Find out more about the Combat Air Acquisition Programme and how it will define and deliver future capabilities.
To define and deliver the future capabilities required when early models of Typhoon leave Royal Air Force service in the early 2040s, the Ministry of Defence initiated the UK’s Combat Air Acquisition Programme alongside the launch of the Combat Air Strategy and Team Tempest.
Working across Government and with industry and international partners, the Ministry of Defence delivered a strategic outline business case, including high level military requirements, by the end of 2018. Engagement with international partners was also accelerated and deepened to create the best opportunities to deliver next generation combat air capability.
It is expected that the work of the Government and industry will support early decisions for capability acquisition, which will be made by the end of 2020 with a final investment decision made by 2025 to ensure delivery of an Initial Operating Capability by 2035.
To help meet this commitment, we are investing in cutting-edge UK technology and intellectual property and the ways in which this can be generated, sustained and exploited in order to be able to deliver next generation Combat Air capability from the UK.
In doing so we believe we can:
- position the UK to be a major partner in the delivery of world-leading, export-ready Combat Air capability by the mid-2030s;
- create an efficient, agile international acquisition structure to deliver UK, partners’ and customers’ requirements;
- support a sustainable, productive and competitive UK Combat Air industry capable of whole aircraft design and integration, which will be well positioned to provide international technological consultation;
- maximise the value derived from industry and Government investment across Combat Air.
The Tempest model we displayed as a backdrop to the Combat Air Strategy launch was an embodiment of this vision – a way of illustrating how current thinking about future technologies could come together.
Whilst we can invest in technology and skills that mean we will be able to design and deliver a world beating combat air system – and we’re very focused on the word system here, not just platform – the specifics of what we will need to deliver this and how it will be delivered are not yet decided upon.
What we do know is that effective international partnering is going to play a fundamental role in defining and meeting the goals set out in the Combat Air Strategy and engagement with international partners has now begun.
In this regard, we have a proven track record of having successfully collaborated with overseas aerospace companies for many decades. The UK has a unique network of capability collaborations and, together with the Government and our partners; we are working with our allies to build on existing partnerships and to establish new ones to deliver a future requirement.