Seven aerospace firms sign up to move the BAE Systems-led Tempest combat aircraft project a step forward

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Aerospace companies across the UK have signed up to a pledge of closer co-operative working on the BAE Systems-led Tempest project.

The deal is being seen as a big step forward in partnerships to work on future aircraft concepts.

BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and the Ministry of Defence have been looking at ideas for a 6th generation combat aircraft for some time and a mock up of the Tempest has been created at Warton.

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Now they have been joined by Bombardier Belfast, Collins Aerospace in the UK, GE Aviation UK, GKN Aerospace, Martin-Baker, QinetiQ, and Thales UK, with more expected to join later.

How the Tempest could lookHow the Tempest could look
How the Tempest could look

The announcement represents a significant step forward by bringing additional expertise into the Team Tempest project.

Dave Holmes, manufacturing director for BAE Systems’ Air sector, said: “We are delighted to have signed the first phase of these new agreements, which are transforming our traditional relationships with partners.

"We are seeking opportunities to widen the Team Tempest project and bring in the very best of UK capability and expertise, from both inside and outside of defence.

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"They will work alongside us as we seek to develop the generation-defining combat air capability which will help safeguard the security of our nation and our allies to the end of this century.

Dave HolmesDave Holmes
Dave Holmes

"In addition, by developing the wider industry team, we will help contribute to the retention, growth and investment in a wider world-class UK skills base.

“Collaborations, with some of the brightest and best across the country, show that Tempest is becoming a truly national endeavour and we are delivering on our promise to take new approaches to drive significant pace and efficiency into the programme.”

Jeremy Quin, the UK Minister for Defence Procurement, said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates further progress in delivering the UK’s combat air strategy.

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This is a highly innovative project based around cutting-edge technology and drawing on a skills base where the UK excels. I am delighted that the success and strengths of Team Tempest are being enhanced through drawing on UK expertise; working with industrial partners and highly capable international team we are configured for future success.”