Edinburgh defence contractor will benefit from £800 million fighter aircraft project windfall

A new report published by independent analysts PricewaterhouseCoopers has revealed that the upcoming project to create the UK’s new combat aircraft will bring significant benefits to Scotland’s economy. It will also keep some of the UK’s most important defence technology skills onshore for another generation.

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The development is expected to bring at least £800 million of added value to the Scottish economy and support a minimum of 15,000 job years. Investment from Tempest will ensure that highly skilled research, development and manufacturing jobs stay in Scotland for years to come.

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The UK’s combat air sector is vital to the national economy, with a turnover of around £6 billion every year, it accounts for more than 80 per cent of Britain’s defence exports.

The Tempest will replace the RAF's Eurofighter Typhoon fleet

At the heart of the sector in Scotland is Leonardo, the aerospace engineering and development experts, which has a workforce of 2,000 at its base in Edinburgh’s Crewe Toll.

Staff at the state-of-the-art facility work towards researching and manufacturing advanced electronics for combat aircraft such as the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoon. Their electronics are also key components on Royal Navy warships.

Tempest is now the most ambitious and exciting scheme in combat air, which is due to fly into action in 2035. It is set to come into service and fly alongside Typhoon from this date.

Leonardo UK is one of the four British companies that make up Team Tempest, alongside BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and MBDA.

Norman Bone, Leonardo UK chair and managing director, said: “Tempest is a once-in-a-generation science and technology project that is critical to the UK’s future security, hugely

inspirational for young people considering studying maths and science subjects and a fantastic place to be for young Scots starting out in a career in engineering.”

“As this new report highlights, the project will also be a boon to the Scottish economy, meaning good, well-paying jobs for Scottish people at Tempest partners like Leonardo as well as throughout our supply chain.”

Tempest is set to benefit Scottish universities, as they are looking to expand their existing relationship with universities such as Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde. It is predicted that these activities will offer opportunities to build on their field-leading expertise as part of the Tempest project.

For more information about the project, visit: https://www.raf.mod.uk/what-we-do/team-tempest/

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