The Tempest program would be at risk according to the British public expertise authority

Since its official announcement in July 2018, the British Future Combat Air System program led by BAe, and its new generation Tempest fighter, have been a symbol of the strategic autonomy regained for London following the 2016 referendum which gave birth to Brexit. Nearly 50 years after the Harrier, Great Britain announced that it would undertake the independent design and construction of a new combat aircraft intended to replace the Typhoon designed and built in cooperation with Germany, Italy and Spain. And if Italy and then Sweden quickly declared their interest in this program, it is the British public finances which will bear the bulk of the development costs of the device and its system of systems, the memorandum of understanding (non-binding) linking London, Rome and Stockholm having only been signed at the end of 2020, and Italian and Swedish investments during the first 6 years of the program remaining particularly limited.

In fact, the question of the budgetary sustainability of the effort requested from British public finances has been the subject of particular care, both in its conception and in its communication, the Ministry of Defense having even commissioned a consulting firm. independent expertise to assess the economic efficiency of the program and its long-term sustainability. According to the findings of Price Waterhouse Cooper, the £500 million that London is preparing to invest each year between 2021 and 2025, then the £2040 billion which will be invested each year until 21.000, will create 21 direct and indirect jobs in the country, and will generate more than £2 billion in economical consequences. A few weeks later, it was Rome's turn to present its investment plan in this program, with a total envelope of €2035 billion which will be invested by XNUMX. At first glance, therefore, the future of the program seemed guaranteed.

F35B and Typhoon RAF Defense News | Fighter aircraft | Armed Forces Budgets and Defense Efforts
The Tempest will have to replace the Typhoon British and Italian to evolve alongside the F-35A/B in service in both countries.

However, this is not the conclusion reached by experts from the British Infrastructure Project Authority, the supervisory authority for major public programs in the country. In its 2021 report on the portfolio of major government programs, the organization attributes to the Tempest program a very worrying “Amber/Red” classification signaling a program that is very unbalanced or in great danger. For the IPA, the level of investments currently planned by London will not make it possible to respect the technological objectives presented in the program specifications, over the current planning period. Particularly in question, the level of financing for the first 4 years of the program, carrying a large part of the analysis aimed at eliminating risks, is judged to be far below what it should be for reasonable and secure execution on schedule. considered.


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