JAKARTA - Britain, Japan, and Italy announced cooperation in building a sixth generation fighter jet. The super advanced fighter aircraft is designed to compete or even -- if possible -- defeat the best fighter aircraft used by China and Russia to the United States.
"We announce the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP)" an ambitious effort to develop next-generation fighter aircraft by 2035, "said British, Japanese and Italian leaders in a joint statement, as reported by CNN, Wednesday, December 14.
They did not explicitly mention the country of China or Russia. But for them, the latest generation of fighter jets must exist as threats and aggression rise.
"Keeping our democracy, our economy and security, and protecting regional stability, becomes more important," the leaders said.
In a separate statement, the British government said the development of new warplanes is expected to begin in 2024, and is expected to fly by 2035.
It will feature technology from each of the three partners, the UK statement said.
"The ambition is to make this the next generation of jets upgraded with capability networks such as unmanned aircraft, advanced sensors, cutting-edge weapons, and innovative data systems," he added.
This new jet is seen as a substitute for the British Typhoon and Japanese F-2 fighters.
The new program will see Britain, Japan and Italy take its own path without the help of the US, the world's leading warplane maker.
The three countries are part of the US fifth generation F-35 stealth fighter program. All three fly the F-35 and the fighter version is assembled in Italy and Japan. This new jet is not expected to affect the F-35 program.
The United States supports Japan's security and defense cooperation with common-minded allies and partners, including with Britain and Italy two close partners of our two countries in the development of the next fighter aircraft," the US-Japan statement said.
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