According to Team Tempest leader Bay Systems, the United Kingdom is preparing to sign contracts for the future aircraft systems program by the end of 2021. Meanwhile, talks with Japan are continuing.
The UK is set to award contracts for the Tempest program to partners in Italy and Sweden by the end of the year.
This was stated by BA Systems, the leader of the consortium, which includes Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls-Royce, working on the British Initiative program for the sixth generation fighter, in an interview Reuters.
At the moment, the UK has committed £2 billion to a program launched in 2018, which aims to start production by 2025 with the delivery of the fighter aircraft system by 2035. The sixth generation stealth fighter is expected to replace the Eurofighter Typhoon from 2040. .
In addition, the British defense giant said that talks are underway with Japan to join the project.
In fact, we recall that the Tempest mock up in London had also appeared at the Daisei show in Japan, with Swedish, Italian and British flags.
all the details.
Contract on Tempest until the end of 2021
Michael Christie, director of BAE’s Future Combat Air Systems, said Reuters It is expected that contracts will be signed with the two partners at the concept and evaluation stage by the end of 2021.
On 22 July 2020, industries from Italy, the United Kingdom and Sweden began a tripartite collaboration within the project.
And on 29 July, the UK Ministry of Defense announced a new loan of £250 million, part of an initial investment of more than $2 billion, to be disbursed over the next four years.
With this contract, British Defense officially closed the concept and evaluation phase of the sixth generation Tempest air combat system. The next step is to sign contracts with two Italian and Swedish partners.
The three national industries include the main defense companies in the United Kingdom (BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, Rolls Royce and MBDA UK), Italy (Leonardo Italia, Electronics, Avio Aero and MBDA Italy) and Sweden (Saab and GKN Aerospace Sweden).
Can UK partners increase from two to three on the Tempest project?
As reported, in July, the governments of Japan and the UK were discussing a possible joint program to develop aero-engine technologies that would power Tokyo’s next-generation FX fighters. jens. A spokesman for the British Ministry of Defense said: jens The project with Japan is linked to the British government’s Future Combat Air System, of which the future Tempest fighter is a key component.
“There is a lot of similarity between the UK and Japan in terms of what they are trying to achieve in this area … this is an ongoing area that we are actively pursuing,” Christie stressed. Reuters.
“Negotiations with Japan range from joining the program as a partner to collaboration on technology,” said the BAE Systems Manager.
Instead about FCAS…
Ultimately, Reuters BAE’s Director of Future Combat Air Systems urged competition between Tempest and FCAS.
While the UK, Italy and Sweden are partners in the Tempest programme, France, Germany and Spain are working on a future rival’s air combat system to replace the French Rafale and German and Spanish Eurofighters.
Analysts question whether the European military budget is sufficient for two competing projects, he recalls. Reuters. And there is also the question among experts whether convergence between FCAS and Tempest is possible in the future. (the depth here Start by analyst Gianciracusa on the parallel convergence between Tempest and FCAS).
“The longer two programs go separately, the harder it will be to come together,” says Michael Christie of the Bey.
In the end, he recalled that “we’re effectively competing to deliver the Tempest system in half the time the Typhoon is delivering.”
The target is to start the development program in 2025. The consortium aims to reach initial operational capacity by 2035.
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