Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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

Post by TheLoneRanger »

Gtal wrote: 25 Dec 2021, 07:33 Hilarious. Italy and the UK are literally making contradictory public statements.
Where are the articles à la "Tempest future in doubt..." ?
You know.. like those around FCAS? Those didn't even have any factual substance, while here we have explicit fundamental disagreement about what the goal of this cooperation is to be!

And of course Italy just made up with France and signed a major treaty with them.

I'd be not at all surprised to see Italy drop out of Tempest at some point and maybe do some sort of cross-program deal with Germany and France actually.
Playing an enhanced role in the EU has so much more potential side benefits and would be almost a natural fit as the 3rd largest country now and one of the oldest members too..
There is a very good chance that Italy will leave Tempest - there has been as you said enough forshadowing on this with both the treaty with France and comments, but the Tempest programme will need to carry on without Italy and both BAe and RAF will simply need to reduce the scope of what is possible to ensure enough of the core programme succeeds.

Germany/France/Spain and possibly Italy(herein referred to as EU) will want to make another "political" statement via the development of FCAS but we all know how the last programme(Eurofighter) went when they tried that and it would be best to "leave them to it". Just look at the "Eurodrone" project which looks like another EU orgin lovefest orgy with no pratical meaningful outcomes.

It is important to the UK Aerospace industry that Tempest succeeds and if that means some of the system of systems items are descoped so that the engine and airframe can be developed with avionics that are 5Gen++ rather than 6th gen - then so be it. The rate of technological advancement is so fast that by the time the avionics become an issue interms of military capability - BAe will be able to do it alone themselves anyway.

The Tempest programme will need to learn to pragmmatic and accept that there are different intrepreations of what their 6th Gen programme looks like based on the degree of resources available. If they are not - and they stick to their puristic approach of the project scope - then the politicans will simply cancel the entire programme as it will be come unaffordable. BAe will need to have their common sense hats on if it wants to try and stay in the fighter development space. BAe already messed up by not developing a replacement for the Hawk on commerical grounds ...

The Tempest programme has signed some deals with Japan both on the radar development(Jaguar) and engine development, and now it seems parts of the airframe(engine inlets) that we can hedge against Italy if we need to.

( and i am privately hoping that AUKUS means that the Aussies will look to join our Tempest programme aswell esp since they are on the F35 programme aswell, so they will have similar requirements and the overlap with Japan which is becoming a more significant security partner in the region for Australia aswell. Having a Tempest ecosysm in that part of the world would be damn useful !!! ).

And - if the Tempest falls apart/gets cancelled - then the UK should simply buy off the shelf from the USA their 6th gen platform as the USA will procure enough units of their 6th gen fighter to make it economically viable and have in place a mature mid-life upgrade rather that the EU approach where they will not buy enough units of a platform to make it economically viable or sustainable over the life of the platform. Just look at the fiasco that is the various upgrade programmes for the Eurofighter Typhoon to know the EU approach is always the worst approach.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by TheLoneRanger »

SW1 wrote: 24 Dec 2021, 18:38
3 years ago people would of said the same about ppe and vaccines….

Security of supply with expendables in particular should be priority 1m because when everyone needs them at the same time your back of the queue if your buying from America.

MBDA sell weapons across the world.
Agree - and is it sensible to have supply chains for major systems coming from EU origin countries - esp the way that the EU makes everything so toxic and uses it as leverage - just look at project Horizon which was agreed up and independent from the Article 16 issues but the EU is leveraging it in violation of the treaty as of now ..

The EU project will only become more toxic to the UK over time and we have to make strategic decisions on how involved we want to be in what are increasingly becoming an EU superstate with EU focussed projects.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Meriv9 »

TheLoneRanger wrote: 25 Dec 2021, 11:21
Gtal wrote: 25 Dec 2021, 07:33 Hilarious. Italy and the UK are literally making contradictory public statements.
Where are the articles à la "Tempest future in doubt..." ?
You know.. like those around FCAS? Those didn't even have any factual substance, while here we have explicit fundamental disagreement about what the goal of this cooperation is to be!

