Italy has agreed to partner with UK defense firms to work on the Tempest, the UK-initiated next-generation combat air system.
“UK defense companies (BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, Rolls Royce and MBDA UK), together with key Italian Industry players (Leonardo Italy, Elettronica, Avio Aero and MBDA Italy) announced their intent to partner on the Tempest programme by signing a Statement of Intent (SOI) at DSEI-2019,” BAE Systems announced Wednesday.
This will see the parties work together to define an innovative concept and partnership model which will include knowledge sharing, product definition and technology development for the joint development of future combat air systems.
The signing of the SOI follows a commitment by the UK and Italian governments to work closely together on Combat Air capabilities, including on systems such as Typhoon and F-35, other than the Tempest.
Leading up to the SOI signing, UK and Italian Industry worked together on an initial study to assess the feasibility of a common approach to future Combat Air systems. Many areas of potential collaboration were identified, including where shared industrial enterprises such as Leonardo and MBDA already see close integration between the two nations.
In addition, a joint government feasibility study also concluded that the UK and Italy are natural Combat Air partners, with both Air Forces operating the same mixed fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 aircraft. Italian and UK industry share an interest in potential joint activity to meet national and international requirements.