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Japan's new-gen fighters' race heats up


The new fighters will replace Japan's aging F-4 fighters (in picture).

TOKYO (BNS): Japan's move to acquire a fleet of new-generation fighter aircraft has accelerated with three leading global giants submitting bids for the deal estimated to be worth several billion dollars.

Day after US aviation firm Boeing along with the Navy offered its advanced F/A-18E Super Hornet Block II fighters, European consortium Eurofighter GmbH came forth with its Typhoon fighters.

UK's BAE Systems, which submitted the bid on behalf of Eurofighter GmbH on Tuesday, said that Japan can have sovereign control of manufacture, support and upgrade of Typhoon aircraft in Japan by Japanese industry.

Another US fighter racing in the competition is Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The Japanese Defence Ministry has accepted the bids submitted by the three firms.

Under the deal, the Asian country plans to acquire about 40 to 60 new-generation fighters under the FX programme for the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF). The deal is pegged at about USD 4 billion.

The new warplanes will replace the JASDF's aging F-4 fighters.

Japan is expected to finalise the deal by the end of this year.

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