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.