Why Britain's Tempest, And Not The F-35, Is The Future Of Air Combat
Drone swarms, lasers, and more... read
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April 16, 2020 - by Sebastien Roblin for nationalinterest.org
With a flourish of a silk curtain at the Farnborough Air Show on July 16, British defense secretary Gavin Williamson unveiled a full-scale model of the Tempest, the UK's concept for a domestically built twin-engine stealth fighter to enter service in the 2030s.
The Tempest will supposedly boast a laundry list of sixth-generation technologies such as being optionally-manned, mounting hypersonic or directed energy weapons, and capability to deploy and control drone swarms. However, it may also represent a Brexit-era gambit to revive defense cooperation with Germany and France.
London has seeded "Team Tempest" with £2 billion ($2.6 billion) for initial development through 2020. Major defense contractor BAE System is leading development with the Royal Air Force, with Rolls Royce contributing engines, European firm MBDA integrating weapons, and Italian company Leonardo developing sensors and avionics.