LONDON --- BAE Systems said Tempest, the British-led project to build a new fighter jet, would sign contracts with partners Italy and Sweden by the end of this year and talks were ongoing with Japan about joining the project.
BAE's director of Future Combat Air Systems Michael Christie said he expected contracts with the two partners on the concept and assessment phase to be signed by the end of 2021.
Talks with Japan ranged from the country joining the programme as a partner to collaborating on technology, he said.
"There's a lot of commonality between the UK and Japan in terms of what they're trying to achieve in this sphere ... that's an ongoing area and one that we are actively pursuing," Christie told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.
The Tempest project, which in addition to BAE includes Rolls-Royce, European missile maker MBDA and Leonardo UK, has a budget of 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) from the UK government to 2025, plus 800 million pounds from the companies over the same period.
While Britain works on Tempest to replace its Eurofighter Typhoon jets from 2040, France, Germany and Spain are working on a rival to replace France's Rafale and German and Spanish Eurofighters. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.