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Saudi Arabia wants to join Tempest 6 generation fighter project

Saudi Arabia, UK agree to consider combat air cooperation​


i24NEWS March 02, 2023, 03:20 PM latest revision March 02, 2023, 04:26 PM

A pilot of the Royal Saudi Air Force waves at an Air Base in Saudi Arabia.
AP Photo/Scott ApplewhiteA pilot of the Royal Saudi Air Force waves at an Air Base in Saudi Arabia.

The accord will allow Riyadh and London 'to explore how we can best position our decades-long combat air relationship for the future'


Saudi and British defense ministers on Wednesday agreed to study future cooperation on combat air capabilities and potential industrial projects, the Saudi state news agency reported.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace met with his Saudi counterpart Prince Khalid bin Salman in Riyadh and signed a “declaration of intent regarding the participation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Future Air Capabilities Program (FCAS),” according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The scope of the deal was not immediately clear.

FCAS is an acronym widely used for next-generation fighter projects known as Future Combat Air Systems, including the British-led Tempest program – which recently expanded to include Japan under a new framework called Global Air Combat Program.


The Saudi report did not indicate whether Riyadh was planning to join the Tempest fighter program, but defense analysts have noted that such alliances typically take months or even years to negotiate, Reuters reported. Areas covered by the declaration included "defining a comprehensive and joint vision for the future partnership for air combat operations" and discussing partnerships that "meet the needs of the required capabilities,” the Saudi report mentioned.

It added that identifying industrial participation projects and joint research and development projects were also part of the deal.

Britain’s Defense Ministry said the statement of intent signed in Riyadh would allow the two states “to explore how we can best position our decades-long combat air relationship for the future.”

 

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