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Italian Industry Contracted for 6th-Gen Aircraft

Leonardo & Friends Begin Laying Groundwork for Future Fighters

A roster of Italian companies have signed on to the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) to support the Italian MoD.

The next phase in the GCAP program will generate concepts and assess preliminary findings while demonstrating the state of the industry today. Leonardo is front and center in the effort, heading up a team that includes Elettronica, Avio Aero and MBDA Italia. GCAP will progress the "system of systems" concept, building an aircraft with more modularity and common design specs for improved interoperability.

While the 6th-gen moniker sounds impressive, it's far from delivering a functional, capable modern aircraft. In the current phase, each partner will collaborate with universities, research centers, and start ups as they seek to build up a base of domestic Italian know-how to eventually produce a domestic aircraft.

Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO said the effort was vital to future security. "This new phase is a crucial step in the process of identifying and making available the innovative technologies that will ensure our defence capabilities make the necessary generational, technological and operational leap forward, allowing our national enterprise to reach the highest level of excellence and strategic autonomy. As part of the GCAP programme, Italian companies will play a fundamental role in the future of the defence industry at a national and international level. This will take place in a framework of growth that strengthens the operational capacity of our Armed Forces while at the same time generating positive returns including technological, economic and social progress for the entire national ecosystem.”

“With the launch of this new phase of the GCAP programme, we are developing a plan for technology and industry that will move Italy’s technology sector from the Typhoon era, the last major European combat air development programme, into a new era of combat air underpinned by sixth-generation capabilities," said Enzo Benigni, Chairman and CEO of Elettronica. "The wider geopolitical context underlines how vital it is to achieve the right level of readiness, interoperability and availability of technologies. By doing so, we will be prepared to manage any crises that may affect us. Italian industry’s significant role in the GCAP programme will secure a national, European and international legacy, helping to cement the concepts of strategic autonomy and technological sovereignty. Elettronica is ready to contribute and recognises that the objectives that the GCAP programme aims to achieve are also its own."



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