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Leonardo signs combat aircraft concept deal with BAE, Mitsubishi

12th Sep 2023 10:35

(Alliance News) - Leonardo Spa on Tuesday said defence industry leaders in the UK, Japan and Italy have signed a trilateral collaboration deal to develop the concept phase of a next generation combat aircraft.

The said the agreement is part of the Global Combat Air Programme, which is a collaboration between the three countries that aims to deliver a next generation combat aircraft by 2035.

The firm noted that the agreement, between Leonardo, BAE Systems PLC and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd - a subdivision of Mitsubishi Corp - demonstrates "positive momentum and strong trilateral cooperation", and will see collaboration and information sharing towards the next phase of the programme.

The programme was announced in December last year, with the intention of ensuring that the UK and allies are "outpacing and out-manoeuvring those who seek to do us harm", UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said at the time.

Guglielmo Maviglia, GCAP programme director at Leonardo, said: "This trilateral collaboration on the programme, for the development of a next generation system, represents the flagship of the distinctive capabilities and disruptive technologies that the partners of the three nations will share, in an innovative way, for the success of the programme."

Herman Claesen, managing director of future combat air systems at BAE systems said: "We have maintained a high tempo of engagement with our industrial and government partners in Italy and Japan since the launch of GCAP. The collaboration agreement signals the strong alignment across all three nations to meet common goals and objectives on the programme to deliver a truly international, next generation combat aircraft."

Leonardo shares rose 0.1% to EUR13.87 each on Tuesday morning in Milan, while BAE Systems shares rose 0.9% to 1,047.00 pence in London and Mitsubishi shares closed down 0.8% at JPY7,430.00 in Tokyo.

By Harvey Dorset, Alliance News reporter

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