmukh, an aerospace and defence analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Japan, which already has a robust aerospace industry with the presence of manufacturing giants such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, will be able to smoothly transition into the rapid production of these next-gen fighters to replace its aging fleet of F-2 fighter aircraft. This is particularly essential for the country as it is trying to modernise the equipment of Japan Self-Defense Forces in recent years, amid the growing dominance of China in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Japan, which already operates the fifth-generation fighter F-35, is looking to expand its arsenal of aerial assets while diversifying from the US as its primary supplier. Japan’s primary regional rival China has already developed two fifth-generation fighter jets, namely the J-20 and J-35.

Deshmukh concludes: “Therefore, it is imperative for Japan to ensure it maintains its relevance and technological parity with its primary regional rival to counter any unforeseen aggression. This can be achieved by participating in collaborative development efforts such as the GCAP, which will not put excessive pressure on the exchequer amid the ongoing currency devaluation crisis.”


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