BAE Systems awarded $348.77 million contract for development of Tempest fighter

Britain’s Ministry of Defense has signed off on a $349 million contract to design and develop the Tempest, Britain’s Future Combat Air System. Photo courtesy of GKN Industries

The UK Ministry of Defense (MOD) today awarded BAE Systems approximately £250 million ($348.77million) to progress the design and development of Tempest, the UK’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

The contract was signed by BAE Systems this week and the program’s concept and assessment phase have started, which includes investment in the required skilled workforce, the company said in a press release.

“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,” Ben Wallace, UK Secretary of State for Defence, said while announcing the contract during his visit to BAE Systems’ Warton site in Lancashire.

The British Future Combat Air Programme, Tempest, is expected to create 20,000 jobs every year from 2026 to 2050, and contribute £25 billion to the UK economy.

The contract, signed by BAE Systems, officially marks the start of the programme’s concept and assessment phase.

The programme is being delivered by Team Tempest – combining the expertise 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.

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.

The FCAS will put the Royal Air Force and its allies in line with world-leading and independent military capability, according to BAE Systems.

The government said the FCAS will combine core aircraft with capabilities of being uncrewed, forming a “next-generation mix” expected to be ready for service sometime in the mid-2030s.

The $349 million investment announced this week will grow further, officials say, with more than $2.79 billion expected to be spent on the effort over the next four years.

BAE Systems is one of four founding members of Team Tempest. Others include Leonardo UK, Rolls Royce and MBDA UK.

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