London: The United Kingdom, Japan, and Italy have agreed to launch the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) to jointly develop a new generation fighter by 2035, the UK Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday.
“The UK will work with Italy and Japan to adapt and respond to the security threats of the future, through an unprecedented international aerospace coalition … The Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) is a new partnership and ambitious endeavour between the UK, Japan and Italy to deliver the next generation of combat air fighter jets,” a statement read, adding that the countries are ready to launch the development phase in 2024.
The aircraft will receive a network of capabilities “such as uncrewed aircraft, advanced sensors, cutting-edge weapons and innovative data systems,” the statement said.
The aircraft is expected to be compatible with the fighters of other NATO countries. The GCAP can also replace the Typhoon fighter when it comes out of service, the statement added.
The main contractors in the project are Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the UK’s BAE Systems Plc, and Italy’s Leonardo.