As we enter the next century of air power, we're not just unveiling a concept we're setting out a plan, rolling up our sleeves to make sure our Royal Air Force, our combat air sector, and our global Britain flies higher, faster, and further than ever before.
The defence secretary was clear at the Farnborough Airshow, Britain will not let its industrial capability in combat air die. The government has announced that with industry, it will invest two billion pounds to 2025, developing initial ideas for what it wants that future fighter to look like.
The concept we're standing in front of here is a representation of what we see the next generation being. It's a combination of many things, but what you can see looking at the platform is a stealthy system. It's a supersonic system. At the moment, you see a cockpit on the system but it could also be unmanned. So we're looking at optionally manned or unmanned. And the other bits you won't see under the skin are how it would be manufactured, how it would be supported. And we are looking at something that is flexible and upgradable and supportable through life.
But the strongest message was that Britain doesn't want to go it alone when it comes to developing a next-generation fighter to replace the Typhoon. Farnborough for the UK government was all about setting out the stall for the country's considerable expertise in combat air.
Our approach hinges on international collaboration. But we want new partners as well. Together we want to design and build ultra-advanced equipment far faster, keeping ahead of a breathtaking pace of technological change. And we want to put our world-class skills at the disposal of our friends.
The high-tech model unveiled at Farnborough was never meant to fly. The hope will be that by building it, those international partners will come.