It was revealed last year that Japan is making its sixth-generation fighter jet. This project was supposed to cost around 5 trillion yen (approximately $48 billion). This model is being called F-X or F-3 and is manufactured in competition with the rivals like China and Russia.
The domestic production is backed up by help from the US and the UK because it has been around 40 years since Japan produced a machine like this on its own. The machine is in line to launch a combined attack on the rivals with the collaboration with allies. It will pair up with US’s F-22s and F-35s for a seamless operation.
Partnering with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman allows the country to learn from the experience of the experts working and also to find help with resources. A British company, BAE is also being considered a great potential partner for Japan for the same reasons.
Besides these dominating names, a total of 1000 companies will be working together on this project. Such a number is not rare for the construction of sixth-generation fighter jets. The country aims to upscale its industrial abilities with the help of this project.
The features of this jet will be amazing. It will have electronically actuated control surfaces, a low radar profile, and since the space will be limited inside, hydraulic systems will be used in very few numbers if the need arises. Moreover, it will have a fiber-optic flight control system (so-called fly-by-light system), serpentine air intakes, and heat shields with an integrated bonded structure.
Companies like IHI Corporation will be working on its propulsion. The heat tolerance will be extended to almost 3,272 degrees Fahrenheit (1,800 degrees Celsius). Another system instilled in this jet will be F-X’s Gallium-Nitride “Active Electronically Scanning Array” (AESA) radar system to ease the combat and detection. Mitsubishi Electric will be handling the electrical department.
This project is the first of its kind as sixth-generation jets are still not launched anywhere. This will require an intensive amount of work and an exhaustive supply of resources.