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MBDA ‘in active discussions' with potential Japanese GCAP teammates

As the lead effects integrator for the Tempest, MBDA is now “in active discussions” with one or more potential Japanese companies to team on GCAP. (BAE Systems)

MBDA is “in active discussions” with one or more potential Japanese companies to team on the new Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), a senior official said on 10 May.

Speaking at the company's Stevenage facility, managing director MBDA UK and group engineering director Chris Allam said that work is ongoing to bring in a Japanese partner to work alongside MBDA UK and MBDA Italy on the effects pillar of GCAP.

“With GCAP, there will be an effects team that will see MBDA UK linked in with Italy and Japan as a core three-party team established to look at effects integration,” 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. We are in active discussions, but not yet ready to name any companies.”

Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom 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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