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Global Collaboration: UK, Japan, and Italy Unite for GCAP Initiative

The companies will establish the ISANKE & ICS sector and introduce advanced electronics to the GCAP platform.

Italian firm Leonardo has inked a deal with industry partners from the UK and Japan for the next phase of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP).

The participating companies consist of Mitsubishi Electric from Japan, Leonardo and Elettronica from Italy, and Leonardo UK.

This new collaboration was formed on 15 March during the ongoing defense event DSEI Japan in Makuhari Messe, Tokyo.

It marks the next official step in establishing a permanent industrial framework for GCAP.

Within this partnership, the companies will assess various commercial and international operating models suitable for the program.

The collaborative effort will run parallel to the ongoing research and development conducted by each individual industry partner.

The primary objective of this new agreement is to jointly develop the Integrated Sensing and Non-Kinetic Effects & Integrated Communications Systems (ISANKE & ICS) sector of GCAP.

This sector will directly contribute advanced electronics to the future combat aircraft, enhancing self-protection capabilities for the aircrews.

Developing this capability will involve the three-country team reevaluating performance metrics, infrastructure, and program structures to accelerate the project’s timeline, set for completion in 2035.

To achieve this, the companies will leverage their individual experience and expertise.

Furthermore, the companies will collectively address the tri-national requirements and devise an approach to meet each nation’s demands for integrated mission support, freedom of action, and customization.

ISANKE is expected to introduce sixth-generation tactical sensing technology, resembling a sophisticated network of sensors, aiming to deliver a fully integrated sensing, fusion, and self-protection network, distinct from traditional fighter platforms with separate sensors.

The integrated network will be facilitated by ICS, enabling ISANKE to support various crewed and uncrewed aircraft through this multi-domain system-of-systems.

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