Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt and her Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist have signed an agreement to partner on future combat air.

The Memorandum of Understanding commits both governments to work on a joint combat air development and acquisition programme, including the development of new concepts to meet both nations’ future requirements.

The Defence Secretary said:

“The UK and Sweden have an enduring defence relationship, with our two industries sharing a rich history of collaboration in air power.

Not only do we share the same commitment to tolerance, freedom and free trade, we also share the same determination to defend those values, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and today as part of the UK’s Joint Expeditionary Force. This agreement further deepens this partnership and sees us look to the future with a bold and shared vision of UK and Swedish air power.”

Announcing the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding at the Royal International Air Tattoo, the Minister of Defence Procurement, Stuart Andrew, said:

“I’m delighted that we have signed this Memorandum of Understanding, endorsing a shared and ambitious vision for future combat air systems which lays firm foundations for future collaboration.

Today we usher in an exciting new era in which the talents of two great combat air nations will be combined to lift Swedish and British airpower into the stratosphere.”

The Defence Minister outlined the UK and Sweden’s long partnership on defence, including:

  • Joint exercises in the Arctic and in Exercise Ramstein Alloy over the Eastern European skies.
  • Swedish-made chaff and flare dispensers are used on UK
  • Typhoons and Saab’s Giraffe radar is a key part of the UK’s Sky Sabre ground-based air defence system.
  • Swedish Gripen aircraft are equipped with radars designed and built by Leonardo in Edinburgh.
  • The UK, working with European partners including Sweden, has developed the state-of-the-art beyond-visual-range Meteor air to air missiles.

The Swedish Minister of Defence, Peter Hultqvist, confirmed both governments intend to remain at the forefront of combat air.

He stressed the opportunities to put advanced technologies onto Gripen and Typhoon, the world class combat aircraft currently operated by Sweden and the UK respectively, before inserting these technologies onto a future combat air system.

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Great news after recently hearing Sweden had pulled out. Just a rumour I suppose.


It’s going to be interesting to see exactly what tech makes it onto our current typhoons as is the plan. Where’s the money coming from?
I have heard about plans to upgrade the engines with help from reaction engines to make it a high Mach aircraft. Does anyone know if the aerodynamics and materials of the Typhoon can take the extra speed, heat and strain on the airframe?

Nigel Collins

One assumes the answer is yes, as they would not be considering it!

John Pattullo

i heard that it was the typhoons engine that was being looked at not the airframe and that it would possibly be used on the tempest


I assume the tech behind the eurofighter is owned by the joint venture created to build them.and so not available to us to use.


The Sabre engines that Reaction Engines are developing need to cool air from over 1000C down to -150C in less than a thousandth of a second. They’ve recently proved the precooler works in static ground tests in the USA. While I doubt we’ll ever see a Typhoon travelling at Mach 13, there’s possible technology transfer to use a precooler to improve performance.

Nigel Collins

I commented on this partnership yesterday in another thread. Could we finally see what I’ve been advocating for some time now, UK Gripen E and F for the RAF, EJ200 thrust vectored engines with increased thrust? Conformal fuel tanks have already been designed for it and this would be a sensible way forward for our future defence capability. The F (2 seat) is the perfect fit for both EW and controlling future drones. Tempest. “Leonardo UK managing director Norman Bone tells FlightGlobal that he hopes Italy will be the next nation to join the Tempest activity. “We see this as… Read more »

John Pattullo

i really dont see a need for the gripen in the raf – if we had to add a new plane the f-35a would be the more obvious choice – perhaps those upgraded typhoons – new radar, thrust vectoring and conformal tanks – would be a better choice

Nigel Collins

@John Pattullo- Yes, the tranche 3 Typhoon and Gripen. The tranche 1&2 can be sold off or, used for spares.

Levi Goldsteinberg

Good, reliable and valuable partner. Happy to see how this takes form


We live in interesting times. Good to have some optimism for the future!

Nigel Collins

We most certainly do, and with Jacob Rees Mogg as Chancellor!

“Rees-Mogg demands UK’s colossal £14 billion aid budget be halved and put towards defence”

I wonder if Gavin Williamson will make a return this week?


Well, if it is the Express it must be true. Rees Mogg is an objectionable little man with even more objectionable politics. If he is given the Chancellorship you will see a general election in weeks!


