MBDA welcomes Global Combat Air Programme treaty

UK, Japan And Italy sign Global Combat Air Programme treaty
© UK Ministry of Defence

The UK, Japanese, and Italian governments have signed an international treaty to create an innovative stealth fighter with supersonic capability and state-of-the-art technology as part of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP).

This treaty marks a crucial stage of the GCAP, as it establishes the GCAP International Government Organisation (GIGO) by the respective governments. It is also a significant agreement in the shared design and delivery of a next-generation fighter aircraft expected to be ready by 2035.

MBDA, as a key industrial contributor to the GCAP programme’s effects domain, has welcomed the international treaty signed by the three GCAP governments.

The treaty also confirmed that the UK will host the GCAP government headquarters (HQ), with the first CEO from Japan. The HQ’s responsibilities will include delivering vital military capability, strengthening each country’s Combat Air industrial capability and ensuring value for money.

In addition, a future joint business construct will be headquartered in the UK, overseeing support and timely delivery of the programme, including the 2035 in-service date of the combat aircraft known as Tempest in the UK.

Discussions on the future joint industrial construct to deliver GCAP are ongoing, with representatives from Leonardo, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and BAE Systems having recently met in Tokyo. In September this year, the industry partners announced a Collaboration Agreement to support ongoing discussions on long-term working arrangements and the maturity of the concept and capability requirements for the next-generation combat aircraft.

Ministers from Italy, Japan, and the UK signed the treaty just 12 months after the formation of the GCAP programme, reinforcing its momentum and strong trilateral cooperation amongst partners and highlighting the positive progress in developing this next-generation fighter jet. The joint development phase of the programme is due to launch in 2025.



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