Saudi Arabia is actively trying to participate in the GCAP sixth generation fighter jet program and is ready to invest billions of dollars, but Japan is against it.

Saudi Arabia wants to fully participate in the development program for the sixth generation fighter jet. This historic program is called the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP).

What do we know?

Last year, GCAP brought together the UK, Italy and Japan. All three countries want to develop a sixth-generation fighter jet by 2035. Saudi Arabia has stepped up its efforts to become the fourth member of the program.

London and Rome are open to joining the Riyadh GCAP. On the other hand, the Land of the Rising Sun strongly opposes it. Japanese officials have already communicated their position to program partners.

Saudi Arabia’s participation in GCAP involves significant investment in the project. Funding is estimated at several billion dollars. Nikkei Asia reported this citing unnamed sources.


Japan has agreed to lift a multi-year embargo on arms exports and is preparing to further ease restrictions on entry into new markets through the GCAP. However, Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in the program would complicate the choice of countries for Japanese arms exports, officials say. Also, Japan is concerned that adding a new member would cause delays.

Riyadh became interested in GCAP after Germany blocked the delivery of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets. Berlin imposed an arms embargo on the kingdom following the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen.

Source: Nikki Asia

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