skip to main content

GCAP partners progress concept design

Discussions on work share agreements for the sixth-generation GCAP fighter aircraft are scheduled to start in March 2024. (BAE Systems)

Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom are in talks on the preliminary design of the sixth-generation Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) aircraft, with discussions on the division of responsibilities for the overall programme expected to start in March.

A spokesperson for Japan's Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology Agency (ATLA) told Janes on 29 February that the three countries “have been proceeding with conceptual design and preliminary design, in which the discussions on the fighter's concept is under way”.

Discussions on the division of responsibilities among the programme partners are also expected to start later in March, according to a statement by Japan's Defence Minister Minoru Kihara on 1 March. However, Japan is at an impasse over its military export laws, which could restrict the sale of the GCAP aircraft to foreign countries. According to Kihara, the government seeks to resolve this matter before decisions on work share begin.

Japanese government officials discussed the matter on 28 February with efforts to reach consensus on the matter, Kihara said.

“The government [had] indicated that the ruling parties had until the end of February to reach a conclusion on the GCAP, since discussions on the division of work among developers are expected to get into full swing from March onward,” he added. “The government believes that it is important to reach a final agreement [on exports] ... as soon as possible so that the joint development of the next fighter aircraft will not be affected.”

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...