New fighter jet project will boost Lancashire

New fighter jet project will boost Lancashire

In a separate development, Bloomberg News reports that Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson will unveil a full-size model of the UK's new fighter jet at the Farnborough International Airshow, with £2 billion to be earmarked in the 10 years to 2025 to oversee the design and build of the aircraft, which will be operational in 2035.

Unveiled before visiting foreign military chiefs and industry executives at the BAE chalet, the new jet can be flown by a pilot in the air or operated as a drone.

Britain began work on an independent fighter after the German arm of Airbus, which had developed the Eurofighter with BAE, responded to 2016's Brexit vote by moving to establish a new alliance with French warplane specialist Dassault Aviation.

The UK-led project comes as Britain is due to leave the European Union in less than nine months. "I have to be optimistic".

He said Britain would seek worldwide partners to help develop the project.

He said it was not clear if the United Kingdom project would eventually be merged with the Franco-German one, adding, "We are having a lot of conversations with a lot of countries".

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But experts say there is unlikely to be sufficient demand to support two separate European programmes, particularly given the high cost of developing a cutting-edge new aircraft.

BAE showed off a model of the new warplane, Tempest, on Monday, linking up with a group of industrial partners to fulfil a government plan for the new combat jet which it said would need global partners to help develop.

The Typhoon, in contrast, was developed by the four-nation group of Germany, Spain, Britain and Italy in the 1980s. Now, the United Kingdom is gambling that it can take the expertise gained from the Typhoon and Britain's partnership in the F-35 program to create a new fighter project that will entice global partners and customers.

"We are entering a risky new era in warfare", Williamson said, pulling a curtain off the silver and white fighter jet.

Britain wants to find an worldwide partner to help develop the jet, and Williamson appealed to a crowd packed with visiting military chiefs who were present to see the model.

However, he added that BAE wanted to "play a leading role in whatever partnership that we are involved in".

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