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Technology and Security

Expanding the GCAP: Italian Def Min, industries call out to innovators

The Defence Ministry, along with the key companies taking part in the Global Combat Air Programme, kicked off the GCAP Acceleration Initiative to support and expand the network of Italian talent contributing to the defence development alliance

The GCAP Acceleration Initiative. On Wednesday, the Italian Ministry of Defence announced the beginning of a new programme to boost the Global Combat Air Programme, i.e. the defence alliance between London, Rome and Tokyo to develop the next-generation fighter jet.

  • Through the Acceleration Initiative, the Defence aims at supporting and expanding the network of Italian companies that are taking part in the development phase of the GCAP programme…
  • … by calling on universities, research centres, companies and startups to work together on innovative solutions that can be applied in the technological development of the GCAP.

The details. In its initial form, the GCAP Acceleration Initiative consists of roughly 40 new technological explorations (the deadline is on May 19) aimed at the business and academic world. They will gather the best proposals on a broad spectrum of fields…

  • … namely propulsion systems, optical and laser systems, infrared sensors, low-observable or high thermal performance materials and metamaterials, navigation systems, model generation and digital twin development of aeronautical systems, artificial intelligence applied to managing autonomous systems and mission systems, cyber security and integrated electronic devices.
  • After collecting the proposals, organisers will select the best design solutions, “which will lead to the engagement of the entrepreneurs and top talents needed in the co-design phase, together with the Ministry of Defence and industries.”

From the horse’s mouth. The initiative “will allow Italy to participate in the GCAP programme with a contribution in terms of technological solutions of absolute value, in order to exercise national operational, technological and industrial sovereignty, while promoting the competitiveness of Italian industry in the sector, with obvious positive transversal spin-offs for the entire national economic fabric,” reads an official note.

  • The call is promoted by the Ministry of Defence itself in collaboration with the Centre for Digital Innovation of the Polytechnic Institute in Milan (CEFRIEL); the Federation of Italian Companies for Aerospace, Defence and Security (AIAD); Italian defence and aerospace titan Leonardo, the strategic partner of the GCAP programme; and the leading companies in the sector, namely Avio Aero, Elettronica, and MBDA Italia.

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