The Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme has received a new £250 million ($350 million) investment from the UK government to advance to its next phase.
The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) signed a contract with the ‘Team Tempest’, formed by BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, Rolls Royce and MBDA UK, to start the digital and physical infrastructure phase of the programme, which will lead to a 6th gen fighter, an unmanned aircraft and advanced data systems.
“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,” said Defense Secretary Ben Wallace
“This project is hugely important in ensuring the UK and its partners have the skills and technology we need to give us the battle-winning edge for the future,” said UK Director of Future Combat Air, Richard Berthon.
According to the British government, the program will define and initiate the project the future air combat system, mature the technologies involved, invest in a skilled workforce and develop the digital and physical infrastructure to present alternative concepts by 2024.
The UK FCAS also has partnership agreements with the governments of Sweden and Italy, which are interested in a future international endeavor.
In addition to them, the UK government is also talking to Japan for a possible collaboration between the Tempest and F-X programs.
The UK plans to put Tempest into service in the mid-2030s.