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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 06:12 AM
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Japan to build stealth fighter jets by 2014
Japan to build stealth fighter jets by 2014
By Mari Yamaguchi - The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Dec 7, 2007 16:24:53 EST

TOKYO Japan will develop its own stealth fighter jets to compete against the rapidly advancing Chinese air force and other threats to its air defenses, officials said.

Japans air force has been searching for replacements for its aging fleet of F-4s and F-15s. But its hopes to purchase F-22s from Washington have been hindered by a U.S. Congress export ban and its reluctance to share sensitive military technology with foreign governments.

The key part of the six-year project, to be launched officially next April, involves developing an XF5-1 engine that would allow a fighter jet to be both highly maneuverable and cruise at supersonic speeds, according to the Japanese defense ministry.

We need fighters that are fitted with highly advanced technology, considering whats been developed in other countries, the ministry said in a recent statement. It is a crucial project in developing fighters that will play a key role in our future fleet and build our space defense.

Defense officials hope to have a test flight of the prototype, unofficially nicknamed Shinshin, or Spirit, by the end of March 2014. The entire project is expected to cost $419.8 million.

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