Avio Aero, Leonardo Italy, Elettronica and MBDA Italy on the one hand and BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, Rolls Royce and MBDA UK on the other. This is the team of leading companies that at the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) in London today announced their intent to partner on the Tempest program by signing a Statement of Intent (“SOI”).
This groundbreaking event marks the beginning of a wide-ranging analysis phase, from the business model to the shares of the companies participating in the project. As reported by Pierfederico Scarpa, Strategy, Commercial and Marketing VP at Avio Aero, who signed the declaration for the company: "these programs have a long-term outlook. The Tempest will take flight in the next decade But in this phase it is very important to move forward with the technological development in order to acquire all necessary factors for the success of the program and - for Italian industry and Avio Aero in particular - to become a key player .
The signing of the SOI follows a commitment by the UK and Italian governments to work closely together on Combat Air capabilities, including on systems such as Typhoon and F-35, as well as on Tempest, the UK-initiated next-generation combat air system. Both governments confirmed a common desire to maintain strong industrial bases in order to access key capabilities and secure prosperity for both nations. Italy and the UK have a long and successful history working together on international programmes such as Tornado, Typhoon and F-35.
It is specifically this multi-year collaboration of the two Countries that identifies them as natural partners. In addition to sharing an interest in potential joint activities to meet national and international requirements, both Air Forces manage a mixed fleet of Euofighter Typhoon and F-35, the predecessors (still in vogue) of the futuristic Tempest.
"This is an action for the future," says Scarpa, "Personally, I am grateful to those who signed the agreements for Avio Aero in the 1980s for the Eurofighter Typhoon. We are still operational on these in 2019 and will remain so quite some time. Those who will be in our place in the 2030s onwards will benefit similarly from the work we have done today to attain this signature."
It is not excluded that other Countries join in (Sweden has already done so) but certainly for Italy to be on the front line is a great result. "We are proud to be part of this strategic collaboration. It represents a unique opportunity for our company, for our industry and for Italy, to provide its industrial leadership through the development of advanced technologies and expertise in the field of aeronautical propulsion, leveraging the wealth of experience gained through the EJ200 program," says Riccardo Procacci, CEO of Avio Aero.
According to the agreement, the partners will work together to define an innovative concept and partnership model that will include knowledge sharing, product definition and technology development for the joint development of future combat air systems.
Cover image credits: Tempest BAE© Photographer, Peter Nicholls - Reuters