Sixth-generation fighter aircraft

The sixth-generation fighter aircraft segment has just seen a breakthrough. This concerns the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP) supported by the UK, Italy and Japan.

The GCAP is the successor to the Italian-English ‘Tempest’ project (BAE SYSTEMS and LEONARDO) and the Japanese F-X project (MITSUBISHI).

Sweden (and Sweden’s SAAB) left the program in summer 2023 after four years of unsuccessful cooperation.

The agreement signed on 15 December by the Defence Ministers of the three countries sets out, among other things, the headquarters of the future entity and the leadership roles of the various nationalities. We know that the first leader will be Japanese.

Alongside this program, other “sixth generation aircraft” are being prepared around the world. For example, the SCAF, supported by Germany and France, seems to be moving forward again now that various tensions have been resolved.

On the American side, the program is called NGAD for Next Generation Air Dominance and will replace the F-22 Raptor.

Several major countries could yet join one or other of the programs. There is talk of Sweden for the SCAF and Saudi Arabia for the GCAP but for the moment all this remains speculation of the aviation and aeronautics world club members.

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