News articles

UK and Japan to work together on world-leading fighter jet sensor

Futuristic image of aircraft flying over illuminated London landmarks at night.

The UK and Japan have today signed a Letter of Arrangement (LOA) to jointly conduct cooperative research on a world-leading fighter jet sensor. 

The universal radio frequency sensor technology, known as 'JAGUAR' could enable the Armed Forces to better detect future threats from air, land and sea, quickly and accurately locating targets and denying surveillance technology operated by our adversaries. 

With joint work on the project scheduled to start in April, JAGUAR is expected to create 75 jobs across the UK, including 40 highly skilled engineering jobs at Leonardo’s Edinburgh site. 

"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.  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."

MP Jeremy Quin
Minister for Defence Procurement

Designing, building and evaluating the JAGUAR system will take around five years, involving input from Leonardo UK and Japanese industry.  Two demonstrators will be built within the project, one in each country, with the work and learning shared to maximise national expertise.

"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.  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."

Norman Bone
Chair and CEO Leonardo UK

This cooperative research comes after the UK and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in December last year, enabling both nations to pursue joint technologies.  In December, the two countries also announced an intention to develop a future fighter jet engine demonstrator as part of their partnership. 

Futuristic image of aircraft flying at night, with lightning waves around it.

International partnership remains at the heart of the UK’s approach to combat air, as set out in the Combat Air Strategy published in 2018.  During the next four years, the UK is investing more than £2 billion into its major national and international endeavour to design a world-leading Future Combat Air System.  The work with Japan is taking place alongside the UK’s growing partnership with European nations.

This news delivers against plans announced in the UK’s Defence Command Paper, published in March 2021, to deepen and expand defence industrial relationships in the Indo-Pacific region, including with Japan. 

Read more about Team Tempest

Or hear more on the Team Tempest podcast