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New British built replacement for the Eurofighter announced gives boost for UK contractors

New British built replacement for the Eurofighter announced gives boost for UK contractors

  • United Kingdom
  • Diversified industrials - Aerospace, defence and security

23-07-2018

Theresa May has promised more than £300 million for special projects within the aerospace industry in a speech at the Farnborough Air Show on Monday, July 16.

One such project, the Tempest, is set to replace the Eurofighter Typhoon: an aircraft built on the back of a four nation European cooperation programme. The sixth generation combat aircraft, which uses AI and machine learning to locate targets, has been developed by Team Tempest, which includes Rolls Royce and BAE Systems. It is hoped the aircraft will replace the Eurofighter by around 2040.

Co-Head of Eversheds Sutherland's Aerospace, Defense and Security sector, Alistair Cree said:

“The announcement of a British built replacement for the Eurofighter ties, at least in concept, the UK’s defence strategy to May’s BREXIT strategy. However, whilst the long awaited news is a significant boost to some of the UK’s primary and secondary contractors, ministers have only committed to a fraction of the overall cost of producing the aircraft. Whilst politically a UK designed and build sixth generation jet fighter makes headlines, the financial reality of the £12bn plus price tag may necessitate further European cooperation (as advocated by Tom Enders, the chief executive of Airbus, who has proposed consolidation within the industry and in particular the joining of efforts with a rival Franco-German project in order for the proposed aircraft to be competitive with American defence giants). It remains to be seen whether May’s aspiration for a British built aircraft is derailed by financial pragmatism.”

In addition to the Tempest, the prime minister also announced additional funding for two new spaceports. Britain hasn't launched a satellite using a UK rocket since 1971, despite its strong reputation for producing satellites.

The UK’s space sector has seen growth five times greater than the wider economy over recent decades, and, according to the UK Space Agency, the space flight market is potentially worth £3.8bn to the UK economy over the next decade.

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