UK, Japan to develop next generation fighter jet engines

The Hurricanes and F-3 for one . with [ou F-X] For another, the United Kingdom and Japan have each initiated development of a sixth generation fighter. So there was discussion on possible technical partnership between these two countries.

Thus, in July, during a visit to Tokyo, the Chief of Staff of the Royal Air Force [RAF]Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston specifically noted an “innovative” collaboration between British and Japanese manufacturers in the area of ​​propulsion systems. And, it has been implemented only after five months.

In fact, on 22 December the British Ministry of Defense [MoD] Announced the signing of a “Cooperation Protocol” with Japan aimed at jointly developing a new generation fighter aircraft engine demonstrator. Work will begin “early next year”, with Britain planning an investment of £30 million for the purpose.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace commented, “Strengthening our partnership in the Indo-Pacific is a strategic priority and this engagement with Japan, one of our closest security partners in Asia, is a clear example.”

“Designing a Whole New Combat Air System […] Very ambitious project. That’s why it’s important to work with like-minded countries. By building on the technical and industrial strength of our two countries, we will explore partnerships at scale in next-generation fighter aircraft technologies,” Mr. Wallace said.

For his part, the Minister of Defense Procurement, Jeremy Quinn, underlined Japan’s “huge technological advances” that are likely to “complement our own knowledge” and “guarantees that our two armed forces will remain at the forefront of military innovation”. .

As a reminder, the Tempest program has entered its “design and evaluation” phase. It specifically activates BAE Systems. [maître d’oeuvre], Rolls Royce, MBDA UK and Leonardo UK. Italy has joined in, while Sweden, through Saab, is participating in the technical development of some of the systems for the project.

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As for the Japanese F-3, it should benefit from the support of the American Lockheed-Martin. This notably includes Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. [maître d’oeuvre]Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries [IHI] for the engines, Subaru for the landing system as well as Fujitsu and Toshiba for the on-board electronics. Its commissioning is scheduled for 2035.

The details of this collaboration between the United Kingdom and Japan in the field of engines have not been specified. However, in 2020, Rolls-Royce said it is working on the development of a new combustion chamber that can withstand significantly higher temperatures than existing ones to increase engine efficiency while emitting “less carbon dioxide”.

So with the collaboration that is emerging, Rolls-Royce will work with IHI. The Japanese engine manufacturer specifically developed the XF9-1 bypass turbojet engine that offers 15 tons of thrust after combustion. It follows from the XF-5, which was developed for the Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin fighter aircraft demonstrator. [ou ATD-X],

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