The new trilateral framework sees industry from the three nations bringing together their skills and expertise in the combat air sector to collaborate on the research and development of cutting-edge technologies.
The three national industries comprise leading defence companies from the UK (BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, Rolls Royce and MBDA UK), Italy (Leonardo Italy, Elettronica, Avio Aero and MBDA Italia) and Sweden (Saab and GKN Aerospace Sweden).
Today’s announcement builds on bilateral discussions which have taken place between the UK and Swedish and Italian industries and establishes a trilateral industry group. Together, the companies will assess common routes to future combat air capability using their know-how, expertise and technology development activities across current and future combat air systems.
This framework is another step on the path towards a full agreement between these national industries to formalise areas of joint collaboration on future combat air systems development.
These national industries each directly employ tens of thousands of people and support many more highly skilled jobs through their supply chains, underpinning national security and supporting economic prosperity in the UK, Sweden and Italy.
Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive Officer, BAE Systems, said: “International partnering provides the best opportunity to deliver a capable, flexible and upgradeable combat air system. We’ve made good progress with Saab and Leonardo in identifying shared goals and expertise and through this new framework, we can build on this collaboration to unlock the huge potential across our three nations.”
Alessandro Profumo, Chief Executive Officer, Leonardo, said: “All three national industries fully grasp the historic nature of this moment. Tempest will be the cornerstone of a cross-border system of common defence which will extend far beyond combat air. It will secure enormous economic benefits and vast industrial and technological progress for Italy and our partners. Together, we share an understanding that if we get this right now, our respective aerospace and defence industries will thrive for a generation.”
Micael Johansson, Chief Executive Officer, Saab, said: “Combat Air is a key component of Sweden’s defence policy and it is defined as a national security interest. Saab is therefore taking these important steps to remain at the forefront of System of Systems development and the advanced technologies within Combat Air. We welcome the leadership by the Swedish and UK government, as shown with their July 2019 MoU, and are pleased to deepen our relationship with Italian industry. Our announcement of an initial £50m Future Combat Air investment and a new FCAS centre in the UK, will contribute to closer working relationships with the other FCAS industrial partners and the UK Ministry of Defence.”
The UK has existing co-operation with Sweden and Italy. All three nations industries and militaries are partners in the joint development and operation of the Meteor beyond visual air-to-air missile that is arming Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35. Swedish-made chaff and flare dispensers are used on UK Typhoons and Saab’s Giraffe radar is a key part of the UK’s Sky Sabre ground defence system. Swedish Gripen E aircraft are equipped with radars designed and built by Leonardo in Edinburgh. Meanwhile, both the Royal Air Force and the Aeronautica Militare operate the same, potent fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 aircraft, part of more than 50 years of close collaboration in combat air.
About Avio Aero a GE Aviation Business
Avio Aero (avioaero.com) is a GE Aviation business that designs, manufactures and maintains propulsion systems for civil and military aviation. It employs more than 5,500 people (4600 in Italy) through its 7 plants in Italy, Poland and Czech Republic.
About BAE Systems
BAE Systems (baesystems.com) provides some of the world’s most advanced, technology-led defence, aerospace and security solutions and employs a skilled workforce of some 87,800 people in over 40 countries. Working with customers and local partners, BAE Systems develops technology that helps to save lives, protect borders and people, strengthen nations, and keep critical information and infrastructure secure.
Elettronica (elettronicagroup.com), on the cutting edge of EW for almost 70 years, supplies AF and Governments of 30 Countries. Its advanced solutions equip all modern military platforms such Tornado, Eurofighter Typhoon, NH-90, PPA, Horizon and FREMM.
About GKN Aerospace Sweden
GKN Aerospace Sweden (gknaerospace.com) is headquarters of the Engines business within GKN Aerospace, a world leading multi-technology aerospace partner & supplier with operations in 14 countries employing approximately 17,000 people. The Swedish branch has a long history of developing technology for engines and of ensuring safety, availability and cost-effectiveness for Sweden's defense, holds the type certificate for the RM12 engine powering JAS 39 Gripen C/D and was recently selected to provide product support also for the RM16 engine in JAS 39 Gripen E.
Leonardo (leonardocompany.com) is a global high-technology company, is among the top ten world players in Aerospace, Defence and Security and Italy’s main industrial company. Organized into five business divisions, Leonardo has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the USA, where it also operates through subsidiaries such as Leonardo DRS (defense electronics), and joint ventures and partnerships: ATR, MBDA, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and Avio.
MBDA (mbda-systems.com) is the only European group able to design and produce missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air).
About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc
Rolls-Royce (rolls-royce.com) pioneers cutting-edge technologies that deliver clean, safe and competitive solutions to meet our planet’s vital power needs. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.
Saab (saab.com) serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.
Matthew Squires - BAE Systems
T: +44(0)33 0048 1881 / M: +44(0)78 0325 7411 - E: matthew.squires[.]baesystems.com.
Francesca Bernabei - Leonardo
M: +393400523012 - E: francesca.bernabei[.]leonardocompany.com.
Saab Press Centre
M: +46 (0)734 180 018 - E: presscentre[.]saabgroup.com.