The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded £654 million ($818 million) to four firms to advance the development of the Tempest future fighter being developed through the trilateral Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP).

Under a contract awarded to project lead BAE Systems, the funding will also be received by the UK arms of Leonardo and MBDA, plus propulsion specialist Rolls-Royce.

Tempest London

Source: BAE Systems

The UK has been developing a sixth-generation Tempest fighter to enter operational use in 2035

The MoD says the move will enable the companies “to progress the design and development of this aircraft”.

Working together with GCAP partners Italy and Japan, the project “will now progress the maturity of more than 60 cutting-edge technology demonstrations, digital concepts and new technologies”, the ministry adds. Service entry for Tempest is planned for 2035.

“The next tranche of funding for future combat air will help fuse the combined technologies and expertise we have with our international partners – both in Europe and the Pacific – to deliver this world-leading fighter jet by 2035, protecting our skies for decades to come,” says defence secretary Ben Wallace.