And of course Italy just made up with France and signed a major treaty with them.

I'd be not at all surprised to see Italy drop out of Tempest at some point and maybe do some sort of cross-program deal with Germany and France actually.
Playing an enhanced role in the EU has so much more potential side benefits and would be almost a natural fit as the 3rd largest country now and one of the oldest members too..
There is a very good chance that Italy will leave Tempest - there has been as you said enough forshadowing on this with both the treaty with France and comments, but the Tempest programme will need to carry on without Italy and both BAe and RAF will simply need to reduce the scope of what is possible to ensure enough of the core programme succeeds.

Germany/France/Spain and possibly Italy(herein referred to as EU) will want to make another "political" statement via the development of FCAS but we all know how the last programme(Eurofighter) went when they tried that and it would be best to "leave them to it". Just look at the "Eurodrone" project which looks like another EU orgin lovefest orgy with no pratical meaningful outcomes.

It is important to the UK Aerospace industry that Tempest succeeds and if that means some of the system of systems items are descoped so that the engine and airframe can be developed with avionics that are 5Gen++ rather than 6th gen - then so be it. The rate of technological advancement is so fast that by the time the avionics become an issue interms of military capability - BAe will be able to do it alone themselves anyway.

The Tempest programme will need to learn to pragmmatic and accept that there are different intrepreations of what their 6th Gen programme looks like based on the degree of resources available. If they are not - and they stick to their puristic approach of the project scope - then the politicans will simply cancel the entire programme as it will be come unaffordable. BAe will need to have their common sense hats on if it wants to try and stay in the fighter development space. BAe already messed up by not developing a replacement for the Hawk on commerical grounds ...

The Tempest programme has signed some deals with Japan both on the radar development(Jaguar) and engine development, and now it seems parts of the airframe(engine inlets) that we can hedge against Italy if we need to.

( and i am privately hoping that AUKUS means that the Aussies will look to join our Tempest programme aswell esp since they are on the F35 programme aswell, so they will have similar requirements and the overlap with Japan which is becoming a more significant security partner in the region for Australia aswell. Having a Tempest ecosysm in that part of the world would be damn useful !!! ).

And - if the Tempest falls apart/gets cancelled - then the UK should simply buy off the shelf from the USA their 6th gen platform as the USA will procure enough units of their 6th gen fighter to make it economically viable and have in place a mature mid-life upgrade rather that the EU approach where they will not buy enough units of a platform to make it economically viable or sustainable over the life of the platform. Just look at the fiasco that is the various upgrade programmes for the Eurofighter Typhoon to know the EU approach is always the worst approach.
Leave the Tempest to join what?

I dont think it is clear that the French don't want us.

Obviously Italian and Germans wish for FCAS and Tempest to join. I think it is pretty objective affirming that having just one fighter is the optimal solution. But it is a mere wish because there is the french ambition and the various political dynamics of the continent.

We already put/budgeted money for Tempest we aren't going anywhere.

Yet I learnt that keeping options open is the best action plan. You never know what will happen. Yes it is very improbable first that the two programs will join and pretty unrealistic that if that happens the collaboration would be smooth. But closing down any option from the beginning killing even the small chances for an optimal result is useless.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Lord Jim »

Maybe TEMPEST could end up being developed under the Eurofighter consortium, with Sweden and Japan partial members, and leave France out on its own? :D

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Meriv9 »

We are seeing this on the MGCS afterall. The Germans are way less choosy.
No one knows, maybe in the future they fall out(correct verb?) At that point why not redoing the Eurofighter Consortium enlarged as you wrote

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by SD67 »

The proposed structure of Tempest is completely different from the Eurofighter consortium. Eurofighter was national workshare based on orders and four parallel production lines. Tempest is proposed as best athlete centres of competence.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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SD67 wrote: 29 Dec 2021, 10:54 The proposed structure of Tempest is completely different from the Eurofighter consortium. Eurofighter was national workshare based on orders and four parallel production lines. Tempest is proposed as best athlete centres of competence.
I'd also guess Spain to stick with France, as they so nearly did with the Typhoon/Rafale split. State owned concerns tend to prioritise domestic industry over competition...

