Troubled Partnership

A History of U.S.-Japan Collaboration on the FS-X Fighter

by Mark A. Lorell

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During the 1980s, Japan began independently developing its first world-class fighter since World War II. After several years of contentious negotiations, the Japanese agreed to work with the United States to cooperatively develop a minimally modified F-16, called the FS-X. The new fighter, however, has evolved into a world-class aircraft developed largely by Japanese industry. Fifty years after the end of World War II, the FS-X will have made its first flight, catapulting Japan into the elite ranks of nations capable of developing the most advanced weapons systems. In this book, Mark Lorell traces the evolution of the FS-X, disclosing the conflicting economic and security objectives advanced by U.S. officials, the flawed U.S. policy of technology reciprocity, and the challenges of international collaboration.

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