Britain is to lead the development of a new flying combat air demonstrator, which will play a critical role in proving the technology and design principles needed to deliver the UK’s Future Combat Air System.
The UK Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace MP has confirmed the plans at the Farnborough International Airshow.
Work is being led by UK sovereign combat air industry leader BAE Systems, working with the Ministry of Defence and a number of suppliers across the UK. This pioneering project will deliver the first flying combat air demonstrator in a generation – designed and developed in the UK. The demonstrator aircraft will fly within the next five years.
The flagship project is part of a suite of novel technologies being developed by Team Tempest. These concepts are designed to demonstrate and test the next generation combat air skills, tools, processes and techniques needed to ensure Tempest, the UK’s Future Combat Air System, achieves in service in 2035.
Team Tempest comprises the expertise of the Ministry of Defence and UK combat air leaders BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, Rolls-Royce and MBDA UK. Launched in 2018, alongside the UK’s Combat Air Strategy, Tempest will play a crucial role in providing long-term defence and security for the UK, while delivering significant economic benefits to the nation, securing high-value skills and careers and contributing to prosperity in many UK regions.
Engineers at BAE Systems across the North of England are leading the design, test, evaluation and build process, bringing together new and novel digital engineering technologies such as synthetic modelling and model-based systems engineering.
Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, said: “I am delighted that the UK, alongside Italy and Japan are working on similar combat air journeys together. Our work with Japan and Italy on cutting-edge technology like this shows the benefit of our alliances across the world.
Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems Chief Executive, added: “We recognise our responsibility in providing trusted sovereign combat air capability. We’re partnering with the UK’s highly motivated and skilled supply chain to accelerate the innovation of the nation’s future air power; integrating new technologies so the Royal Air Force and its allies can stay ahead of our adversaries.
“The demonstrator is an exciting once-in-a-generation opportunity providing experienced and young engineers alike a chance to contribute to an endeavour which really matters to our national defence and security.”
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