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Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Cooper
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Cooper » 31 Dec 2019, 07:37

From the FT:

Image

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SKB » 31 Dec 2019, 09:41

Once again, there is no future fighter plane called Tempest being developed. Its a future technologies partnership called Team Tempest. That's all.
* sigh * :roll:

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Cooper » 31 Dec 2019, 10:07

Nobody likes a pedant.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 31 Dec 2019, 16:33

But the systems that result from Tempest will shape the next aircraft the we and the other members of the Team will go on to build as well as improving the Typhoon and probably Gripen along the way.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 01 Jan 2020, 14:46

Lord Jim wrote:the systems that result from Tempest will shape the next aircraft[...] as well as improving the Typhoon

- well, yeah, and then we can drop TR1s, as well as
SW1 wrote: going fwd really will be [to] follow the German lead and have a heavily modified typhoon or develop a manned platform out of tempest or buy more f35. Personally I see f35 numbers not getting above 52. So it will be one of the first two options.

Quite. And I can accept the inflation ;) from the 48 I was sticking to at the beginning of the decade; the one we just closed... though that will not give closure for this issue
- may be the instrumented test a/c account for the 'difference' in views

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 01 Jan 2020, 23:04

Our Typhoons (TR2 / TR3) once they all receive the improved Captor-E AESA radar, and I really hope all do, plus the integration of SPEAR and so on, will be a very effective platform. The Typhoon should have decades of service in front of it, just look at the F-16, but we must realise that military hardware must have a proper through life management plan that includes regular improvements rather then the costly Mid Life Updates like we did on the Tornado.

I agree with the number of F-35B likely to be purchase, with the Marham wing being the only operator. Any further purchase would be in direct completion with any UK led Consortium's next generation aircraft programme. This could however throw up some interesting possibilities. AS the "Son of Tempest" would be a competitor to the F-35 for orders and it would be a newer platform, could the US try to kill it off by offering to integrate some Tempest technologies into later blocks of the F-35 and offer additional aircraft at a very reasonable price?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Tempest414 » 02 Jan 2020, 10:40

for me the UK needs 250 fast jets these should be split into 5 wings with 31 jets per wing. Each wing will would have 3 Squadrons of 10 jets plus a station commands jet and all maintenance and logistics would be covered by the wing and not the flying unit and would go for something like this

150 Typhoons ( replaced by the Tempest project )

Lossiemouth wing 31 jets
Coningsby wing 31 jets plus OCU 12 jets
Leeming wing 31 jets

Plus 4 jets for Falklands QRA

total 110 jets plus 40 in the pool

100 F-35 B

Marham wing 31 jets plus OCU 12 jets
Yeoviltion wing 31 jets

total 74 jets plus 26 in the pool

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby dmereifield » 02 Jan 2020, 11:49

150 is seeming more realistic...200 would be a pleasant surprise, just optimism evades me at the moment

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 02 Jan 2020, 12:10

But that’s just not going to happen we aren’t going from 3 fast jet stations to 5.

Until the question is answered of what you want the future fast jet fleet to do its composition cannot be defined.

At the end of the Cold War it was deemed that 7 fast jet sqns were required to provide the QRA requirement for UK air defence region and Falklands in the face of Soviet threat. Will we get back to needing in extremes to 15 odd qra launches a day? Japan currently is averaging about 1000 a year. Unlikely but that would consume the entire fast jet fleet. Typhoon came about because of the fielding of the SU27 and it’s ability to escort Russian bombers all the way to launch against the UK. It will remain capable of this for the foreseeable.

Are we returning to the strategic interdictor role? It’s what tornado was designed for, delivery of tactical nuclear weapons to targets in Russia and the JP233 runs against airfields.

Are we looking for manned aircraft to go into areas where there is heavy SAM density and for what purpose?. Are strategic targets either attacked by air launched nuclear or conventional better achieved with stand off weapons.
How far away does a manned platform need to be to control a standoff swarm weapon like spear 3? Is the consideration of civilian casualties as high if we’re fighting a war with Russia? Is the kind of AI that allows a salvo launch of brimstone acceptable in such a war?

IMO existing/new weapons(Uav wing men) and sensor pods development, integration and support to the existing fleet are more important than an investment in a new manned platform. The priority of a new manned aircraft is more an industrial skill protection than a necessity.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby RetroSicotte » 02 Jan 2020, 13:09

SW1 wrote:IMO existing/new weapons(Uav wing men) and sensor pods development, integration and support to the existing fleet are more important than an investment in a new manned platform. The priority of a new manned aircraft is more an industrial skill protection than a necessity.

That sounds a lot like resting on one's laurels to me, "preparing for peace" and no allowance for what else may occur.