How different things might have been had Merkel not 'torpedoed' the BAE-Airbus merger back in 2012. Instead the Eurofighter countries are split and aligned in pairs with each of the last two independent(-ish) fighter manufacturers in Europe, Saab and Dassault.

If the long and tortuous history of European defence collaboration/consolidation has taught anything, it's that until a production order has been signed then nothing is certain, and even then countries are highly unpredictable customers.

I would not rule out a merger between two or more primes to ensure market dominance and greater harmony in development. Though looking at the current situation I can see very few potential matches.

For Tempest, the best opportunities might lie outside of Europe for both sales and prospective partners.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by SW1 »

I think what is overlooked is there will be a different between the design development and sale of sub systems that go into a future manned aircraft and sale of a uk configured “tempest” aircraft.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Jensy »

SW1 wrote: 29 Dec 2021, 23:38 I think what is overlooked is there will be a different between the design development and sale of sub systems that go into a future manned aircraft and sale of a uk configured “tempest” aircraft.
Definitely. The only confirmed partner on a potential platform is Italy, and even there I see differing requirements to the RAF and their apparent need for an all rounder. For instance the 60 F-35A which will fulfill the AM's strike needs well past a manned Tempest entering service.

If the prospective engine work with Japan is framed as part of Tempest, through member R-R, then we're already in a completely different arrangement than anything we've done before. Putting commonality, across multiple allied platforms, above duplication would be almost the opposite of the Eurofighter approach.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by SD67 »

Jensy wrote: 29 Dec 2021, 23:20
I would not rule out a merger between two or more primes to ensure market dominance and greater harmony in development. Though looking at the current situation I can see very few potential matches.
Why should there be? Just because two firms are located in the same land mass doesn't mean they're compatible. Tesla isn't merging with GM anytime soon. Dassault is a tightly run family business who specialise in "no questions asked" exports to customers who aren't always paragons of procurement transparency. Try and merge that with German pacifist box ticking. Maybe BAE and SAAB could merge given they've been working together for a long time. No on second thoughts BAE would stifle them....
Jensy wrote: 29 Dec 2021, 23:20
For Tempest, the best opportunities might lie outside of Europe for both sales and prospective partners.
Australia will have very soon received all of their F35s. By the mid-late 2030s could Tempest replace their Hornets?. Noone saw Aukus coming

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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SD67 wrote: 30 Dec 2021, 00:05
Jensy wrote: 29 Dec 2021, 23:20
I would not rule out a merger between two or more primes to ensure market dominance and greater harmony in development. Though looking at the current situation I can see very few potential matches.
Why should there be? Just because two firms are located in the same land mass doesn't mean they're compatible. Tesla isn't merging with GM anytime soon. Dassault is a tightly run family business who specialise in "no questions asked" exports to customers who aren't always paragons of procurement transparency. Try and merge that with German pacifist box ticking. Maybe BAE and SAAB could merge given they've been working together for a long time. No on second thoughts BAE would stifle them....
Dassault is very much a law unto itself and the French State. Only another (partially) state owned entity could engage with them on anything approaching equal terms. Indra Sistemas, the unexpected Spanish lead on SCAF comes to mind.

Airbus and Leonardo probably have too many duplicated capabilities and conflicting stakeholders. Though they play nicely with ATR on the civil side.

BAE had a decent shareholding in Saab till only a decade ago. Like so many things (Airbus, regional/biz jets, aerostructures) they sold it off to further solidify their US operations. Somewhat ironic considering the success Saab have had with Boeing for the T-7A. I daresay someone will snap them up eventually, especially as Gripen and NH90 sales have started to slow/dry up.
SD67 wrote: 30 Dec 2021, 00:05 Australia will have very soon received all of their F35s. By the mid-late 2030s could Tempest replace their Hornets?. Noone saw Aukus coming
Would be a fantastic opportunity, even if they only had a modest requirement for a Super Hornet/Growler replacement. They never quite matched the F-111 in capability. Likewise with Canada but I seriously doubt they can keep their legacy Hornets going till 2035+.

