The British government has allocated £656 million funding to propel the Tempest sixth-generation fighter jet programme into the next phase.
As part of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) – a trilateral collaboration with Japan and Italy to develop the next generation of fighter jet - the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded the major contract to BAE Systems on behalf of British defence firms; Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce, to progress the design and development of this aircraft. Tempest is the UK name for the aircraft in development under GCAP.
The contract will build on the ground-breaking science, research and engineering already completed.
The combat air platform due to enter service by 2035.
The aircraft is designed to be an innovative stealth fighter with supersonic capability and equipped with cutting edge technologies, including sensing and protection capabilities. This will make the aircraft one of the world’s most advanced, interoperable, adaptable and connected fighter jets in service globally.
“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,” Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said.
This investment forms part of more than £2 billion worth of UK Government spending on the project up to May 2025, announced in the 2021 Defence Command Paper.
The announcement follows the UK, Japan and Italy joining forces at DSEI Japan to showcase GCAP publicly for the first time since it was announced by the Prime Ministers of the UK, Japan and Italy late last year. In March, the Defence Secretary visited Tokyo to view some of the leading technology that is driving this programme.