09 December 2022
by Gareth Jennings & Kosuke Takahashi & Akhil Kadidal
An artist’s impression of the manned fighter – that will be developed by the UK, Italy, and Japan under the Global Combat Air Programme – shows it flying over the UK Houses of Parliament. The fighter will still be known as Tempest in the UK, although Italy and Japan have yet to give it a name. (Crown Copyright)
The UK, Japan, and Italy have combined their future fighter efforts, with the new Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) announced on 9 December.
The merging of the UK-Italian Tempest that sits at the core of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), and Japan’s F-X fighter was announced by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the home of the Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon force at Coningsby.
A joint statement by the prime ministers of the three countries said that the merger has the benefit of sharing the costs of investment in people and technologies. The intention is to field the sixth-generation fighter by 2035.
“Importantly, the programme will support the sovereign capability of all three countries to design, deliver, and upgrade cutting-edge combat air capabilities, well into the future,” the joint statement said.