BAE Systems
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BAE Part of Funding for Team Tempest

Aug. 10, 2021
The Tempest fighter aircraft is being designed as part of the UK’s advanced FCAS defense program to stop all future air-based threats.

Anticipating the need for advanced defensive capabilities against future threats, the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Ministry of Defence (MOD) recently awarded a contract valued at £250 million to BAE Systems and other members of Team Tempest for the advanced Tempest aircraft and future air-based defense systems. The contract is for the concept and assessment stages of the UK’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS) which includes the Tempest fighter aircraft (see the figure). Team Tempest consists of the UK’s MOD, BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK, and Rolls Royce. Working with international partners, the team’s handling of the FCAS program will ensure that the Royal Air Force (RAF) and its allies retain world-leading, independent military capability.

Of the contract, the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, noted: “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 aircombat.”

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 program for the UK, which will provide a highly advanced and sophisticated air defense capability, capable of countering future threats and safeguarding our national security and defense. The funding announced today marks a critical next step for the program and, with our partners, we will work together to define the technical and capability requirements and develop the concept which will bring Tempest to life. Tempest offers an exciting opportunity for the next generation of talent to develop rewarding careers, contributing to important work in support of the defense 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.”

The Tempest program will involve the use of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and autonomous systems in anticipation of future threats. The FCAS program is expected to be operational by the mid-2030’s. The program is expected to support an average of 21,000 jobs/year and to contribute an estimated £26.2 billion contribution to the UK economy.

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