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Saudi Arabia's bid to join GCAP: divisions, financial clout and geopolitical stakes

17th August 2023 - 12:00 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London


The KSA’s participation in GCAP could be a profitable commercial step for BAE Systems, given the company’s substantial business in the country and the wider region. (Photo: BAE Systems/UK MoD)

Saudi Arabia could only bring money to GCAP at this stage as it has 'no aircraft industry, let alone a technological base, so involving [it] as a prime partner generates considerable risk and potential delays', experts tell Shephard.

Saudi Arabia is known to be pushing the UK, Japan and Italy to allow it to become a full partner in the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP). As reported by the Financial Times, the request was confirmed by a number of senior officials from all three GCAP member nations.

This development will likely create a storm in a teacup. While the UK and Italy are open to the idea, Japan is firmly against it and has expressed it publicly.

Although all three nations involved in the programme have previously said they are open to working with other countries, this

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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