Britain invests £2bn in Tempest combat aircraft project

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Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said that the money will help launch the next phase in designing and delivering the “world-leading future combat air system”.

Quin said:

“We have launched the next phase of our programme to design and deliver Tempest and I am proud to say that, over the next four years, we will invest more than £2bn as Government into a world-leading future combat air system to keep us and our allies safe alongside us, leveraging additional investment from our first rate international and industrial partners.”

Another excerpt from the speech is shown below.

“There’s a third and final aspect to Tempest that I wish to highlight today. It is not merely about strengthening our industry but bolstering our international ties. This programme gives us a chance to work with like-minded allies to share technology, experience and R&D costs. To enhance our understanding and interoperability. And to build something that is world beating. We’ve already made significant progress with our partners Sweden and Italy. Partners who bring credible industries and great strength-in-depth design, manufacture and sensor technologies.

And we’re now exploring the important corporate opportunities with Japan. Each partner will bring a host of benefits and expertise to the table. I’ve already touched on ‘digitising’ the industry – Saab, the industry lead for our partner Sweden, have done some great work in this field. Through digital testing of their Gripen-E, they have drastically reduced the hours and cost it would have taken to test a physical system; they’re now calling it the world’s most cost-effective fighter jet. I’m sure we’ll be looking to learn a lot from them about the huge benefits that can be delivered by this kind of digital simulation.

Combine the technical experience of Sweden with our long-standing Combat Air partnership with Italy which has gone from strength-to-strength with Eurofighter and F-35, and potentially the world-leading manufacturing technologies being developed by Japan, on top of the world-beating qualities that I have explained the UK has to offer, and that really is a winning formula. And we’re open to other partners coming on board

Thirty years ago, the UK and its western allies appeared unchallenged in the air domain. Today our adversaries have caught up. But a major national and international endeavour is now underway. Working with industry and with our international allies, we are aiming high. A state-of-the-art system fit for tomorrow’s world. A system that matches our ambition to invest in high-tech skills, jobs and businesses. And a system that will ensure, decades from now, whenever the next conflict arises, we will stay in control of the air, winning the air-fight and protecting our peace and prosperity for generations to come.”

You can read the full speech here.

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