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 piloted by BAe, and its new-generation fighter Tempest, have been symbolic of the strategic autonomy regained for London following the referendum of 2016 which will give rise to Brexit. Almost 50 years after the Harrier, Great Britain indeed announced to undertake the design and construction in autonomy of a new combat aircraft intended to replace the Typhoon designed and built in cooperation with Germany, Italy and the 'Spain. And if Italy and then Sweden quickly declared their interest in this program, it is indeed British public finances that will bear the bulk of the development costs of the device and its system of systems, the memorandum of understanding (non-binding) binding London, Rome and Stockholm was not signed until 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 mandated a cabinet of independent expertise to assess the economic efficiency of the program, and its long-term sustainability. According to the findings of Price Waterhouse Cooper, the £ 500m that London is preparing to invest each year between 2021 and 2025, then the £ bn which will be invested each year until 2040, will create 21.000 direct and indirect jobs in the country, and will generate more than £ 21bn of economical consequences. A few weeks later, it was Rome's turn to present its investment plan in this program, with a global envelope of € 2 billion which will be invested by 2035. At first glance, therefore, the future of the program seemed guaranteed.

The Tempest will have to replace the British and Italian Typhoons to evolve alongside the F-35A / B in service in the two countries.

However, this is not the conclusion reached by experts from the UK Infrastructure Project Authority, the oversight 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 disturbing classification "Amber / Red" signaling a program that is very unbalanced or in great danger. For the IPA, the level of investment currently planned by London will not allow meeting the technological objectives presented in the specifications of the program, on the current planning timeframe. Particularly in question, the level of financing of the first 4 years of the program, carrying a large part of the analysis aimed at eliminating the risks, is considered to be far below what it should be for a reasonable and secure execution on the schedule. considered.


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