Back in December last year, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper unveiled tantalizing details of what could potentially become Japan’s 6th-generation fighter. The aircraft will be domestically developed and is currently penciled in to cost around 5 trillion yen (about $48 billion).
The aircraft, dubbed the F-X or F-3, has been deemed necessary in order to keep up with, and hopefully surpass, the air capabilities of many of its neighbor’s cutting-edge aerial assets — especially China or Russia.
According to current estimates made by Japan’s Ministry of Defence, China, apparently, has more than 1,000 so-called “fourth generation” fighters at its disposal. What’s worse (from Japan’s perspective) is that these numbers have tripled over the last decade or so.
To add to Tokyo’s woes, Beijing has previously expressed its ambitions to deploy “fifth-generation” fighters with stealth capability, too. Russia is also planning to introduce a fifth-generation aircraft soon, while also developing a large, unmanned aerial vehicle. Read more