The UK Ministry of Defence is considering placing an 18-month study contract with a BAE Systems/MBDA team to develop a low-observability strategy and implementation plan for the Future Offensive Air System (FOAS).
The MoD has opened the programme to additional sub-contractors and expects work to start in the middle of this year. FOAS will replace the Panavia Tornado GR4 from around 2017.
FOAS is expected to combine manned combat aircraft, unmanned air vehicles (UAV), conventional air-launched cruise missiles and air-launched UAVs. All will need some degree of stealth treatment. The combat aircraft will be a derivative of the Eurofighter or the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.