As with Typhoon and Tornado, the real prize would be a substantial order from Saudi. Especially as American attention drifts away from the Gulf.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Lord Jim »

TEMPEST could be seen as a logical replacement for the Typhoon in those countries who have bought it, and though the RAF see it as mainly a fighter, it cannot afford not to have it be able to carry out the same roles as the current Typhoon fleet. Therefore the UKs requirements will meld with those of the Italian Air Force so their shouldn't be an issue there. Sweden could be an interesting option. As they are increasing the size of their Air Force by retaining the Gripen C/D alongside the new E/F the former will need replacing at some point. If the TEMPEST programme meets one of is key goals, in that it is affordable, the Swedes could see it as a way of gaining a latest generation fighter, with common systems to the Gripen E/F with which it would operate.

FCAS could be sold to those countries currently or planning to operate the Rafale as some point and if the US does not sell its F-22 replacement as it did not with the F-22, then the two European platforms should have a respectable export market. The F-35 will not really be a competitor as it is the reverse of what TEMPEST will be, being a ground pounder first and fighter second. But customers will still be able to access favourable US FMS conditions so it will still appeal to some even though they will not be getting a platform that will meet their capability priorities.

As long a the British Government wishes to retain a military aerospace industry TEMPEST will be safe. We just have to hope a future Government does not do what Labour did in the 1960s and cancel the TSR2 in favour of what it deemed a cheaper US platform, which turned out not to be the case and we ended up with Buccaneers, which was not a bad thing in the end.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Gtal »

TheLoneRanger wrote: 25 Dec 2021, 11:29
SW1 wrote: 24 Dec 2021, 18:38
3 years ago people would of said the same about ppe and vaccines….

Security of supply with expendables in particular should be priority 1m because when everyone needs them at the same time your back of the queue if your buying from America.

MBDA sell weapons across the world.
Agree - and is it sensible to have supply chains for major systems coming from EU origin countries - esp the way that the EU makes everything so toxic and uses it as leverage - just look at project Horizon which was agreed up and independent from the Article 16 issues but the EU is leveraging it in violation of the treaty as of now ..

The EU project will only become more toxic to the UK over time and we have to make strategic decisions on how involved we want to be in what are increasingly becoming an EU superstate with EU focussed projects.
First of:
The cognitive dissonance to say/type
"...EU(..) in violation of the treaty..." regarding the UK really is mindblowing stuff.

Even if it were true, it would be a completely proportionate and appropriate reaction to the UK's attempted revisionism.

But of course it's probably not a reality based assesment anyhow..
Tell me, which treaty obligation is the EU not honoring?
Does it actually say anywhere that the EU garantuees in general, or before a certain date, that it will facilitate UK associated status on Horizon?
Please be so kind and provide a citation for that yes?

Or did you maybe just gobble up some fantastical nonsense being spouted by Bill Cash?
How those kind of guys, after demonstrating their worldview goes not far beyond 1950 and being totally proven wrong endlessly in everything still retain status and respect is beyond me truly..

It must be a class thing right? If you're from the right family, no matter how often or how big you fail, implicit superiority and deference are ingrained institutionally and socially and no one believes it to "be his place" to confront the likes of Cash with the fact he's spent 30+ years wasting money and time railing about something he clearly had not even the most basic understanding of whatsoever and in all those decades of "scrutiny" of the EU, he never even came to consider that it might be helpful to at least come up with a napkin-back sketch of what would happen next.
Nor does he understand anything close to even GCSE level about trade, economics, or geopolitics for that matter.
Why is he in parliament? Why does he get airtime??

These relics are taking the whole damn country down with them..

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Cooper »

Gtal wrote: 01 Jan 2022, 03:58

First of:
The cognitive dissonance to say/type
"...EU(..) in violation of the treaty..." regarding the UK really is mindblowing stuff.
Even if it were true, it would be a completely proportionate and appropriate reaction to the UK's attempted revisionism.

