Rolls-Royce joins major defence partnership

Rolls-Royce has joined a host of major UK defence companies and key industry players in Italy in announcing its intent to partner on the Tempest programme – the UK-initiated next-generation combat air system.

The Derby-based company has joined with BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK, Leonardo Italy, Elettronica, Avio Aero and MBDA Italy to sign a Statement of Intent which will see the parties work together to define an innovative concept and partnership model.

The partnership will include knowledge sharing, product definition and technology development for the joint development of future combat air systems.

The signing of the SOI follows a commitment by the UK and Italian governments to work closely together on Combat Air capabilities, including on systems such as Typhoon and F-35, as well as Tempest.

Alessandro Profumo, chief executive officer at Leonardo, said: “Today’s agreement is an essential next step for this exciting and strategically important programme. As the CEO of Leonardo, I’m confident in this collaboration as each day I see how UK and Italian engineers, working together, achieve incredible things. Our two nations have a long and shared history of success on international programmes and we believe that working together on Tempest will further strengthen each nation’s technological, industrial and skills base to ensure prosperity for decades to come.”