The United Kingdom and Japan on Tuesday signed a letter of arrangement to pursue cooperative research on a “world-leading” fighter jet sensor beginning in April, the British Ministry of Defense said.
The project, known as Jaguar, will be designed to allow the armed forces to better detect “future threats from air, land, and sea quickly” and “denying surveillance technology” operated by their adversaries.
The ministry said that the process of developing the system would take around five years, involving input from aerospace company Leonardo UK and its counterpart in the Japanese industry.
Two technology demonstrators will be built as part of the project, with one going to each country, it added.
Norman Bone, a chief executive of Leonardo UK, praised Japan for its “strong and growing” combat air industry and deemed it “a natural fit for Leonardo.”
“As the UK’s combat air electronics champion and a founding member of Tempest, we’re keen to work with our international allies where their industry has similarly advanced capabilities, bringing together the best of both partners,” Bone said.
The project is expected to create 75 jobs across the UK, including 40 highly-skilled engineering jobs at Leonardo’s Edinburgh site in Scotland. The ministry said that the agreement with Japan occurs alongside Britain’s growing partnership with European nations.
“During the next four years, the UK is investing more than £2 billion ($2.7 billion) into its major national and international endeavor to design a world-leading future combat air system,” the ministry said.
The cooperative research follows the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the UK and Japan last December on joint technologies.
“Japan is Britain’s close security partner in Asia, with shared values and common strategic interests. This sends a clear signal about our determination to deepen bilateral defense cooperation, and the UK’s commitment to the Indo Pacific region,” Britain defense secretary Ben Wallace said.