news & Things

UK And Japan To Collaborate On Research For Cutting-Edge Fighter-Jet Sensor

28th Feb 2022

The UK and Japan have signed a Letter of Arrangement (LOA) to conduct a collaborative project on research and development for a world-leading fighter-jet sensor

Lethal threats will be detected by cutting-edge sensor technology used by partners.

New jobs to be created: 75 UK jobs, including 40 engineering jobs in Scotland.

£2 billion of funding to be given, as part of UK’s Combat Air Strategy.

The Armed Forces will be able to better detect future threats from air, land and sea, with the development of “JAGUAR” – universal radio frequency sensor technology, which works by quickly and accurately locating targets and denying surveillance technology operated by out adversaries.

The creation of 75 jobs across the UK is expected, with 40 highly skilled engineering jobs opening up at Leonardo’s Edinburgh site, once the project commences, scheduled April.


“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.”

Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin

It will take around 5 years to design, build and evaluate the JAGUAR system, which will see input from both Leonardo UK and Japanese industry. National expertise will maximised and enhanced by the sharing of the learning and the work involved in the project, with each country building its own demonstrator, making two overall within the project.


“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.”

Chair and CEO Leonardo UK, Norman Bone

December last year the UK and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC), to enable the pursuit of joint technologies. At the same time, the two countries also announced that they intend to develop the above-mentioned future fighter jet engine demonstrator as part of their partnership.

The UKs approach to combat air is international partnership, as set out in in the Combat Air Strategy published in 2018. Over 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 collaboration with Japan is taking place alongside the UK’s growing work to partner with European nations.

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