It takes too long to "respond" these days. You end up a decade behind if caught in that. The UK is at the forefront of air superiority against its peers right now with Typhoon and F-35, retaining that lead is critical. If the UK doesn't do it, then they will. SU-57 may not exactly be the wonder weapon they say it is, but it's still a hefty advance that the UK must keep ahead of.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 02 Jan 2020, 15:41

RetroSicotte wrote:
SW1 wrote:IMO existing/new weapons(Uav wing men) and sensor pods development, integration and support to the existing fleet are more important than an investment in a new manned platform. The priority of a new manned aircraft is more an industrial skill protection than a necessity.

That sounds a lot like resting on one's laurels to me, "preparing for peace" and no allowance for what else may occur.

It takes too long to "respond" these days. You end up a decade behind if caught in that. The UK is at the forefront of air superiority against its peers right now with Typhoon and F-35, retaining that lead is critical. If the UK doesn't do it, then they will. SU-57 may not exactly be the wonder weapon they say it is, but it's still a hefty advance that the UK must keep ahead of.


Or just the reality of the fact, it is somewhat difficult to improve the performance of the airframe/ power plant beyond what is currently available without pushing cost up to an unrealistic level or getting past the fact we are with the current generation of aircraft at about the limit of what the human can withstand.

Ensuring the sum of all the parts adds up to more than the individual maybe what keeps us ahead in the future.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Jan 2020, 17:12

SW1 wrote: Typhoon came about because of the fielding of the SU27 and it’s ability to escort Russian bombers all the way to launch against the UK. It will remain capable of this for the foreseeable.

Are we returning to the strategic interdictor role? It’s what tornado was designed for, delivery of tactical nuclear weapons to targets in Russia and the JP233 runs against airfields.


Don't know about us, but in this overview of the Russian Wunderwaffe announcements https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/1 ... ic-missile
the most credible one, covered in some detail, is about turning their strategic interceptor planes into strategic interdictors (their carrier-killer bomber fleet is starting to be "a bit long in the tooth").

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 02 Jan 2020, 17:28

Whatever happens the RAF must not allowed to sacrifice Naval Aviation in order to fuel their wet dreams elsewhere.

F-35B's need to be bought in sufficient quantities to enable both UK carriers, in an emergency, to go to sea with full decks with a few left over as a war reserve. I suggest 4 squadrons + OCU say 90 airframes. That number has to be ring fenced. The RAF can play around with its Typhoon/Tempest numbers and funding outside that fence.

And remember, the only current UK 5th gen aircraft is the F-35. The cheapest front line UK jet is the F-35 now and into the future. And getting cheaper.

Fly Navy.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SD67 » 02 Jan 2020, 17:53

SKB wrote:Once again, there is no future fighter plane called Tempest being developed. Its a future technologies partnership called Team Tempest. That's all.
* sigh * :roll:


According to the RAF’s website Tempest will “join the fleet in 2035 and replace the capabilities provided by Typhoon”

According to Leonardo it’s “developing a future combat air system for the 2040s”

According to the MOD contracts page over 300 SMEs have been invited to a Tempest industry day to participate in delivery of the next generation air combat capability

A bit big for a research project ....

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 02 Jan 2020, 19:18

The only way the F-35s will get ring fenced is if they are given over to the FAA with the RAF allowed to borrow them from time to time as well as having exchange pilots between the FAA and RAF. Lessons must be learnt on how the Joint Harrier Force was operated, and the availability of harriers for carrier deployment. Yes Afghanistan had an impact but that was a service decision, instead the Tornado fleet could have been worked harder and the JHF removed form the rotation. We cannot have a similar situation arise with the F-35 force and our new Carriers.

Saying that I cannot see more than three Squadrons forming in addition to the OCU/OEU and these three squadrons are likely to be smaller than those operating Typhoon in order to maintain Squadron numbers. This would give the RAF/FAA a pool of around 32 aircraft available at any one time for operational use.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby bobp » 03 Jan 2020, 17:46

SD67 wrote:SKB wrote:Once again, there is no future fighter plane called Tempest being developed. Its a future technologies partnership called Team Tempest. That's all.* sigh * According to the RAF’s website Tempest will “join the fleet in 2035 and replace the capabilities provided by Typhoon”According to Leonardo it’s “developing a future combat air system for the 2040s”According to the MOD contracts page over 300 SMEs have been invited to a Tempest industry day to participate in delivery of the next generation air combat capabilityA bit big for a research project ....


