The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in the United Kingdom has announced an $800 million funding boost for BAE systems to develop the country’s next generation of fighter jet.
The MoD funding will take the 6th generation Tempest fighter jet into the next development phase, which will focus on technology.
The major contract was awarded to BAE Systems on behalf of British defense firms Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce.
The development of the Tempest fighter jet is part of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), a trilateral collaboration with Japan and Italy.
All three countries will now “progress the maturity of more than 60 cutting-edge technology demonstrations, digital concepts and new technologies”.
“The next tranche of funding for future combat air will help fuse the combined technologies and expertise we have with our international partners – both in Europe and the Pacific – to deliver this world-leading fighter jet by 2035, protecting our skies for decades to come,” UK defense secretary Ben Wallace said.
The UK government view the Tempest as critical to the UK’s sovereign defense capability and ensures it remains a step ahead of adversaries.
The aircraft, which is due to enter service in 2035, is designed to be an innovative stealth fighter with supersonic capability. It is equipped with cutting edge technologies, including state-of-the-art sensing and protection capabilities. It should also operate alongside an array of “loyal wingmen,” drones with fighter-like capabilities.
The United Kingdom and the Tempest’s lead company BAE Systems unveiled an ambitious timeline for the program at the Farnborough Airshow 2022, with a first demonstrator to fly by 2027.