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BAE Systems backs FCAS international partnerships to solve affordability debate

9th May 2022 - 13:00 GMT | by Tim Martin in Belfast

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A 3D-printed scale model of a notional Tempest fighter design undergoes wind tunnel testing. (Photo: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems is focused on international partnerships to sustain FCAS ambitions — although some observers are sceptical over the level of funding for the programme.

BAE Systems has suggested that new international partners and international growth are sure to boost the long-term funding prospects for the UK-led Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme.

The UK MoD announced an additional £2 billion ($2.47 billion) over four years in March 2021 for FCAS with Italy also committing the same amount out to 2035 in August 2021, but as spending is forecast to increase substantially after the project moves from its current concept and assessment phase to prototyping and testing, defence analysts argue there remains a mismatch between underfunding and the ambition of the programme.

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