UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace on Monday helped open the FIA Connect event by naming seven additional UK companies that had joined Team Tempest, which is developing a future combat air system (FCAS) for the RAF and other European air forces and for export.
The principal members of the team—BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo UK, and MBDA—are being joined by General Electric UK, QinetiQ, Thales, Martin-Baker (ejection seats), GKN Aerospace, and Bombardier UK. Collins Aerospace, which has a number of facilities in the UK specializing in inertial and terrain-based navigation systems and reconnaissance sensors, also has joined the team. The newcomers would also draw in further small and medium-sized enterprises as part of their supply chains, along with academic institutions.
Italy and Sweden are joining the UK in the Tempest program, with the potential for other national partners to participate. Earlier on Monday, Sweden’s Saab said it is opening an office in the UK to develop FCAS technologies. “Saab took the decision to create a new FCAS center so that we can further develop the close working relationship with the other FCAS industrial partners and the UK Ministry of Defence,” said Saab’s president and CEO, Micael Johansson. “This emphasizes the importance of both FCAS and the United Kingdom to Saab’s future.”