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Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 05 Oct 2018, 12:44

Jake1992 wrote:the navy deciding that the F35c won't be replacing the F18s on there own.
This latter part I am aware of
- should give Boeing a good chance to continue their long line (on flat tops)

Is the other part (in Jake's, above) a decision, or merely an option embedded in the competition?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Jake1992 » 05 Oct 2018, 13:01

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:the navy deciding that the F35c won't be replacing the F18s on there own.
This latter part I am aware of
- should give Boeing a good chance to continue their long line (on flat tops)

Is the other part (in Jake's, above) a decision, or merely an option embedded in the competition?


There's 2 different project names clearly split between USN and usaf this time round unlike with the F35 project
The F-X project for the USAF
The FA-XX project for the USN

My understand for the reasoning behind this is that the USN isn't complety happy that the F35c can deliver all that is needed from the carriers in the near to media term future. This is why they are going up a split of F35c and upgraded F18 for now and then replaced said F18 with the new FA-XX. From what Iv read the F35c will give the deep strike element ( similar to a fighter bomber role ) while the FA-XX will give more of an air superiority role, it sounds like the USN is going back to a multiple fighter set up like in the 80s.

If all this turns out to be true we could see Lockheed winning the USAF F-X project and Boeing winning the USN FA-XX project ( the US keeping both its big players happy and busy )

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 05 Oct 2018, 15:59

Jake1992 wrote: we could see Lockheed winning the USAF F-X project and Boeing winning the USN FA-XX project ( the US keeping both its big players happy and busy )


Or we could see the A-12 story play out again (sequals are popular!)
SUPREME COURT OF
THE UNITED STATES Nos. 09–1298 and 09–1302

Or as Time Magazine summarised, after 23 years of lawsuits were finally being settled:
"In a nutshell, the A-12 Avenger II program was a prototypical example of contractors promising too much in exchange for too little. Designed to replace the Navy’s A-6 Intruder, the A-12 contained too much unproven technology for its fixed-price $4.8 billion contract.

When then-defense secretary Dick Cheney learned that the Navy and General Dynamics (its warplane division is now part of Lockheed Martin) and McDonnell Douglas (now part of Boeing) were fudging the truth about the A-12’s cost and schedule woes, he ordered the service to kill it. The move stunned pretty much everybody in the military-industrial complex."

And after the legal warfare, for the F-35 the winner was to be picked early on, and then THAT company would carry the risks
- and that is exactly -not! - how it played out

Waiting for the next round, with a lot of pop corn at the ready :)

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 05 Oct 2018, 16:31

@acc you have some very weird and wonderful ideas about the US industrial base and how US military programs are awarded.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 05 Oct 2018, 17:06

Ron5 wrote:@acc you have some very weird and wonderful ideas about the US industrial base and how US military programs are awarded.


Even the POTUS is , rightly, concerned about the former... one of the first things he set in motion was a "quick look" assessment.

As for the latter, been watching it all that time (that I quoted) and, of course, as we are here on the Tempest thread, it is of utmost relevance also on this side of the Pond who (DG then, who next) exits the business - fighters that is.
- even NG would not have been there, to receive the bomber contract, had Boeing not been keen to manage its cost base (allocated against an ageing product line) by giving a lot of the work relating to its twin tails to NG
- and the T-X contract going to Boeig/ Saab has been a near-certainty for several years... in order to build the bridge to when the nxt-gen actually happens (ie. contracts are awarded, rather than the company just spending money)

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 05 Oct 2018, 19:37

ArmChairCivvy wrote:and the T-X contract going to Boeig/ Saab has been a near-certainty for several years... in order to build the bridge to when the nxt-gen actually happens (ie. contracts are awarded, rather than the company just spending money)


Not hardly dude.

You seem wedded to the idea US competition winners are based on politics or political management of the industrial base when very clearly, they are not.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 07 Oct 2018, 15:50

Saw this photo this morning, new to me:

Image

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 07 Oct 2018, 17:21

Image

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 07 Oct 2018, 17:56



An overview of were team tempest is aiming to position the aircraft.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 07 Oct 2018, 19:16

Ron5 wrote: political management of the industrial base


It is good to differ... as we are here to discuss ;)

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 07 Oct 2018, 19:38

SW1 wrote:https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ogAtFy3q3xk

An overview of were team tempest is aiming to position the aircraft.


