>> American defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, plans to offer Japan a new Hybrid Stealth Fighter Jet. Two sources exclusively told Reuters, the new plane would be based on Lockheed's export-banned F-22 Raptor and the Advanced F-35. The sources say, Lockheed discussed the idea with Japanese defense officials, and will make a formal proposal.
After it receives permission from the US Government to offer the sensitive technology to Japan. The final decision lies with US President Donald Trump and Congress. Reuters' Tim Kelly in Tokyo explains the possibilities.>> If the US agrees to release this technology, that's a major step forward for US-Japan relations.
But it's also a test of President Donald Trump's willingness. But he wants to overhaul Japan's arms export regime, to allow more US exports of military equipment. So, if you notice from the F22, it's a twin-engine aircraft. Which means it has more power, it can fly faster, it can fly higher.
The F35 has better stealth, it's avionics, it's flight control systems, weapons control systems, are more advanced. So if you could combine these two to create a new aircraft, you potentially could create an aircraft that would be superior to anything that already exists. And would certainly be superior to aircraft that the Chinese Airforce, which is Japan's main concern, is able to field at the moment.
>> Japan Stealth Aircraft Program was intended to be a domestic effort. But it's recently turned overseas in a bid to share the $40 billion expense. And gain access to technology would otherwise, have to develop from scratch.