Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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

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Spitfire9 wrote: 11 May 2024, 08:33 Iam not au fait with any demonstrator schedule. Is a demonstrator likely to be revealed publicly in the next year or so?
I'm sure the GCAP partners have a nervous eye on the UK's imminent General election, Labour are resisting any increase in defence spending, their " when conditions allow" could easily translate into the 1st of never, as they seem intent on a a limited programme of nationalising rail and elements of power generation.

While Labour are of course at pains to point out that they will simply take the franchises back into public ownership at no cost, the new British Rail will of course begin to cost a huge amount of money, as it will require a vast amount of ongoing infrastructure investment, far above any revenue it can generate .

Haven't heard anything about 'Great British Energy' of late, has that been quietly dropped or downgraded??

Anyway, against this backdrop of increasing public spending with an economy already in the red, I'm sure there will be a huge amount of pressure on BAE Systems to get the technology demonstrator into the air before Labours first budget...

They are going to have to fight hard for a slice of the budget, that's for sure....

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Spitfire9 wrote: 11 May 2024, 08:33 Iam not au fait with any demonstrator schedule. Is a demonstrator likely to be revealed publicly in the next year or so?
Yes.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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mrclark303 wrote: 11 May 2024, 08:59
Spitfire9 wrote: 11 May 2024, 08:33 Iam not au fait with any demonstrator schedule. Is a demonstrator likely to be revealed publicly in the next year or so?
I'm sure the GCAP partners have a nervous eye on the UK's imminent General election, Labour are resisting any increase in defence spending, their " when conditions allow" could easily translate into the 1st of never, as they seem intent on a a limited programme of nationalising rail and elements of power generation.

While Labour are of course at pains to point out that they will simply take the franchises back into public ownership at no cost, the new British Rail will of course begin to cost a huge amount of money, as it will require a vast amount of ongoing infrastructure investment, far above any revenue it can generate .

Haven't heard anything about 'Great British Energy' of late, has that been quietly dropped or downgraded??

Anyway, against this backdrop of increasing public spending with an economy already in the red, I'm sure there will be a huge amount of pressure on BAE Systems to get the technology demonstrator into the air before Labours first budget...

They are going to have to fight hard for a slice of the budget, that's for sure....
I do not know of any rail system in Europe that operates at a 'direct' profit. Financial benefit comes from providing a reliable transport service to the people working in the national economy. Poor infrastructure is associated with lower economic performance. That is what the UK 'enjoys' from a disjointed, low performance rail system based on a multitude of companies being awarded a monopoly over a part of the rail network. In my book a monopoly awarded to a private company whose duty is to maximise profits for shareholders discourages investment in the business.

The same applies to water. That is a natural monopoly. There is no national water grid to enable choice of supplier, so again, transferring it to private companies whose aim is to generate profits for shareholders is not a very clever idea.

I don't think, though, that the future of GCAP hangs on who owns the rail, water or electricity sectors in the UK. Personally, from what I have read of the proposed set up, I think that invites financial disaster -protection from scrutiny of how the programme is progressing is an appalling idea. I would not back GCAP because the ability to hide poor performance is more or less guaranteed through the currently proposed 'constitution' of the proposition.

Not a TSR2 Mk2 project, please. I refer to the manner in which the project was set up and managed.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Spitfire9 wrote: 11 May 2024, 13:43
mrclark303 wrote: 11 May 2024, 08:59
Spitfire9 wrote: 11 May 2024, 08:33 Iam not au fait with any demonstrator schedule. Is a demonstrator likely to be revealed publicly in the next year or so?
I'm sure the GCAP partners have a nervous eye on the UK's imminent General election, Labour are resisting any increase in defence spending, their " when conditions allow" could easily translate into the 1st of never, as they seem intent on a a limited programme of nationalising rail and elements of power generation.

While Labour are of course at pains to point out that they will simply take the franchises back into public ownership at no cost, the new British Rail will of course begin to cost a huge amount of money, as it will require a vast amount of ongoing infrastructure investment, far above any revenue it can generate .

Haven't heard anything about 'Great British Energy' of late, has that been quietly dropped or downgraded??

Anyway, against this backdrop of increasing public spending with an economy already in the red, I'm sure there will be a huge amount of pressure on BAE Systems to get the technology demonstrator into the air before Labours first budget...

They are going to have to fight hard for a slice of the budget, that's for sure....
I do not know of any rail system in Europe that operates at a 'direct' profit. Financial benefit comes from providing a reliable transport service to the people working in the national economy. Poor infrastructure is associated with lower economic performance. That is what the UK 'enjoys' from a disjointed, low performance rail system based on a multitude of companies being awarded a monopoly over a part of the rail network. In my book a monopoly awarded to a private company whose duty is to maximise profits for shareholders discourages investment in the business.