Son of the Prince of Darkness. He is the “Victorian Dad” character out of Viz magazine!


Boris is going to have enough problems achieving even a semblance of unity, if Rees Mogg were to be chancellor I think we could say good by to the Union, indeed probably half of England too after his first Budget. It would be dream come true for Corby.


Relax, I don’t think that is going to happen. Boris is a bit more than he is made out to be,,,I hope!


Yep I think this is the beginning of the end of the union and apart from Rory Stewart we just dont have good quality MPs anymore ,No centre MPs that have in the past showed more common sense than others, but the extreme right wing English will be happy.

The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos chicken

Who are the extreme right wing English?

Rhetorical question

The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos chicken

Not at all I’m genuinely curious to see who these so called extremists are? As far as I was aware there aren’t any extremists involved within U.K. politics which I assume is the angle that the word extreme was in reference to?

Sorry Los Pollos I should of reworded it as English Right wing hardliners.

Everyone who isn’t a libdem/labour supporter.


Rory Stewart you see him as good quality? we are buggered then.


Sorry marc but if you actually look in to his foreign policy experience, he runs rings past what is available in MPs and judging by your previous comments he runs rings round you.


In the Express so it must be true ?


Good grief.


Didn’t the Tories pass a bill in 2015 that makes it a legal commitment for the UK to spend 0.7 percent of gross national income on aid? If the new regime wants to change that, they will presumably have to get another bill through Parliament to do it. Good luck with that.


Jacob should be given a top job, but would he take it.


‘Jacob’ how matey. Don’t you know Cam, he would run over you in his Rolls-Royce before acknowledging you!
According to the BBC he will do anything that Boris asks him to do…chuckle….so, back to being a toast rack for the head boy again!!!


Jacob Rees-mogg sure is an eccentric guy but he does have some good ideas for the country (depending what side of the road you stand right enough)

John Clark

Absolutely Cam, he’d a very clear unflappable man, interesting times guys…

Job No1… Remove all remainers from the cabinet.

No2 get the job done by October 31 ( by hook or by crook).

No3 increase defence spending to 3% GDP,

Then have a general election and a good working majority to crack on!


Job No4…having appointed a remainer as Chief Whip….work towards a second referendum!


Job no 4 must come before no 2 !


I mean instead of


I like the cut of your gib sir! ?


The truth is Sweden are a tiny country both in terms of g.d.p. and population. They will offer us nothing we can’t do for ourselves.


It’s nice to have any respected partners join us and that brings confidence and then more bigger partners


Yes Cam, I agree with the sentiment. Sweden may be small…but it has some great engineering. How I miss my Saab Turbo 900!


Sweden is massively a big hitter beyond their actual size both efficient especially in hi tech and a good partner we can only dream of compared to the Franco German axis. They are the perfect first partner that will help gather more to follow hopefully.


Agreed, but we need to come up to their standards!


100% spot on. Can grab a handful of diesel electric subs while were at it. They build subs… Uk builds airframes… Technology incorporated in both co developed.


Not to mention ABBA


Aaaagh…more acronyms! Okay, what does it stand for?


It is the first initials of the first names of the four band members.


Well the US didn’t see it that way when the selected the Beoing/Saab TX trainer.


Much like the relationship between US and UK then


BAe could be out of the trainer business, looks like Aeralis could be the training platform for Tempest.

A. Smith

This would have been a good opportunity to get the RBS-15. As usual, our incompetent Government has made no plans for anti ship missiles for our skeleton navy.


The swedes had walked. Now as Mordaunt has just walked or been sacked from the government depending on the news website you are reading, this might be dead before it started.

Steve Martin
Peter Elliott

No reason in theory why BAES and SAAB can’t offer two coplementary airframes with the same technology, software and systems: single engine assembled in Sweden and twin engine assembled in the UK. Obviously the twin will go further, carry more, and have more power margin for whizzy EW or lasers. The single will be cheaper, lighter, and less versatile. But with a smart industrial alliance a lot of the technology could be shared.


This is very positive. For the Tempest project the UK could supply the fuselage, engines, weapon systems, avionics and radar etc and the Swedes could supply an MDF seat for the cockpit flat packed with some easy to understand instructions and an Allen key.