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Mitsubishi To Work With Lockheed

August 25, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. have agreed to jointly develop military equipment, a Mitsubishi spokesman said Tuesday.

Katsuyuki Hashimoto, of Tokyo-based Mitsubishi, said his company and Lockheed reached a ``basic agreement″ recently for a broad venture.

Hashimoto said the new venture is the first major cooperation between the companies, although they have supplied each other with some parts in the past.

Hashimoto said concrete details of the military equipment to be jointly developed will be worked out later with Lockheed, the largest defense contractor in the United States. The company is based in Bethesda, Md.

Mitsubishi last year ranked as the third-largest defense contractor in Japan.

The Nihon Keizai newspaper reported Tuesday that the agreement will include cooperation in missile-mounted electronic devices and weapons-control systems, electronic war systems and radar devices mounted on aircraft and ships.

In addition to exchanging technologies and marketing data, Mitsubishi and Lockheed will jointly propose new products to Japan’s Defense Agency, the newspaper said.

The report said Lockheed, with annual sales of $28 billion, has long been the top U.S. marketer of defense equipment in Japan.

But it has recently seen orders fall as Japan’s budget for front-line defense equipment, such as aircraft and ships, shrank to 798 billion yen ($5.5 billion) in fiscal 1998, about 30 percent down from a peak of 1.07 trillion yen in fiscal 1990, the daily said.

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