Smooth and info packed that was, thx SW1 (much better than the many, many write-ups that were pushed out in a hurry).
- those guys must have had a chance to do a cold run with their answers... all the better (for the audience)

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby bobp » 07 Oct 2018, 20:17

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Smooth and info packed that was, thx SW1 (much better than the many, many write-ups that were pushed out in a hurry).- those guys must have had a chance to do a cold run with their answers... all the better (for the audience)



I agree with your sentiment, very informative and puts the current program into perspective. Hope that they manage to secure the budget to progress this concept to a flying prototype at least, so that they are able to go into production if required.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Timmymagic » 07 Oct 2018, 23:07

I'm not sure how we all missed this, but the BAE Tempest mockup showed up at the Belgian Airforces Kleine Brogel base for an airshow in early September. Lots of manufacturers there trying to get the Belgian's to buy (Typhoon, F-35 and Rafale all there trying to drum up business.

Despite the raised platform next to the Tempest at Farnborough we've not seen many good shots of the planform, or got a good feeling of the size of the mock up. But this shot (click on tweet and go to top left pic) whilst from a distance includes a Typhoon, F-35 and bonus SU-27 for comparison....


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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Timmymagic » 07 Oct 2018, 23:10

And one side view outside, plus in the thread a good pic from the rear.

https://www.deviantart.com/kanyiko/art/ ... -763139669

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Oct 2018, 06:46

How would this one https://si.wsj.net/public/resources/ima ... 224324.jpg rate, not for beauty, but for similarity in looks?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 08 Oct 2018, 16:21

A comparison would be the knock off cars China makes, a 4x4 may look like a Range Rover but its capability is far from it. In this case though I think the designers were fans of Japanese Mech cartoons like Macross.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 26 Oct 2018, 15:46

https://www.janes.com/article/84058/raf ... e-in-2030s

A senior RAF officer told Jane's that the service "hoped to get the first Tempest aircraft into service in the early 2030s to begin replacing the first Tranche 1 Typhoons when they near the end of their 25-year service life".

The first Tranche 1 Typhoons entered RAF service in December 2003 and the first frontline UK squadron became operational in March 2006, which indicates RAF fighter numbers will start to drop off unless new aircraft begin to be brought into service after 2030.

There had been speculation that the RAF would not be able to fund building a new UK-manufactured combat aircraft under the banner of Project Tempest and continue with previously announced plans to buy 138 F-35 aircraft.

Senior RAF officers said the service still expects to buy a new UK-manufactured multirole combat aircraft and the full order of F-35s to operate in the shore-based strike role, beyond the 48 F-35Bs currently on order to serve on the Royal Navy's two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Timmymagic » 26 Oct 2018, 15:52

I think thats a rather optimistic timeline to say the least. The Typhoon was supposed to arrive in 1996, admittedly the end of the Cold War and German politics interfered to massively delay it (and dramatically inflate costs). That would have been a 14 year timeline from when the ACA first surfaced in mock-up form.

I could see a prototype in flight trials then, or even pre-production, but not entering service...

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 26 Oct 2018, 16:38

Timmymagic

I would agree. Tempest potiential could end up as a very heavy refresh of typhoon a la gripen e it could still end up as f35a as some want if budgets go south or sentiment changes.

Numbers is the other thing thats optimistic the typhoon, and f35 will end up at a combined total fleet of 190 a/c or there abouts. If your committed to 138 f35 your either not buying many of your newly designed tempest or is there a fastjet fleet expansion hoped for.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 26 Oct 2018, 19:32

With the wish to still by 138 F-35 in one form or another and the young age of the latest Typhoons, I would be very surprised if anything emerged and entered service from the Tempest programme. Enhancements for the latter maybe, but I cannot see a new platform entering service until 2040. Also how many would we actually need as the RAF would still have around four squadrons of F-35s in service and the total number of units would still be around seven or eight. This would mean we would only need between sixty and seventy airframes unless it also replaced some of the F-35s. All this points to a UK only programme for the next manned air platform being a non starter though an unmanned one to supplement the Typhoon and F-35 is a far stronger possibility.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Little J » 26 Oct 2018, 19:39

Can anyone really see a Typhoon only doing a 25 year service (please ignore which trache), when most front line fighters these days are expected to do 40ish years...

