BAE: Eurofighter pitch offers Japan 'sovereign control' of Typhoon

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BAE Systems has submitted the Eurofighter consortium's proposal for Japan's F-X fighter requirement, describing it as representing a "cost-effective" solution.

In a media release issued on 26 September, Nigel Whitehead, BAE's group managing director programmes and support, described the Eurofighter Typhoon as "the most capable deterrent to regional threats".

Whitehead added: "Through our ability to offer licensed production, maintenance and technology transfer, Japan can have sovereign control of manufacture, support and upgrade of Typhoon aircraft in Japan by Japanese industry.

"We are also able to offer software source codes and other data, giving Japan the ability to develop the aircraft itself to meet its own unique needs, now and in the future."

 © Eurofighter

Tabled with the support of the UK government, Eurofighter partner companies Alenia Aeronautica and EADS and Japan's Sumitomo Corporation, the BAE-led Typhoon bid is a candidate to replace the Japan Air Self-Defence Force's McDonnell Douglas/Mitsubishi Heavy Industries F-4 Phantoms.

Also on 26 September, Boeing confirmed it had responded to Tokyo's F-X request for proposals, with its offering based on the US Navy's Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet Block II. Lockheed Martin was also issued with the request in April to pitch the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

BAE also made reference to the Royal Air Force's recent first combat use of the Typhoon as a multi-role aircraft. The type logged 3,000 flight hours in support of NATO's operation Unified Protector over Libya during a six-month period.

More than 290 Eurofighters have now been delivered to partner nations Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, plus export customers Austria and Saudi Arabia.