Hmmmn I have a friend who works at Brough a Bae manufacturing site near Hull, and he tells me a 100 manufacturing jobs are being converted to engineering jobs to work on the Tempest. In addition they are taking on apprentices. He also said this year they have to present a business case to the government...so don't bank on Tempest not being developed at least to a flying demonstrator.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby serge750 » 03 Jan 2020, 18:26

Isn't the Team tempest project in the same vain as the EAP was to typhoon?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby bobp » 03 Jan 2020, 18:59

serge750 wrote:Isn't the Team tempest project in the same vain as the EAP was to typhoon?


I imagine so, at least a flying demonstrator/testbed.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby S M H » 03 Jan 2020, 19:09

serge750 wrote:Isn't the Team tempest project in the same vain as the EAP was to typhoon?
I did range safety for EAP the aircraft had better capability's that were traded away in production Typhoon. Hopefully we will not repeat that with Tempest. The air to ground tests done on EAP were not transferred to the production airframes. But the airframe was capable of later modification due to the original ground attack requirement.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 03 Jan 2020, 19:59

EAP was built to test technology that was primarily new in particular its fly by wire system for statically unstable aircraft. If they could of carried over the bigger fin to typhoon it would been of benefit. Will such a test bed need to be built this time, very much depends on what you need to test but a number of sub systems will either be ground tested or airborne tested in a donor airframe. Wind tunnel and simulation software is now much more advanced and a number of designs have already been conceptualised.

There is and has been a significant drive to recruit experienced engineers onto this program but resources are extremely stretched because there is a shortage of design stress weights engineers due to many rounds of cutting over many years and other programs also needing them and some reluctant to go back.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby bobp » 03 Jan 2020, 21:45

50 years ago (gosh I am getting old) there was a steady flow of work in the military aircraft business, but that's not the case anymore, a lot of skills will need to be re-learned.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby S M H » 03 Jan 2020, 23:45

SW1 wrote:EAP was built to test technology that was primarily new in particular its fly by wire system for statically unstable aircraft.
If they follow the EAP path we may see modified Typhoon test bed. There was a modified Jaguar (a.c.t.d.) that was modified to be unstable in flight. This proved the concept prior to the full technology test aircraft. Equipment testing on civil airframes modified will quietly test systems and avionics prior to there integration into the demonstration aircraft. Taranis test information will provide knowledge for unmanned requirement.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby bobp » 04 Jan 2020, 06:03

Have you guys forgotten this bit of news from last year?

An Ex-TUI Boeing 757 has gone to Britain’s 2Excel Aviation to be used as a flying testbed for the Tempest future combat aircraft development work. Delivered on the 11th Nov to 2Excel’s MRO facilities at Lasham, it will undergo conversion work that will enable it flight test avionics and sensors for the UK combat aircraft program.

They mean business.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Timmymagic » 04 Jan 2020, 10:59

Lord Jim wrote:I agree with the number of F-35B likely to be purchase, with the Marham wing being the only operator. Any further purchase would be in direct completion with any UK led Consortium's next generation aircraft programme.


I keep making this point. We're definitely getting 48 F-35B, 3 of which will never see the UK except as museum pieces and will likely retire as test airframes by 2030. That leaves us with 45 F-35B. A very small number of the early F-35B will be very costly to upgrade to Block 4 standard and you have to wonder that as the costs for new F-35 fall as we reach FRP if the MoD won't just bite the bullet and order new production rather than updating older aircraft. So by 2025/6 (if the order for the extra 13 a/c is placed) we could have c40 F-35B that are actually combat capable, with c8 a/c just for test or training only.

Realistically any orders of additional F-35B need to take place before 2030. Otherwise they will directly conflict with 'Tempest' orders for the planned entry to service of 2035. And that just isn't going to happen, politically it would be impossible as well as just daft all round. That date of 2035 utterly kills the possibility (if there ever actually was one) of the UK operating a mixed fleet of A's and B's. If 'Tempest' goes ahead there is zero possibility of A's. So realistically we're looking at an F-35B fleet of what we have ordered now (35 in total). Plus whatever is ordered in the next 5-6 years for delivery prior to 2030-32. And with the MoD not talking much about orders beyond the '48' apart from occasionally mentioning an aspiration for 138 over the programme lifetime and the pressure on the EP as it stands.

Right now I can't see that we can possibly place orders for more than another 24-32 F-35B in the 2020's, beyond the '48', in order to hit a total number of 72 or an 'operational' total of 72. I'd love to see the F-35B total hit 90 'operational' as that would be a number sufficient to sustain a decent carrier capability and expeditionary capability but I can't see orders for another 48 happening between 2022 and 2030. Any small orders beyond that will be purely attrition replacements in order to guarantee the capability for the carriers service life, but how long will the B production line remain open?. Can't see us coming close to 138...

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 04 Jan 2020, 12:31

We will probably purchase additional F-35s down the line but these will not increase the number in service but rather replace older versions maintaining a pool of available airframes at around 50.


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