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 26 Oct 2018, 20:27

The problem is what exactly your looking for, typhoon is about as gd is gets when it comes to a fighter a/c particularly in the air defence task that is the primary focus of any airforce. You will not design an new aircraft today that does any better in terms of airframe or engine. Yes you can add and integrate new modern sensors and fuse it all and there’s capacity to do that. How far down the signature management root are you going to go there is a limit to what is possible in tactical aircraft and it’s a limit that comes at great cost for diminishing return. While there is a need for part of your force (if large enough) to be low observable there is certainly imo not a need to have your whole force Low observable. In the end what happened with tornado was the engine run out of performance for typhoon that’s not remotely a problem, the ej200 powerplant is one of the best in the business. The ability of the typhoon package is limited purely by our imagination.

Little J

I can see individual a/c doing 25 years but types doing much longer. The tornado maybe 40 years in service but we did buy almost 400 of them and about 40 are left in service.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Timmymagic » 26 Oct 2018, 20:31

Little J wrote:yone really see a Typhoon only doing a 25 year service (please ignore which trache), when most front line fighters these days are expected to do 40ish years...


Yes.
In the UK I could.
We refurbished and rebuilt Jaguar into the GR.3 then canned them shortly afterwards (just before they would have been spectacularly useful in the Gulf and Afghanistan). Harrier GR.5/7/9 barely got 20 years in service (15 really when you include all of the upgrade work from GR.5 onwards). A good portion of the Sea Harrier fleet at the end was only c15 years old (new builds to FA.2 standard in the early 90's). How many years service did Tornado F.3 get in the end? 20? In terms of years when it was actually a decent combat aircraft probably more like 10....Tornado GR is the only combat aircraft that we've bought in the last 40 years that has actually had a real long length of service.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 27 Oct 2018, 05:44

All of the above is valid but then we had airframes to bin. The RAF fast jet fleet is at the bare bones and cannot reasonably be reduced any further unless its tasking are greatly reduced. As I mentioned the service will hover between six and eight Squadron of manned fast jet going forward. The big question though is the number of airframes available at any one time and considering how far this has shrunk even if squadron number haven't there is some cause for worry. I can see us heading towards single digit squadrons with the available strengths of the F-35 and Typhoon being around 24 and 36 respectively.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 27 Oct 2018, 06:04

Lord Jim wrote:All of the above is valid but then we had airframes to bin
V true; we were also late adapters of true multi-role fighters. So change the likely engagement model and whole fleets head for the bin (e.g. Jaguar)
Lord Jim wrote: The big question though is the number of airframes available at any one time
We buy the airframes, but won't hire/ train enough maintainers... rather outsource back to the factory
Lord Jim wrote:the available strengths of the F-35 and Typhoon being around 24 and 36 respectively.
I can live with the former, but a third of the fleet being available does not sound "good" for Tiffies. Understandably a lot of them are not just in storage/ maintenance, but rather on a factory tour as we seem to be buying everything to get them upto spec v piecemeal
... or is that just a trick to keep the line busy, w/o buying any a/c and while waiting for export orders?
Compare this with news [that broke earlier this month]" that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued a memo last month to the Air Force and Navy departments giving them just 12 months to get 80 percent of their fighter jets fit for combat.

While no one is complaining [...] “Up to now our talking point has been that it took us years to get into this problem, it’s going to take years to get out,” said one officer who asked not to be identified. “We’re in a big hole,” said another.

For example, only 53.3 percent of Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets are rated “mission-capable,” meaning they are fit to fly, but even they may not be combat-ready, which requires a higher rating of “fully mission-capable.”["]


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