BRITAIN will today announce its new fighter jet of the future built with Japan and Italy.
Rishi Sunak says the new trilateral defence partnership will ensure the UK and allies are “outpacing and out-maneuvering those who seek to do us harm”.
As The Sun revealed on Wednesday, the Tempest will take to the skies by 2035 and serve as a successor to the RAF Typhoon.
It will be armed with hypersonic weapons, radar defying technology and even be able to fly unmanned.
Mr Sunak will launch the first major phase of the programme during a visit to RAF Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, on Friday.
Ahead of the visit, he said: “The security of the United Kingdom, both today and for future generations, will always be of paramount importance to this Government.
“That’s why we need to stay at the cutting-edge of advancements in defence technology – outpacing and out-maneuvering those who seek to do us harm.
“The international partnership we have announced today with Italy and Japan aims to do just that, underlining that the security of the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions are indivisible.
“The next-generation of combat aircraft we design will protect us and our allies around the world by harnessing the strength of our world-beating defence industry – creating jobs while saving lives.”
Working with the allies is hoped to share the costs and ensure the RAF can easily work with its closest partners, with the new Tempests being compatible with other Nato partners’ jets.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “This international partnership with Italy and Japan to create and design the next-generation of combat aircraft, represents the best collaboration of cutting edge defence technology and expertise shared across our nations, providing highly skilled jobs across the sector and long-term security for Britain and our allies.”
The partnership merges the UK and Italy’s future combat air system (FCAS) projects with the Japanese F-X programme.
Ministers hope that other countries may buy into GCAP in due course.