July 16, 2018 / 10:52 AM / 9 months ago

UK to invest two billion pounds in new fighter programme through 2025

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson arrives in Downing Street in London, June 26, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

FARNBOROUGH, England (Reuters) - Britain will invest 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) to 2025 to develop a fighter jet called Tempest that could be used with pilots or as a drone, its defence minister said on Monday, unveiling a life-sized model of the new stealthy warplane.

Gavin Williamson said the programme was aimed at ensuring Britain’s continued leadership in fighter technology and control of air space in future wars.

He said Britain, excluded for now from a Franco-German fighter programme launched in July 2017, remained open to partnering with other countries on the project, with an eye to seeing the new jet flying by 2035.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Mark Potter

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