Italy joins Tempest

ITALY HAS become the second partner nation to join the UK’s Tempest sixth-generation fighter project.

On the political side, the two governments have agreed to team up on a range of combat air capabilities.

Italian defence minister Guerini Lorenzo announced the partnership agreement on September 10 after the signing of a statement of intent (SOI) by Sir Simon Bollom, CEO of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and Lieutenant General Nicolò Falsaperna, Italian secretary general of defence, at the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) defence exhibition in London.

The SOI outlines several bilateral commitments including: closer government alignment on future Typhoon enhancements; deepening discussions on Tempest military requirements; developing a combat air roadmap and identifying opportunities to integrate advanced technologies from the Typhoon into the Tempest; developing an innovative, agile and co-operative industrial framework to deliver the Tempest; and launching pilot studies to demonstrate new and collaborative ways of working.

A mock-up of the Tempest fighter at the DSEI 2019 exhibition in London. The Italian government used the occasion to formally announce its decision to join the effort with the UK and Sweden.

A separate industrial agreement has also been signed following a series of feasibility studies carried out between the two nations.

This SOI involves Italian firms Leonardo Italy, Elettronica, Avio Aero and MBDA Italy, which will collaborate to create a partnership model to define the requirements of the aircraft.

Sweden previously made clear its intention to be involved in the Tempest project, with a memorandum of understanding signed between the UK and Sweden in July covering joint development of future technologies associated with the platform.