ROME: The governments of Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan said Friday that they have agreed to join forces “to develop a next-generation fighter aircraft by 2035” reported Ansa.

“As leaders of Italy, Japan and the UK, we are committed to upholding the rules-based, free and open international order, which is more important than ever at a time when these principles are contested, and threats and aggression are increasing,“ read a joint statement.

“Since defending our democracy, economy and security, and protecting regional stability is ever more important, we need strong defence and security partnerships underpinned and reinforced by a credible deterrent capability.

“Today, we are taking the next step in our deepening trilateral partnership. We are announcing the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) - an ambitious endeavour to develop a next-generation fighter aircraft by 2035.”

Through GCAP, they will accelerate their advanced military capability and technological advantage. It will deepen defence co-operation, science and technology collaboration, integrated supply chains, and further strengthen defence industrial base.

“This programme will deliver wider economic and industrial benefits, supporting jobs and livelihoods across Italy, Japan and the UK. It will attract investment in research and development into digital design and advanced manufacturing processes.”

“It will provide opportunities for our next generation of highly skilled engineers and technicians.” - Bernama