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The United Kingdom is spearheading a collaborative project to develop a new, sixth-generation fighter aircraft. This multinational initiative, known as the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), brings together the UK, Italy, and Japan.

The UK government has demonstrated its commitment to GCAP through significant investment. The March 2021 Defence Command Paper pledged over £2 billion ($2.5 billion) dedicated to the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), the UK’s contribution to GCAP, by 2 thousand and twenty-five. This represents an initial portion of a larger £12 billion ($15 billion) budget allocated over the next decade. Future investment decisions will determine the final amount committed.

The Ministry of Defence has taken a proactive role in funding research and development (R&D) for the project. Over £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion) has been invested through the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI). This government funding is further bolstered by an additional £600 million ($750 million) contributed by Team Tempest, the UK’s industry partners on the project.

GCAP’s goal is to develop a next-generation fighter jet with stealth capabilities, surpassing current technology. This advanced aircraft is envisioned to replace existing models, including the Eurofighter Typhoon used by the Royal Air Force and Italian Air Force, and the Mitsubishi F-2 of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.