Daily Mail

UK joins forces with Japan and Italy to build £10bn AI fighters

- By Defence Editor

BRITAIN is to spend an eye-watering £10 billion on its next-generation fighter jet, which will incorporat­e ‘deep learning artificial intelligen­ce’ and could fly without a pilot.

The Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) intends to take off in 2035 and combine British, Japanese and Italian technology to create the world’s most advanced combat aircraft.

The huge investment comes amid gnashing of teeth by UK generals over the lack of money for the Army in yesterday’s Budget.

The Government announced a £5 billion uplift in defence spending over the next two years – but this has already been allocated for nuclear submarines and replenishi­ng stocks given to Ukraine. In total there will be just an £11 billion increase in military funds between this year and 2028, despite the huge threat posed by Russia and China.

GCAP will be the RAF’s replacemen­t for its Typhoons which will be withdrawn from service by the mid-2030s. It will incorporat­e all the research and developmen­t already completed on the ‘Tempest’ future aircraft project. Japan will also provide all the technology it intended to use for its next-generation fighter jet as part of the collaborat­ion. Italy has also joined GCAP but is understood to be a junior partner.

Speaking in Japan, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: ‘We will be investing £2 billion in GCAP up to 2025 and £10 billion over the next ten years.

‘The overall developmen­t programme will be above £25 billion. We will hopefully get towards developmen­t by 2025 and in service by 2035 – a key milestone, a milestone we must all meet and deliver.’

The manufactur­ers involved in the project include BAE and Rolls-Royce from the UK, Leonardo from Italy and Mitsubishi from Japan. Dozens of smaller British enterprise­s are also set to be included. The UK and Japan are expected to cover 80 per cent of the costs, with Italy picking up the remainder.

 ?? ?? Concept: The new GCAP fighter jet
Concept: The new GCAP fighter jet

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