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BAE-Led Team Helping Build UK’s Next-Gen Combat Air System

The British defense ministry is working with BAE Systems and three other companies to develop a next-generation fighter demonstrator platform and expects to fly the aircraft model within the next five years.

BAE leads an industry team composed of Leonardo, Rolls-Royce and MBDA in efforts to provide the U.K. military a piloted supersonic test vehicle as part of the country’s Future Combat Air System program, the ministry said Monday.

Team Tempest won an approximately $350 million contract in July 2021 for the FCAS concept and assessment phase.

The ministry noted that development efforts are underway at a BAE facility near Preston, England.

In the U.S., Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the service has an ongoing industry competition to build its sixth-generation fighter jet called the Next-Generation Air Dominance system and he told Breaking Defense that the branch is “not all that far away” to the final NGAD downselect process.

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