The UK, Sweden and Italy have begun discussions to strengthen collaboration between the three nations as they develop ‘world-leading future combat air capability’.
The new trilateral framework will see aerospace industries from the three 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).
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.
These national industries each directly employ tens of thousands of people and support many more highly skilled jobs through their supply chains.
Charles Woodburn, CEO of 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.”
Micael Johansson, CEO of Saab, said: “We welcome the leadership by the Swedish and UK governments, as shown with their July 2019 MoU, and are pleased to deepen our relationship with Italian industry.
“Our announcement of an initial £50 million Future Combat Air investment, and a new FCAS (future combat air systems) centre in the UK, will contribute to closer working relationships with the other FCAS industrial partners and the UK Ministry of Defence.”