The two nations signed a letter of agreement (LoA) to research a new sensor system for fighter jets, enabling enhanced threat detection capabilities.
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Dubbed JAGUAR, initial reports explain that the radio emissions sensor capability will be designed to enable military actors to better identify threats across all domains, through enhanced target location and “denying surveillance technology operated by our adversaries”.
Developed as part of the UK government’s Combat Air Strategy, the project is hoped to commence in April for five years and create 75 jobs.
The project will be managed under the guidance of Leonardo UK and the Japanese defence industry.
“We are proud to work ever closer with our partners in Japan to ensure both our Armed Forces remain at the forefront of military innovation,” Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said.
“This crucial relationship will see us acquire truly advanced technology to protect our nations for decades to come whilst creating significant investment and highly-skilled jobs in the UK and Japan.”
There will be a research site located in each of the two nations.
“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,” chair and chief executive of Leonardo UK Norman Bone said.
“Japan has a strong and growing combat air industry which is a natural fit for Leonardo. Under JAGUAR, our highly-skilled scientists and engineers based across the UK will work with their Japanese counterparts to advance technology that will benefit both of our nation’s future combat air endeavours.”
The announcement follows the memorandum of cooperation (MoC) between the UK and Japan in December 2021, with the objective of developing joint military technology including a new fighter jet engine demonstrator.
[Related: BAE Systems secures $687m global F-35 deal]