Yesterday in the House of Commons, Members of Parliament questioned the Government on priorities for the UK defence industry and Combat Air.

Chris Matheson, the MP for City of Chester and the Chair of the Aerospace APPG, asked the Minister for Defence Procurement, Guto Bebb, what discussions he has had with the aerospace sector on collaborations for future combat aircraft design, as well what future collaboration between the United States and Europe might look like.

The response from the Minister was positive, highlighting that the Ministry of Defence is working closely with other government departments, the UK aerospace industry, academia and international partners to explore the UK’s future approach to combat air capabilities.

He also said:

“I think it is fair to say that we are undertaking a combat air strategy because the UK is a global leader in the field. UK industry’s export capabilities in combat air are well known, with £6 billion of exports last year, so we are approaching partnerships across the globe. The Department has written to partners in the US, across Europe and further afield.”

The UK has a proud history of fighter aircraft which has been a success story for the past 100 years. It plays a vital role in safeguarding national security, generating economic prosperity and promoting stability overseas.

In this all important year of the RAF centenary, it is extremely positive to see steps being made by Government to ensure that a Combat Air Strategy will build on the UK’s world-leading capabilities and invest in high-value jobs and skills.