The Ministry of Defence has awarded a contract worth approximately £250m (US$348m) to progress the design and development of Tempest, the UK’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS).
The contract, signed by BAE Systems, marks the start of the program’s concept and assessment phase.
The program is set to deliver the military, industrial and economic requirements of the national combat air strategy.
The program is being delivered by Team Tempest – combining the expertize of the UK MOD, BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce. Working with international partners, the team is leading progress towards a UK-led internationally collaborative Future Combat Air System which will ensure the Royal Air Force and its allies retain world-leading, independent military capability.
The concept and assessment phase contract will see the partners develop a range of digital concepts, embedding new tools and techniques to design, evaluate and shape the final design and capability requirements of Tempest.
“Today marks a momentous step in the next phase of our Future Combat Air System, with a multi-million pound investment that draws on the knowledge and skills of our UK industry experts. Boosting our already world-leading air industry, the contract will sustain thousands of jobs across the UK and will ensure that the UK remains at the top table when it comes to combat air,” said Ben Wallace, UK Secretary of State for Defence.
“Working with our industry partners and the Ministry of Defence, we are on track to deliver an ambitious program for the UK, which will provide a highly advanced and sophisticated air defence capability, capable of countering future threats and safeguarding our national security and defence. The funding marks a critical next step for the program and, with our partners, we will work together to define the technical and capability requirements and develop the concept which will bring Tempest to life.
“Tempest offers an exciting opportunity for the next generation of talent to develop rewarding careers, contributing to important work in support of the defence of our nation. The coming years represent one of the most exciting periods in the history of our industry and, as a team, we have a chance to be part of something genuinely historic, transforming the way we develop and deliver,” said Chris Boardman, group managing director of BAE Systems’ Air Sector.