Friday, December 1, 2023

GCAP: Italian Leonardo demands industrial rebalancing of the 6th generation combat aircraft program

In an unusual outing, the CEO of Leonardo, Roberto Cingolani, demanded that the GCAP program be rebalanced from an industrial point of view, in order to allow Italy, and his company, to take its full place, facing the omnipresence of the couple formed by London and Tokyo since the arrival of the latter. On this occasion, he gave details on the organization of the industrial sharing of the program, gave interesting clues on the reasons for the apparent harmony reigning between its three participants.

Since the integration of Japan, the GCAP program (Global Combat Air Program) which until then brought together Great Britain and Italy, seemed to progress in a much more orderly and peaceful manner than its European counterpart , the SCAF program composed of the France, Germany and Spain.

Indeed, where the FCAS almost derailed a few months ago over problems of industrial sharing between the French Dassault Aviation and the German Airbus DS, the program gave an image of harmony and cooperation suggesting an industrial, budgetary sharing and politics much better controlled by London, Rome and Tokyo.

Roberto Cingolani demands more place for Italy and Leonardo in the GCAP program

Therefore, the release made a few days ago by Roberto Cingolani, the CEO of Leonardo, partner of the program since its launch, surprised more than one. Indeed, for the Italian industrialist, it is now time to fundamentally rebalance the program , and make it a true tripartite program, and no longer a British-Japanese collaboration with Italy as spectator.

GCAP system of systems
Leonardo does not intend to play second fiddle in the 6th generation fighter program system of systems

The CEO thus demanded a more important role for his company in the project and the organization of a real industrial sharing plan, which today has, it seems, not yet been negotiated between the three partners. .

According to him, in fact, the GCAP program has been based, until now, on the pooling of ideas and skills, and industrial sharing, a subject that is however very complex and difficult, would not, for time, was negotiated, leading to blatant imbalances, including in the main directions of the program.

Indeed, for several months, this has given much more of the image of a bilateral program between London and Tokyo, rather than a trilateral one with Rome, at least in the public image given.

However, the demands of the industrialist risk being confronted with a reality that is difficult to circumvent, namely the low participation of the Italian State in financing the program.

Italy's low budgetary commitment until 2035

Indeed, to date, Rome has only committed to spending €3.8 billion on that until 2035, that is to say the date of start of industrial production. This amount represents 35% of the £10 billion that will be spent by London over the same period, just like Japan.

Eurofighter Typhoon Italian Air Force
The Italian Air Force plans to replace its 94 Eurofighter Typhoon with the aircraft to be designed under the GCAP program

LOGO meta defense 70 International technological cooperation Defense | Defense News | Fighter aircraft

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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