Defence industry champions from the UK, Italy and Japan announce a joint project delivery set-up for GCAP’s ISANKE & ICS domain

Defence industry champions from the UK, Italy and Japan announce a joint project delivery set-up for GCAP’s ISANKE & ICS domain (Integrated Sensing and Non-Kinetic Effects & Integrated Communications Systems).

The companies, Leonardo UK representing the UK, Mitsubishi Electric representing Japan and both Leonardo and ELT Group representing Italy, have identified that a joint project delivery set-up is the most efficient and effective way of delivering the programme at pace, as well as ensuring freedom of action and modification for all three nations.

This latest development follows the signing of an ISANKE & ICS domain collaboration agreement, announced in March, and moves the partners closer to the creation of a permanent industrial construct. To meet GCAP’s 2035 target, the partners agree that new ways of working will be required and have held intensive discussions to re-evaluate legacy programme structures, infrastructure and performance metrics. The objective is to create a transformative new model of international business and technical collaboration that allows for progress at pace.

ISANKE & ICS is the advanced electronics on-board the GCAP combat aircraft, providing the aircrew with mission-critical information and advanced self-protection capabilities. The new GCAP combat aircraft is considered next generation. The new concept transitions from the traditional combat air model of separate airborne sensors to provide a fully integrated sensing, fusion and self-protection capability. At the same time, the integrated communications system will allow ISANKE to operate as a network across formations of crewed and uncrewed aircraft, as part of each nations’ wider, multi-domain system-of-systems.

In addition to commercial discussions, over the last few months the domain partners have also made significant progress on the technical side of the programme. The ISANKE & ICS subsystem passed a three nation systems review. Engineers from Leonardo, Mitsubishi Electric and ELT Group have come together in-person on multiple occasions as the domain has progressed towards the systems review stage. The partners have agreed on the high-level design of the ISANKE & ICS sub-system: which will be the key blocks of the system dictating where they sit in the aircraft and what they do.

Lt Col Stuart Crawford is a defence analyst and former army officer. Sign up for his podcasts and newsletters at



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