But of course it's probably not a reality based assesment anyhow..
Tell me, which treaty obligation is the EU not honoring?
Does it actually say anywhere that the EU garantuees in general, or before a certain date, that it will facilitate UK associated status on Horizon?
Please be so kind and provide a citation for that yes?

Or did you maybe just gobble up some fantastical nonsense being spouted by Bill Cash?
How those kind of guys, after demonstrating their worldview goes not far beyond 1950 and being totally proven wrong endlessly in everything still retain status and respect is beyond me truly..

It must be a class thing right? If you're from the right family, no matter how often or how big you fail, implicit superiority and deference are ingrained institutionally and socially and no one believes it to "be his place" to confront the likes of Cash with the fact he's spent 30+ years wasting money and time railing about something he clearly had not even the most basic understanding of whatsoever and in all those decades of "scrutiny" of the EU, he never even came to consider that it might be helpful to at least come up with a napkin-back sketch of what would happen next.
Nor does he understand anything close to even GCSE level about trade, economics, or geopolitics for that matter.
Why is he in parliament? Why does he get airtime??

These relics are taking the whole damn country down with them..
Blah,blah.blah...Take it to the 'Political Discussion' section of the forum.

You'll find plenty of fellow Brussels loving Euro Trash, in there...

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by SKB »

While you're at it, please learn the difference between an international technology partnership called Team Tempest (which exists) and a hypothetical or fictional next-generation fighter plane called "Tempest" - which doesn't exist.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by SD67 »

Distinction without a difference. Tempest is a project to create a Future Combat Air System with a target IOC of 2035. It is currently in concept and assessment phase, main gate scheduled for 2025. At that stage it becomes industrial. No one spends multiple billions in a “research project”

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Lord Jim »

Where TEMPEST sits in the CADMID cycle is a bit difficult to pin point at present. The Capability has been discussed and a very broad list of requirements have been decided, covering many of the systems needed as well as advanced weaponry and all this is now in teh assessment phase to be clarified before 2025 when the development phase is due to commence and the real money begins to be spent. But because even them it really will be a list of systems rather then a platform, when work actually starts on this is something I am not sure of. If SAAB has provided its state of the art computer design and engineering skill to be used we could get a new platform(s) that is ready for service in 2035 or at the very least be well into the latter part of its development programme with prototypes flying as well as pre production platforms. TEMPEST is going to be the first of the new generation programmes carried out by the UK and its partners, with only SAAB with its work on the USAF Rec Hawk being familiar with the new processes and timeframes which are greatly reduced from traditional programmes.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by SD67 »

My take is that they're developing a platform alright, but they're developing it from the inside out. We're looking at a massive increase in power generation to facilitate directed energy, next gen sensors etc, That step change will in turn drive platform layout. So Maingate in 2025, RR/Japan produce an engine prototype from 2026ish, a platform is wrapped around it in the 2030s. SAAB took the T-7 from first CAD to physical prototype in 36 months. Meanwhile we build some LANCAs in the late 2020s to keep the factories going.

The idea that Tempest is just about updating Typhoon or researching systems to be inserted in someone else's platform is not realistic IMHO. I mean 20 years after we joined JSF we still don't have Meteor integrated, Israel is an outlier.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Lord Jim »

And the two Prototypes built were for all intents and purposes the final product, which require far less initial air and ground testing than a Prototype developed through the more traditional method. This is also a major step change in reducing the development time and costs.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by SW1 »

On the 15th of December 2006 f35 flew for the first time it entered service with the US marine corp in July 2015.

Red hawk first flew on the 20th of December 2016 with a scheduled entry into service in 2023/24.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Lord Jim »

If that is the actual case with the Red Hawk, then the USAF have squandered the benefits Boeing/Saab gave them. I can only put this down to then USAF wanting to carry out a traditional test and development programme with the prototypes when this is not needed. Old habits die hard as they say.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by motiv »

Not sure if this is relevant here, but the Germans may be considering the F35 again. Not sure how this would affect the FCAS?
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