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UK Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin has outlined how more than £2bn of investment in the TEMPEST programme will power the next phase to build a world-leading new combat air system. The Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper set out the vital importance of the programme to global security and UK prosperity, which is why the UK will invest over the next four years to move into the next phase to design and deliver the next-generation system.

With strong global alliances and a world-class industrial base, the UK is stepping forward and driving international partnerships with Italy and Sweden. The work will sustain and support a sector which already generates £6bn a year and employs over 46,000 people across all four corners of the UK. The sector and the broader UK defence industry is set to be boosted by the new Defence Industrial and Security Strategy, which will ensure that the UK retains a competitive, innovative and world-class defence and security industry.

The elements of TEMPEST will connect and combine to provide a battle-winning combat air system for the rest of the 21st century. A core aircraft will likely form one element of a network of capabilities which could include long-range weapons, space-based sensors and supporting uncrewed aircraft.

The UK is now launching the concept and assessment phase to design and deliver TEMPEST with its partners. This will accelerate analysis and set out how to deliver the project. The programme is targeting Initial Operating Capability from 2035 so that, over time, the system can replace TYPHOON as it reaches the end of its service life.

Jack Richardson