The same applies to water. That is a natural monopoly. There is no national water grid to enable choice of supplier, so again, transferring it to private companies whose aim is to generate profits for shareholders is not a very clever idea.

I don't think, though, that the future of GCAP hangs on who owns the rail, water or electricity sectors in the UK. Personally, from what I have read of the proposed set up, I think that invites financial disaster -protection from scrutiny of how the programme is progressing is an appalling idea. I would not back GCAP because the ability to hide poor performance is more or less guaranteed through the currently proposed 'constitution' of the proposition.

Not a TSR2 Mk2 project, please. I refer to the manner in which the project was set up and managed.
Afternoon Spitfire,
I'm in full agreement re selling off our utility companies.
It was short sighted and simple profiteering.

British Rail, well, when it did make profit, the government of the day, siphoned off the cash and it was never properly invested in, or properly managed.

Despite Labours spinning fan fare ' Great British Rail' is it...

We all know 'exactly' the same will happen again, absolutely minimum investment, etc, etc.

I don't know what will happen re GCAP, it will require serious and sustained yearly investment into the mid 2030's.

SDSR25 will have to take that into account, 2025 is when the funding taps will be turned on in a serious way.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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mrclark303 wrote: 11 May 2024, 14:09 I don't know what will happen re GCAP, it will require serious and sustained yearly investment into the mid 2030's…..
The numbers just don’t stack up without a massive injection of cash. Seems unlikely Labour would prioritise it. Much more likely to jump into a watered down EURO project to replace Typhoon.

The only way GCAP works financially is when the big money has been spent on the SSBNs and the budgetary pressures start to ease.

Unfortunately the timeline doesn’t allow for a seamless financial transition unless GCAP is delayed for a decade.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 11 May 2024, 16:24
mrclark303 wrote: 11 May 2024, 14:09 I don't know what will happen re GCAP, it will require serious and sustained yearly investment into the mid 2030's…..
The numbers just don’t stack up without a massive injection of cash. Seems unlikely Labour would prioritise it. Much more likely to jump into a watered down EURO project to replace Typhoon.

The only way GCAP works financially is when the big money has been spent on the SSBNs and the budgetary pressures start to ease.

Unfortunately the timeline doesn’t allow for a seamless financial transition unless GCAP is delayed for a decade.

Guys....it was Labour who got Typhoon into service...and gave it multi-role capabilities...it was Labour who ordered the Carriers...and Labour who got Astute ordered following a 10 year SSN build gap under the Conservatives....

Look at what the Unions are saying around Dreadnought and GCAP....

GCAP is as safe as houses...

Both Barrow in Furness and Warton are going to be Labour seats at the next GE...
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Timmymagic wrote: 11 May 2024, 17:40 GCAP is as safe as houses….
So where is the money coming from?

At 2.2% of GDP the F35 procurement isn’t even funded properly. GCAP is totally unrealistic without a huge capital investment.

If rebuilding the Army is prioritised it’s even more unrealistic.

I will believe it when the funding actually materialises.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 11 May 2024, 21:02
Timmymagic wrote: 11 May 2024, 17:40 GCAP is as safe as houses….
So where is the money coming from?

At 2.2% of GDP the F35 procurement isn’t even funded properly. GCAP is totally unrealistic without a huge capital investment.

If rebuilding the Army is prioritised it’s even more unrealistic.

I will believe it when the funding actually materialises.
280 billion of MOD CAPEX in the most recent10 year look ahead. Say total GCAP Development costs are 50 billion, the UKs share of which is 17 - some of which have already been spent - getting to build is eminently doable.
The actual ac purchases come in the subsequent 10 year segment at which time F35 purchases are done, army’s recapitalisation must be surely done, Successor is winding down late 2030s.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 11 May 2024, 21:02
Timmymagic wrote: 11 May 2024, 17:40 GCAP is as safe as houses….
So where is the money coming from?

At 2.2% of GDP the F35 procurement isn’t even funded properly. GCAP is totally unrealistic without a huge capital investment.

If rebuilding the Army is prioritised it’s even more unrealistic.

I will believe it when the funding actually materialises.
F35 procurement is funded properly.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 11 May 2024, 16:24
mrclark303 wrote: 11 May 2024, 14:09 I don't know what will happen re GCAP, it will require serious and sustained yearly investment into the mid 2030's…..
The numbers just don’t stack up without a massive injection of cash. Seems unlikely Labour would prioritise it. Much more likely to jump into a watered down EURO project to replace Typhoon.

