Britain, Italy, and Japan are to cooperate in developing a sixth-generation fighter, the three nations under the project’s name – Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) plan to have a fighter ready by 2035 Under the banner of “Team Tempest” a British industry partnership involving BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls-Royce but India was offered to be part of Team Tempest way back in 2018 when UK has held talks with India on joining the coalition.

India after pulling out of the joint Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) program with Russia, should have taken this opportunity to fill the gap for the second 5th gen fighter jet program that India wanted not so long ago. The tempest that is advertised as a 6th gen fighter could have been above AMCA in terms of MTOW and could have been an ideal replacement for the Su-30Mki in the top tier.

FGFA was supposed to be a learning curve so that it could help India develop AMCA its 5th generation fighter jet of its own. Joining Tempest could have resolved two issues for Indian engineers and scientists is that India could have gotten a reliable next-gen modular engine from the program for its AMCA program but it could also have acted as a fail-safe mechanism in case the AMCA program faces any delays due to lack of technology maturity.

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