MoD extends Tempest contract by £650m

By Tim Aldred

14 Apr 2023

Tempest flying over Japan

BAE Systems will continue to develop the Tempest next-generation combat aircraft after being awarded a £655m contract extension by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The new funding builds on the work already undertaken UK Tempest partners BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce.

The UK Tempest partners, working in close collaboration with the MoD, will now progress more than 60 cutting-edge technology demonstrations, digital concepts and new technologies.

These innovations, together with work undertaken in conjunction with the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) partners in Japan and Italy, will help shape the final requirements of a new stealth fighter with supersonic capability due to enter service with the Royal Air Force by 2035. 

The aircraft will feature cutting-edge technologies including state-of-the-art sensing and protection capabilities which will make the aircraft one of the world’s most advanced, interoperable, adaptable and connected fighter jets in service.

Much of BAE's work will be undertaken at its Lancashire bases, where it employs a workforce of around 10,000 in Samlesbury and Warton.

Herman Claesen, managing director, future combat air systems - BAE Systems’ Air Sector, said: "This contract reflects the continued commitment by the UK government and ensures we continue to mature this significant programme and the vital technology pipeline that will drive innovation into - and beyond - the combat air sector for decades to come."

Ben Wallace, UK Secretary of State for Defence, said: "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.”

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