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DSEI 2023: MBDA partners with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for GCAP effects

MBDA and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation are to partner on the effects domain of the GCAP effort to develop a sixth-generation combat aircraft. (BAE Systems)

MBDA and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation are to partner on the effects domain of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), it was announced on 13 September at DSEI 2023.

With MBDA UK and MBDA Italia representing the UK and Italy, respectively, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation will represent Japan in the weapons and effectors pillar of the tri-national programme.

“The collaboration agreement is focused on aligning national approaches to effector integration of the GCAP partners. It does not include the joint development of effectors,” a joint statement said.

News of the teaming agreement came four months after Janes first reported that MBDA was in “active discussions” with one or more potential Japanese companies to team on GCAP. Speaking at the company's Stevenage facility in May, managing director MBDA UK and group engineering director Chris Allam said, “At the core of GCAP, there will be three parties, with effectively a lead company for each nation. For effects, MBDA UK and MBDA Italy are already one company, and what we will do will be to bring a Japanese teammate into that.”

Italy, Japan, and the UK announced on 9 December 2022 that they were combining their future fighter efforts, with the launch of GCAP. This merging of the UK-Italian Tempest that sits at the core of the UK's Future Combat Air System (FCAS) technology initiative and Japan's F-X fighter into the GCAP effort is geared at delivering an operational sixth-generation combat aviation capability by no later than 2035.

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