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UK's Tempest sixth-generation fighter programme

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--- Quote ---Leonardo to provide Tempest large-body test aircraft
24 July 2019

Announced at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford in Gloucestershire on 19 July, the contract will see the company provide a modified Boeing 757 testbed aircraft to test systems and sensors destined for the future Tempest fighter, as well as supporting capability enhancements for the current Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning.

The MoD did not provide a contract value, but noted that the testbed aircraft will come into service in the early 2020s.

Leonardo is one of four primary industrial partners on the Tempest programme that is being developed by the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S); the others being BAE Systems, MBDA UK, and Rolls-Royce.

Due to enter service in the early 2030s, the Tempest is being developed "from the inside out", according to the MoD, with the emphasis on the systems and sensors rather than the airframe that will accommodate them.

BAE Systems has previously noted it will feature a flexible payload; adaptable airframe; long-range sensing; laser direct-energy weapons; advanced materials; intelligent maintenance; dynamically reconfigurable architecture; cyber protection; MUM-T; trusted artificial intelligence reasoning; and a future 'wearable' cockpit. Future powerplants are being explored also, with the RAF recently touting the notion of hypersonic (Mach 5+) technologies and engines being developed for future platforms.
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Leonardo will provide a 757 testbed aircraft to test technologies destined for the Tempest future fighter (pictured), and to support capability enhancements for the Typhoon and Lightning. Source: Crown Copyright


--- Quote ---UK seeks ‘flexible’ approach to Tempest fighter aircraft partnerships
08 August 2019

Tempest is in a conceptual and technology assessment stage, and Bollom said the United Kingdom expects to leverage developments under way in sensors, low-observable technology, and more.

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The Tempest programme is expected to field an operational combat aircraft for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) sometime in the 2030s. Tempest would be part of a wider system intended to include unmanned aircraft and other capabilities. The programme currently includes BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK, and Rolls-Royce, and Sweden's addition could potentially add Saab to the programme.

The UK MoD is still looking for other states to join the effort but does not want partnerships only for the sake of work-sharing, Bollom told Jane's on 8 August. "My aspiration for this, in the first instance, is rather than setting up a project with fairly rigid workshare arrangements, that we get together in a collaborative way; we look at what each of the partners can bring to the project, and we set the project and the air system up on the basis of the best technology fit."
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--- Quote ---Rolls-Royce touts ‘world-first’ engine tech for Tempest
10 January 2020

The effort, which has to date been running for five years, is geared towards managing “unprecedented levels of electrical power demand and thermal load … within the context of a stealthy aircraft.” The goal is to provide both the thrust to propel the aircraft and the electrical power required for all the systems, while managing the resulting thermal loads.

According to Rolls-Royce, the Tempest effort builds on earlier work to address future aircraft power demands. In 2014 it designed an electrical starter-generator that was fully embedded in the core of a gas turbine engine, now known as the Embedded Electrical Starter Generator (E2SG) demonstrator programme.
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