FARNBOROUGH, England — Leonardo UK and Mitsubishi Electric agreed to collaborate on a radar technology demonstrator concept that could inform future joint development efforts between the U.K. and Japan.

The agreement, announced July 18 at the Farnborough Airshow in England, follows the completion of joint concept and feasibility studies between the companies this year and signifies approval from their respective national defense ministries to move forward with the program, they said.

Britain and Japan have deepened their partnership on air combat technology in recent years. In December, the nations signed a Memorandum of Cooperation indicating their intent to collaborate on combat aircraft. Reuters reported last week that the countries could decide to merge their next-generation fighter programs by the end of the year. Japan’s program is called F-X and Britain’s is the Future Combat Air System, or FCAS.

Leonardo UK, a radar and electronics company, is part of the Team Tempest, the industry group the U.K. assembled to begin developing its advanced fighter capabilities. In a statement, the company indicated the radar program, called Jaguar, may be the start of more combat aircraft collaboration between the countries.

“Jaguar represents the first big building block of an international radar program that meets the ambitions laid out by Japan and the UK as part of F-X/FCAS discussions,” Leonardo UK said.

Jaguar will feed into development of Tempest’s Integrated Sensing and Non-Kinetic Effects & Integrated Communications System, which is designed to bring together multiple sensor capabilities, the company said.

Andrew Chuter is the United Kingdom correspondent for Defense News.

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