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Global Combat Air Programme Might Include More Countries

Members of the Global Air Combat Programme are considering opening up the initiative to other countries.

Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto revealed that Italy, Japan, and the UK are open to collaborating with other nations to develop a sixth-generation stealth fighter, but only after its initial phase is completed.

The program is currently focusing on managing its internal affairs, recently establishing the GCAP International Government Organization to “pursue the guidance, direction, control, supervision, and management of the GCAP on behalf of the Parties.”

Established in 2022, the initiative is expected to produce its first in-service jet by 2035.

Interested Nations

Crosetto revealed that many countries are interested in joining the program, but did not specify which ones when asked about Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi expressed interest in joining the coalition in August last year. However, Tokyo opposed the proposal, claiming that it would only complicate discussions of which countries may purchase the aircraft.

It added that setbacks might occur if another country enters the program in its early development phase.

Other nations rumored to be interested in joining GCAP include Sweden and Germany, both having been involved with Europe’s Future Combat Air System, another multi-nation fighter jet development project.

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