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UK, Italy and Japan combine for future fighter development
Wednesday, 14 December 2022
The programme will build on progress already made by BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK, Rolls-Royce and the UK Ministry of Defence as Team Tempest, as well as MHI's proposed future fighter aircraft (F-X).

The governments of the UK, Italy and Japan have agreed to pool resources, specifically the Tempest fighter concept and MHI's F-X future fighter, to develop a next generation fighter under a Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP).

The programme will build on the substantial progress already made in the UK by BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK, Rolls-Royce and the UK Ministry of Defence who have been working in partnership since 2018 as Team Tempest to research, evaluate and develop a host of next generation future combat air systems capabilities.

It will also encompass Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) research initiatives, including the “X-2,” an advanced technology demonstrator jet. In October 2020 a contract was concluded with the Japan Ministry of Defense on development of the future fighter aircraft (F-X), and MHI has conducted a conceptual design and other development-related work.

A report published last year by analysts at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) concluded that should the UK take a core role in a next generation fighter jet programme, it could expect to support an average of 21,000 jobs a year and contribution an estimated andpound;26.2bn to the economy by 2050.

In the UK, around 2,500 people are already working on the programme as part of Team Tempest and wider industry. Beyond the Team Tempest partners, more than 580 organisations are already on contract across the UK, including 91 SMEs and 26 academic institutions. The Team Tempest partners have recruited more than 1,000 apprentices and graduates since the launch of the project in 2018, with young people nationwide inspired by the opportunity to be part of a once-in-a-generation combat air programme.

The UK industry partners have already generated strong working relationships with their counterparts in Italy and Japan, which will progress into the new joint development. These include IHI Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan and Avio Aero, Elettronica and Leonardo in Italy.

It is expected that GCAP will generate long-term technological, industrial and social benefits for the three partner countries and inspire the next generation of engineering talent.

Contact details from our directory:
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation Airframer
BAE Systems plc Airframer
Leonardo Engineering Design Services, Reconnaissance Radar, Sensors/Transducers, Surveillance/Air Defense Radar
Rolls-Royce plc Defence Aerospace Carbon-reinforced Composites, Engine Parts, Starter Generators, Turbine Engine Blades, Turbofan Engines, Turbojet Engines
IHI Corporation Compressors, Engine Accessories, Engine Parts, Shafts & Shaft Assemblies, Turbine Engine Blades, Turbofan Engines, Turboprop Engines, Turboshaft Engines
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Airborne Communication Systems, Communication Antennas
Avio Aero (GE Aerospace) Aircraft Structural Components, Airframer, Auxiliary Power Units, CIM Software, Combustion Chambers, Compressors, Engine Health Monitoring, Engine Parts, Gear Drives, Gearboxes, Metal & Alloy Castings, Oil Tanks, Rotating & Non-Rotating Seals, Turbine Engine Blades, Turboprop Engines
Elettronica S.p.A. Electronic Warfare Systems, Surveillance/Air Defense Radar
Leonardo Airframer
Related aircraft programs:
Mitsubishi X-2
Mitsubishi F-X
BAE Tempest