MoD launches new £250m air combat development programme

Thousands of engineering jobs in Lancashire will be supported by the signing of a new £250m contract to design and develop Tempest, the UK’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

The contract, announced during a visit to BAE Systems’ Warton site, has been awarded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to Team Tempest, which along with MoD engineers also features BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce with support from a range of international partners. 

The contract marks the official start of the programme’s concept and assessment phase which will ultimately ensure the Royal Air Force and its allies retain world-leading, independent military capability.

Ben Wallace, UK secretary of state for defence, said: "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."

Chris Boardman, group managing director of BAE Systems’ air sector, said: "Working with our industry partners and the Ministry of Defence, we are on track to deliver an ambitious programme 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.

"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."

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