Defense Minister Gavin Williamson announced on Monday that the UK will invest £2 billion (around $2.7 billion at the current GBP/USD exchange rate) in the development of a new fighter jet by 2025, according to the Reuters news agency.
He officially unveiled plans for the development of the Tempest warplane at the Farnborough International Airshow today, alongside a full-size model of the proposed stealthy fighter jet, which is set to enter service in less than two decades.
The warplane will be able to carry out military operations either manned or unmanned, and the program aims to ensure Britain remains a “world-leader in defense airspace and industry” post-Brexit, the defense minister said.
“Britain has been a leader in combat air for a century with skills and technology that are the envy of the world. Today we show that we are determined to make sure it stays that way.”told Bloomberg that the project is being executed as a joint venture (JV) by a consortium of military contractors, including BAE Systems and Leonardo SpA.
The UK is reportedly negotiating the entry of other defense giants into the JV, including Sweden’s Saab AB and a number of Asian firms.