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Japan, UK, and Italy form agency to oversee GCAP

A new intergovernmental agency, named GIGO, has been set up by Japan, the United Kingdom, and Italy to manage the sixth-generation Global Combat Air Programme. (Leonardo)

Japan, the United Kingdom, and Italy have signed a treaty to establish a new intergovernmental organisation to advance the joint development of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) sixth-generation combat aircraft.

Japan's Minister of Defense Minoru Kihara and his Italian and UK counterparts, Guido Crosetto and Grant Shapps, signed the treaty in Tokyo on 14 December. The new agency is named the GCAP International Government Organisation (GIGO).

The treaty document said GIGO's mandate is to “pursue the guidance, direction, control, supervision, and management of the GCAP on behalf of the [three countries]”. It added that GIGO's objectives include a requirement to obtain the “best cost-efficiency ratio for the development of the [GCAP] capability”.

The organisation is also expected to have the “legal personality to function effectively as an independent entity and with the legal capacity to place contracts with industrial entities engaged in the GCAP”. In a statement, the three ministers also confirmed that GIGO will facilitate a distribution of GCAP work that will be proportionate to each country's contribution by “financial and technical means under the spirit of equal partnership”.

According to the treaty, GIGO will be responsible for the overall management of GCAP with a steering committee (SC) providing guidance, supervision, and control. The SC consists of representatives from each partner country. GIGO is also expected to co-ordinate, inform, and cohere GCAP's “technical and programme requirements” through the provision of administrative support to the SC, the treaty added.

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