UK and Sweden have committed to a joint approach to ensure their future combat air power. The corresponding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the British Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt and her Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist, that commits both governments to work on a joint combat air development and acquisition programme, including the development of new concepts to meet both nations’ future requirements.
“The UK and Sweden have an enduring defence relationship, with our two industries sharing a rich history of collaboration in air power. Not only do we share the same commitment to tolerance, freedom and free trade, we also share the same determination to defend those values, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and today as part of the UK’s Joint Expeditionary Force,” said Mordaunt. Hultqvist added that the opportunities include to put advanced technologies onto Gripen and Typhoon, the world class combat aircraft currently operated by Sweden and the UK respectively, before inserting these technologies onto a future combat air system. Hultqvist also highlighted the strong industrial base shared by both countries as central to securing future Combat Air power, as well as the existing Gripen fighter systems.
“12 months ago, industry and Government launched a bold and exciting vision for the future for the UK Combat Air sector on the BAE Systems stand at the Farnborough International Air Show. This was a vision that was encapsulated by the launch of the UK’s combat air strategy and the unveiling of our Tempest concept, a glimpse into the future of combat air,” said Michael Christie, Director of Future Combat Air Systems – BAE Systems. “It also marked the launch of the Ministry of Defence’s combat air acquisition programme – a programme tasked with defining and delivering the future capabilities required when Typhoon begins to leave Royal Air Force service. The importance of international government and industry collaboration was made clear and, as such, today is a significant milestone for that programme as we welcome our first international partner.”