P.M. BRIEFING : Mitsubishi Gets FSX Jet Contract

From Times wire services

The Japanese government today awarded an $81-million contract to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to design the FSX fighter plane, going ahead despite a lack of agreement with Washington on the controversial plan.

A spokesman for the Defense Agency said the signing took place just one day before the end of Japan’s budget year, which allows it to spend money allocated for the project in this year’s government budget.

Mitsubishi Heavy, prime contractor for the project, won a contract that includes groundwork for a design based on the U.S.-built F-16 warplane, said the spokesman for the agency, the equivalent of the Pentagon.