LONDON - Britain awarded a 250 million pound ($349 million) contract to help progress Tempest, its project to build a new fighter jet which is led by BAE Systems with help from Rolls-Royce, Leonardo and other partners.
BAE signed the contract on Thursday, which officially marks the start of the programme's concept and assessment phase.
Britain wants the new jet to replace the Eurofighter Typhoon from 2040 while also preserving Britain's independent military jet capability and providing skilled jobs.
"The funding announced today marks a critical next step for the programme and, with our partners, we will work together to define the technical and capability requirements and develop the concept which will bring Tempest to life," said BAE System's air sector managing director Chris Boardman.
($1 = 0.7170 pounds)
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton) ((email@example.com; +44 20 7542 1109; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))