RAF And Sweden To Develop Aircraft Of The Future

The Defence Secretary and her Swedish counterpart have signed a landmark agreement to partner on future combat air.

The RAF will work more closely with Sweden to come up with the aircraft of the future, according to the Minister for Defence Procurement.

Stuart Andrew made the announcement at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford, where defence companies were given the opportunity to showcase the latest developments in air power.

He said: "We usher in an exciting new era in which the talents of two great combat air nations will be combined to lift Swedish and British air power into the stratosphere."

Stuart Andrew made the announcement at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

It commits both governments to work on a joint combat air development and acquisition programme, including the development of new concepts to meet both nations’ future requirements.

The Defence Secretary said: “The UK and Sweden have an enduring defence relationship, with our two industries sharing a rich history of collaboration in air power.

“Not only do we share the same commitment to tolerance, freedom and free trade, we also share the same determination to defend those values, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and today as part of the UK’s Joint Expeditionary Force.

“This agreement further deepens this partnership and sees us look to the future with a bold and shared vision of UK and Swedish air power,” she added.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt and her Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist signed the new agreement (Picture: MOD).

The Swedish Minister of Defence, Peter Hultqvist, stressed the opportunities to put advanced technologies onto Gripen and Typhoon, the combat aircraft currently operated by Sweden and the UK respectively, before inserting these technologies onto a future combat air system.

He also highlighted the strong industrial base shared by both countries as central to securing future Combat Air power, as well as the existing Gripen fighter systems.

Discussions between industries and governments had been ongoing since the publication of the UK’s Combat Air Strategy in July 2018, with common ground identified based on similar future Combat Air requirements, including being optimised for air defence.