LONDON, March 4 (UPI) -- Britain and France are to develop and build a prototype of a next-generation unmanned aerial vehicle, the Future Combat Air System, Britain's Ministry of Defense said.
The project, which begins next ear and builds on a 2014 joint feasibility study, was announced in France at a summit meeting of military officials of both countries.
"The Future Combat Air System project will give the UK and France the most advanced vehicle of its kind in Europe, securing high-end engineering jobs and expertise in both countries with full scale development of prototypes starting in 2017, the ministry said. "UK companies, including BAE Systems, Finmeccanica Airborne and Space Systems Division, and Rolls Royce and Dassault Aviation, SNECMA/Safran and Thales in France are expected to benefit from the project."
At the summit, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon also secured agreement from France to look at purchasing Brimstone missiles for its next version of the Tiger Combat helicopter.
"The sale of this British made precision weapon would deliver investment in the U.K. economy and help protect both our shared interests around the world," he said.