British Tempest, Franco-German FCAS Court Saab for Future Fighter Programs

  • Our Bureau
  • 01:51 PM, February 21, 2019
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British Tempest, Franco-German FCAS Court Saab for Future Fighter Programs
Gripen E fighter jet (Image: Saab)

Saab has said that it has got offers to partner from both the United Kingdom-Italian Tempest fighter jet program and Franco-German Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program.

However, the Swedish company has not decided on which of these two consortiums to join. Saab’s position in the future aircraft market looks bleak as it does not have any sixth generation fighter jet program of its own.

Speaking to Defenseworld.net, Rob Hewson, Head of Communications, Saab Asia-Pacific said on the sidelines of Aero India 2019 said, “We have received offers to partner from both UK-Italian and Franco-German consortiums for their respective future generation fighter jet program. We haven’t decided to partner with either of them yet. You never know, we might think of building one of our own.”

French Dassault Aviation and German Airbus consortium plan to jointly develop future-oriented capabilities-such as FCAS starting this year. Dassault and Airbus signed an initial cooperation agreement in April last year to develop FCAS, leaving the door open for other European partners. The mission letter also stipulates that other partners, particularly European, can join the project. Spain is the third country to have joined the consortium on last Friday.

The United Kingdom unveiled a model of its proposed new fighter jet, the Tempest at the Farnborough Air Show in July last year. The aircraft will be developed and built by BAE Systems, engine maker Rolls-Royce and Italy's Leonardo and is hoped to be flying by 2035.

The Tempest is expected to compete with the European Future Combat Air System, also envisaged as system combining manned and unmanned aircraft. The European jet being built with France and Germany as partners  may rope in other member countries of the European Union.

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