TEMPEST: THE FUTURE OF COMBAT AIR
Tempest is the next-generation combat aircraft, operating at the cutting edge of technological innovation and securing the UK‘s position as a global leader in combat air.
The BAE Systems Tempest is a proposed sixth-generation jet fighter aircraft that is under development in the United Kingdom for the Royal Air Force (RAF). The aircraft is intended to enter service from 2035, gradually replacing the Eurofighter Typhoon. It is being developed as part of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme by a consortium known as “Team Tempest”, which includes the Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo UK, and MBDA UK. £2 billion is planned to be spent by the British government on the initial phase of the project up to 2025.
Development of the Tempest began in 2015.
The UK and Japan began discussing jointly developing a new stealth fighter jet in 2017.
On 16 July 2018, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) published its Combat Air Strategy. The key elements of this are:
- Continued development of the Typhoon.
- Implement the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative which was established by the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
- Study of Typhoon replacement programmes.
- “Build on or establish new [international] partnerships to deliver future requirements.”
- Focus on affordability.
Tempest will be modular, both to be easily role-adapted to fit the particular mission as well as have easily upgradeable components during its lifetime. It has delta-wings and a pair of outwards-pointing vertical stabilisers. It will incorporate stealth technology, be able to fly unmanned, and use swarming technology to control drones.
It will incorporate artificial intelligence deep learning and carry directed-energy weapons. The aircraft will have a Cooperative Engagement Capability which is the ability to share data and messages with other aircraft and coordinate actions.
Tempest will feature a virtual cockpit shown on a pilot’s helmet-mounted display using a Striker II unit, and an adaptive cycle engine that utilises composite materials and improved manufacturing process to be lightweight and have better thermal management while still keeping costs low.
Source: Aerospace Manufacturing
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