The only way GCAP works financially is when the big money has been spent on the SSBNs and the budgetary pressures start to ease.

Unfortunately the timeline doesn’t allow for a seamless financial transition unless GCAP is delayed for a decade.
I think its almost exactly the kind of thing Starmer will fund as it has absolutely nothing to do with the plane that comes out of the back end of the project and everything to do with the development and stimulation of high end, cutting edge design, engineering and manufacturing in the nation.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Way off-topic folks

Let's not run the risk of this becoming a 'News Only' thread.

Keep the conversation on GCAP/Tempest/FCAS one way or another.

Have deleted a dozen odd posts.

Keep the hard politics / ideological clash of wits to the Political Discussions section: viewforum.php?f=350
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!" - Dr. Strangelove (1964)

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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TSR2 gen 6
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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So what happens to the new technologies being developed when it comes to assessing what to incorporate in Tempest if it goes ahead? Are some abandoned as being unaffordable? Are some shelved, to be developed when funds allow? Are some downgraded to make then affordable? What one wants to avoid is spending a shedload of money after GCAP gets the go ahead then later to cut back on the number to be built.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Spitfire9 wrote: 21 May 2024, 19:48 So what happens to the new technologies being developed when it comes to assessing what to incorporate in Tempest if it goes ahead? Are some abandoned as being unaffordable? Are some shelved, to be developed when funds allow? Are some downgraded to make then affordable? What one wants to avoid is spending a shedload of money after GCAP gets the go ahead then later to cut back on the number to be built.
I think we all have legitimate concerns of how the hell this is going to be affordable?

It's sounding like a 'very' expensive programme, even with the fancy 3d printing of airframes etc....

We won't have to wait long, 2025 will be launch and spend, or cancel.....

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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mrclark303 wrote: 21 May 2024, 21:47
Spitfire9 wrote: 21 May 2024, 19:48 So what happens to the new technologies being developed when it comes to assessing what to incorporate in Tempest if it goes ahead? Are some abandoned as being unaffordable? Are some shelved, to be developed when funds allow? Are some downgraded to make then affordable? What one wants to avoid is spending a shedload of money after GCAP gets the go ahead then later to cut back on the number to be built.
I think we all have legitimate concerns of how the hell this is going to be affordable?

It's sounding like a 'very' expensive programme, even with the fancy 3d printing of airframes etc....

We won't have to wait long, 2025 will be launch and spend, or cancel.....
In the event of the next election being won by Labour, I can see them going all in on Tempest or something similar as a demonstration of their commitment to the armed forces, much as they did with the QLZ carriers after 1997.

To me, Tempest seems like a good one to go with because most of the groundwork has been done by the recent governments.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Pseudo wrote: 23 May 2024, 00:12
In the event of the next election being won by Labour, I can see them going all in on Tempest or something similar as a demonstration of their commitment to the armed forces, much as they did with the QLZ carriers after 1997.
The 1998 SDSR supported looking at 30-40,000 tonne carriers. I wouldn't call it a demonstration of commitment to the armed forces.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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tomuk wrote: 23 May 2024, 01:09
Pseudo wrote: 23 May 2024, 00:12
In the event of the next election being won by Labour, I can see them going all in on Tempest or something similar as a demonstration of their commitment to the armed forces, much as they did with the QLZ carriers after 1997.
The 1998 SDSR supported looking at 30-40,000 tonne carriers. I wouldn't call it a demonstration of commitment to the armed forces.
And the Labour government that produced that SDSR ended up deciding the current carrier were the way to go. Who'd have thunk it? You appear to be suggesting that we should probably expect more from a future Labour government than their initial pledges.

That's got to be better than gapping maritime patrol and adding almost a third to the build cost of said carriers with a cockamanie scheme to convert them them to CATOBAR.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Pseudo wrote: 23 May 2024, 03:08
tomuk wrote: 23 May 2024, 01:09
Pseudo wrote: 23 May 2024, 00:12
In the event of the next election being won by Labour, I can see them going all in on Tempest or something similar as a demonstration of their commitment to the armed forces, much as they did with the QLZ carriers after 1997.
The 1998 SDSR supported looking at 30-40,000 tonne carriers. I wouldn't call it a demonstration of commitment to the armed forces.
And the Labour government that produced that SDSR ended up deciding the current carrier were the way to go. Who'd have thunk it? You appear to be suggesting that we should probably expect more from a future Labour government than their initial pledges.

