Britain’s new stealth fighter: Rishi Sunak to sign deal with Japan and Italy to build radar-dodging Tempest jet armed with hypersonic weapons by 2035
- PM Rishi Sunak hopes to sign a deal with Italy and Japan over a new fighter jet
- The RAF Tempest is due to replace the RAF Typhoon in service from 2035
- The Typhoon was a collaboration between Italy, the UK, Germany and Spain
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is preparing to sign a dealt with Italy and Japan over the development of the RAF’s first sixth-generation fighter, it has been reported.
The RAF Tempest is due to enter service in 2035 and will replace the current Eurofighter Typhoon which was a collaboration between Italy, the UK, Germany and Spain.
Last year, the Ministry of Defence signed a £250m contract to continue developing the Tempest with international partners.
According to The Sun, PM Rishi Sunak is preparing to sign deals with Italy and Japan, while further talks have taken place with Sweden and India.
The RAF Tempest is due to enter service in 2035 and will replace the current Eurofighter Typhoon which was a collaboration between Italy, the UK, Germany and Spain
Over the next four years, the British government has committed £2bn in funding for the new aircraft, which will be the most advanced combat jet developed by the UK
Over the next four years, the British government has committed £2bn in funding for the new aircraft, which will be the most advanced combat jet developed by the UK.
The project is being run by BAE Systems, who are working alongside Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce.
It forms the central part of Britain’s Future Combat Air System.
The advanced jet will be able to operate manned or unmanned and can control swarms of attack drones to overwhelm enemy defences.
The fighter will present a low radar profile even while flying supersonically. It will also be fitted with the latest advanced weapons – including hypersonic missiles.
According to the Sun, the MoD said it was ‘conducting joint concept analysis with close partners to understand areas of shared interest’.
However, Number 10 has refused to comment on the possible international deals.
Last month, Germany, France and Spain announced an agreement to proceed with their own sixth-generation fighter.
Earlier this year, the government signed a £2.35bn deal for a midlife upgrade for the Eurofighter Typhoon, including new radar and electronic warfare capability.
The radar known as ECRS Mk II will be installed by the end of the decade, initially on the third tranche of Typhoons.
The investment marks the first production contract for a long-planned advanced ‘electronic attack’ or jamming capability for the British version of the European warplane, which was jointly developed with Germany, Italy and Spain.
The radar is developed by Italy’s Leonardo and will be integrated into the jets by BAE Systems.
However, Number 10 has refused to comment on the possible international deals
Initially, it will be fitted to Britain’s 40 existing Tranche 3 Typhoons, but the head of the Royal Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, told reporters its ‘aspiration’ was to retrofit the 67 Tranche 2 aircraft.
Taken together with the addition of new mission computers, that overall goal represents a significant mid-life upgrade after a series of delays, said defence analyst Francis Tusa.
The project will also preserve high-tech jobs needed to help develop Britain’s next-generation Tempest fighter, Quin said.
He said the upgrade was not directly related to threats related to the war in Ukraine, but added: ‘Of course the dreadful events in Ukraine really focus minds’.