Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP)

The Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) is a multi-national collaborative project involving Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan, with the shared ambition of producing the next-generation fighter aircraft by 2035. Leonardo is a strategic partner of GCAP, alongside BAE Systems in the UK and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan.


United Kingdom


The new ‘system of systems’ will operate across five domains – air, land, sea, space and cyber – and will have the next-generation fighter as its ‘core platform’, connected to other, crewed and uncrewed peripheral systems. 

With its fully digital technological capability, the aircraft will be capable of conducting missions with other assets in a coordinated and collaborative manner, aided by a command, control and communications infrastructure based on artificial intelligence, supercomputing, combat cloud architecture, and adaptive, ultra-fast cyber-resilient datalinks, for high-volume data transmission.

GCAP will drive the technological development and long-term growth of the economies of the countries involved, creating highly skilled jobs and supporting production ecosystems throughout the supply chain. On the Italian front, Leonardo will operate alongside other leading companies in the sector such as Avio Aero, Elettronica and MBDA Italia, and their related supply chains (universities, research centres, SMEs and start-ups).

GCAP is one of the most challenging and futuristic programmes in the Aerospace, Defence and Security sector, ensuring technological sovereignty for generations to come.

Leonardo: the figures

> 750

> 750

people engaged in Engineering (aeronautics, electronics, mechanics, management, information technology and systems engineering) and in Project & Programme Management



business areas involved: Aircraft, Electronics, Cyber & Security Solutions, and Aerostructures

> 50%

> 50%

of the 100 doctorates launched with leading Italian universities will contribute to the programme

Join the GCAP team!

Join the Leonardo Group and work with an international team of highly qualified engineers and technicians. Embark on a fast-growing career path in a dynamic, high-tech environment, fully developing your skills and knowledge of the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, quantum computing, digital twins and platform integration. 

Through GCAP, one of the most ambitious international programmes in the Aerospace, Defence and Security industry, you will have the chance to contribute to Italy’s technological revolution.

Over the two-year period 2023-2024, Leonardo intends to recruit around 400 people with STEM backgrounds (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to work on the programme, mainly in the professional fields of Engineering and Project & Programme Management. Following an initial experience at Leonardo's facilities in Italy, recruits may also find potential job opportunities in Japan and in the UK.



‘GCAP Acceleration Initiative’ an open innovation project launched to support development of future system of systems

The opening, until 19 May, of over 40 technology exploration calls, in an open innovation approach, allows the proposal of innovative solutions for the ‘GCAP Acceleration Initiative’ launched by the Italian Ministry of Defence and promoted in partnership with Cefriel - Milan Polytechnic University’s Centre for Digital Innovation, AIAD - National Organisation of Italian Companies for Aerospace, Defence and Security - Leonardo, as a strategic partner of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) programme, and the leading companies in the industry domains, Avio Aero, Elettronica, and MBDA Italia.

‘GCAP Acceleration Initiative’ an open innovation project launched to support development of future system of systems