Three countries have teamed up to build a self-flying fighter jet.
Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom announced Friday they will be building a new sixth-generation fighter jet to compete with China and Russia, according to CNN.
“We are announcing the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP) – an ambitious endeavour to develop a next-generation fighter aircraft by 2035,” the joint statement reads, according to the outlet.
Japan has announced it will jointly develop its next-generation fighter jet with the U.K. and Italy. Tokyo is looking to expand defense cooperation beyond its traditional ally, the United States. https://t.co/MK2C7FoqNQ
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 9, 2022
The new jet will begin development stages in 2024 and will take to the skies by 2035, reported CNN.
“The ambition is for this to be a next-generation jet enhanced by a network of capabilities such as uncrewed aircraft, advanced sensors, cutting-edge weapons and innovative data systems,” the statement reads, CNN reported.
The U.S. issued a statement in support of the three countries developing a new fighter. (RELATED: Pentagon Drops Another $30 Billion On F-35 Jets – There’s Just One Problem)
“The United States supports Japan’s security and defense cooperation with likeminded allies and partners, including with the United Kingdom and Italy – two close partners of both of our countries – on the development of its next fighter aircraft,” a statement from the Pentagon says.
The U.S. currently controls the production and sale of the F-35, a fifth-generation plane, according to CNN. This reportedly limits the technology that countries that purchase F-35s can use.
“It will deepen our defense cooperation, science and technology collaboration, integrated supply chains, and further strengthen our defense industrial base,” Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom’s joint statement says, reported CNN.
The U.S. also begun working on its own sixth-generation fighter jet in April 2021 called the Next-Generation Air Dominance program, according to prior reporting by the Daily Caller. The new fighter jet will replace the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and will be flying in the 2030s.