MBDA part of the next generation in Air Combat

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has published a new Combat Air Strategy at the Farnborough International Air Show (FIAS), unveiling a concept model of a brand-new, next-generation fighter jet as part of a new strategy for future British air power.

The concept aircraft has been put together by British firms including BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls-Royce, which have joined together with the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office to form 'Team Tempest' to pursue the opportunity.

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Team Tempest brings together the UK's world leading industry and sovereign capabilities across future combat air's four key technology areas: advanced combat air systems and integration (BAE Systems); advanced power and propulsion systems (Rolls-Royce); advanced sensors, electronics and avionics (Leonardo) and advanced weapon systems (MBDA).

The MOD will now set up a dedicated team to deliver the combat air acquisition programme. Early decisions around how to acquire the capability will be confirmed by the end of 2020, before final investment decisions are made by 2025. The aim is then for a next generation platform to have operational capability by 2035.

Chris Allam, Managing Director of MBDA UK, said:

"MBDA is proud to be providing its complex weapons expertise to the Team Tempest partnership. Delivering effects is central to next generation combat air systems, and we will continue to invest in developing our world leading complex weapons and novel technologies to ensure the UK retains sovereign operational advantage and freedom of action in Combat Air.

"The strong partnership (through the Portfolio Management Agreement) between MBDA and the MoD has already changed the paradigm for complex weapons developments in the UK, delivered world leading capabilities to the UK Armed Forces and provided savings in terms of both time and money. The Team Tempest partnership has the potential to do the same for Combat Air."

The strategy is a £2bn investment in an industry that supports 18,000 direct jobs, including many at MBDA as well as our suppliers. Over the coming years we will be actively hiring those with the expertise required to make our contribution to Team Tempest possible.

You can read the full press release by clicking here.