That's got to be better than gapping maritime patrol and adding almost a third to the build cost of said carriers with a cockamanie scheme to convert them them to CATOBAR.
No, as I think as you already know from the tone of your post, I don't think the the 1998 SDSR was a commitment to the armed forces.

As to your comparison with 'the other guys', Nimrod was a sad disaster of a programme that was never going to work and the prevarication over catobar cost about £100m before wiser heads prevailed and the original STOVL config was returned to.

Is this what we're going to have to put up with for the next six weeks? Partisan posts from supporters trying to convince us that their party is good for defence when in reality it is far down the list of priorities of all the parties and the public.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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tomuk wrote: 23 May 2024, 05:48
Pseudo wrote: 23 May 2024, 03:08
tomuk wrote: 23 May 2024, 01:09
Pseudo wrote: 23 May 2024, 00:12
In the event of the next election being won by Labour, I can see them going all in on Tempest or something similar as a demonstration of their commitment to the armed forces, much as they did with the QLZ carriers after 1997.
The 1998 SDSR supported looking at 30-40,000 tonne carriers. I wouldn't call it a demonstration of commitment to the armed forces.
And the Labour government that produced that SDSR ended up deciding the current carrier were the way to go. Who'd have thunk it? You appear to be suggesting that we should probably expect more from a future Labour government than their initial pledges.

That's got to be better than gapping maritime patrol and adding almost a third to the build cost of said carriers with a cockamanie scheme to convert them them to CATOBAR.
No, as I think as you already know from the tone of your post, I don't think the the 1998 SDSR was a commitment to the armed forces.

As to your comparison with 'the other guys', Nimrod was a sad disaster of a programme that was never going to work and the prevarication over catobar cost about £100m before wiser heads prevailed and the original STOVL config was returned to.

Is this what we're going to have to put up with for the next six weeks? Partisan posts from supporters trying to convince us that their party is good for defence when in reality it is far down the list of priorities of all the parties and the public.
I'm sure that I know from the tone of your post that you might need to remind yourself that the contract for the Nimrod MRA4 was awarded in 1996, under the Conservative government of the day. You may also want to reflect that its dramatic cancellation by the then Conservative government in 2010 led to a gap in the UK's maritime patrol capability and a desperate and expensive contract to purchase a small number of P-8.

As ever it's up to you whether you want to put up with discussion over the next six weeks or any other six weeks for that matter. ;)

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Well at least it will keep us awake unlike the actual election which is shaping up as the bore to end all bores

Looking rationally - Maingate on Tempest is 2025. Everything is set up. The partnership is in place the concept work is promising, a couple of thousand have been recruited (mainly in the north) and the threat picture is high. It would be a brave call for a 1 year old government to pull the plug
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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SD67 wrote: 23 May 2024, 06:36 Well at least it will keep us awake unlike the actual election which is shaping up as the bore to end all bores

Looking rationally - Maingate on Tempest is 2025. Everything is set up. The partnership is in place the concept work is promising, a couple of thousand have been recruited (mainly in the north) and the threat picture is high. It would be a brave call for a 1 year old government to pull the plug
That's more or less the point that I was making initially, that I'd expect Tempest to continue in the event of a change of government. It seems like the sort of "signature" national defence project that a future government of either party will be fairly eager to get behind.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Hasn't labour already confirmed they will match the 2.5% of GDP defense spending promised by the Tories? They are probably more likely to achieve it as they will not match the cut to NI that the Tories are aiming for.
What worries me in regard to Tempest is Labour will want to cosy back up to the EU and to do that France and Germany especially may want to join up on tempest as their own project appears to stuck on the usual fights over france getting 90% work share. Adding them to tempest when we already have Italy and Japan would just descend into chaos.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Who knows but I feel the Project is just too far along. Japan in particular are on a China-driven timeline and if there's going to be years of Euro-faff they could just walk. In fact they may well already have a veto on new partners as part of the agreements signed
I see the cosying up to the EU as likely more in the realms of economic or social policy
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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SD67 wrote: 23 May 2024, 06:36 Well at least it will keep us awake unlike the actual election which is shaping up as the bore to end all bores

Looking rationally - Maingate on Tempest is 2025. Everything is set up. The partnership is in place the concept work is promising, a couple of thousand have been recruited (mainly in the north) and the threat picture is high. It would be a brave call for a 1 year old government to pull the plug
We can hope, it has much in its it's favour as a programme.

It's hard to get past the huge injection of cash that's going to be needed and sustained though.

Let's all not pretend that it it will be a Labour government that runs it though. The Tories have no chance, the pendulum of Westminster politics is about to swing the other way, as is the custom after one party has been in power for years....

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