ADBR is proud to welcome Melbourne-based Mike Yeo to our growing team of outstanding contributors in the magazine and on adbr.com.au. Mike has extensive experience writing regional defence stories and analyses for a number of Australian and global publications, and is also a highly-regarded photographer.
Japan unveils development timeline for new fighter
Japan has said that it expects production of its next-generation domestically-developed fighter jet to begin in 2031, with deployment expected in 2035.
The country’s defence ministry added that production of the first prototype of the new fighter – notionally dubbed the F-3 and slated to replace about 90 Mitsubishi F-2 fighters in its inventory – is planned to begin in 2024, with flight tests earmarked to start in 2028.
Japan has previously said the new fighter will have an emphasis on stealth and interoperability with the US military. The selection of contractors for the jet and other systems is expected to start in 2021.
Australia-Japan space deal
Australia has signed an agreement with Japan to further broaden co-operation between their respective space agencies in space science, research, and education.
The memorandum of co-operation was signed during a virtual meeting between the Prime Ministers of both countries on July 9, where they also discussed ways to deepen their defence and security ties between the two countries.
South Korea KF-X to roll out in 2021
South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has confirmed that it will roll out the first prototype of its KF-X fighter in April next year, with first flight scheduled for 2022.
A KAI official has said that the first prototype will be followed by five more in that same year, with one of those bound for development partner Indonesia.
South Korea intends to replace its ageing fleet of McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II and Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II jets with the KF-X, the development program for which is scheduled to be completed in 2026.
Philippines to dispatch new frigate to multinational exercise
The Philippines will send its newly-delivered frigate to the multinational Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise off Hawaii, which is scheduled to begin in August.
A Philippine Navy spokesperson said in a statement published by the country’s state news agency that the BRP Jose Rizal’s participation at RIMPAC is, “part of a ‘shakedown cruise’ where we can test the seaworthiness and performance of it while the ship is still under warranty”.
The ship was delivered from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries in June.
Other countries involved in the exercise hosted by the US Navy include Australia, Singapore, and Japan, with this year’s event scaled down and personnel interaction limited due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.