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International Industry Alliance Forms for Groundbreaking GCAP Project

The firms will establish the ISANKE & ICS sector and introduce advanced electronics to the GCAP platform. Leonardo, an Italian company, has entered into a contract with industry partners from the UK and Japan for the subsequent phase of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP).

The involved firms comprise Mitsubishi Electric from Japan, as well as Leonardo and Elettronica from Italy, along with Leonardo UK. This fresh collaboration was formed on March 15 during the ongoing defense event DSEI Japan at Makuhari Messe, Tokyo. It signifies the subsequent official move toward 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 endeavor will occur simultaneously with the ongoing research and development conducted by each individual industry partner. The primary aim of the 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, providing the aircrews with self-protection capabilities. Developing this capability will involve the trilateral team reevaluating performance metrics, infrastructure, and program structures to expedite the project’s timeline, set to conclude in 2035.

To achieve this, the companies will leverage their individual experience and expertise. Moreover, the companies will collectively acknowledge the trinational requirements and establish an approach to meet the integrated mission support, freedom of action, and modification demands of each nation. ISANKE is anticipated to unlock sixth-generation tactical sensing technology.

It is based on a comprehensive network of sensors, focusing on delivering a fully integrated sensing, fusion, and self-protection network, unlike conventional fighter platforms with separate sensors. The integrated network will be realized with the assistance of ICS, which will enable ISANKE to support various crewed and uncrewed aircraft through this multi-domain system-of-systems.

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