Despite the huge disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic lockdown and the uncertainty of Brexit before it, the UK’s ambitious programme to develop a future combat air system remains on target, industry sources say.
Launched during the Farnborough air show in July 2018, the Tempest activity draws together leading UK defence industry players BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, and the UK arms of Leonardo and MBDA, working in concert with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Royal Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office. Their current focus is on delivering an outline business case proposal on schedule at the end of this year.
Operating as Team Tempest, this group has since last year also been working with the MoD to advance the planned involvement of international partners Italy and Sweden. A first trilateral meeting between the participating governments took place online in May.
“In line with UK government advice, a significant proportion of our employees are working from home, and we have put in place interim arrangements to ensure our business continues to deliver during these difficult times,” says Andrew Kennedy, strategic campaigns director at BAE Systems Air.
“Throughout the lockdown period, we have continued to work in collaboration with the MoD and our Team Tempest partners, and at this point, we have been able to minimise any impact on our work,” Kennedy says. “We are confident that any short-term delays can be mitigated as