The UK’s sixth generation Tempest fighter jet has moved a step closer to reality after the UK Department of Defense (MOD) awarded BAE Systems a £ 250 million ($ 348 million) contract to begin the concept and evaluation phase of the program.
As a cornerstone of the British Future Combat Air System, the Tempest is being developed by MOD, BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce as part of a trilateral agreement with Italy and Sweden. When it enters service in 2035, it will work alongside the Typhoon Eurofighter and the Lockheed Martin F5 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter before finally replacing them in the 2040s.
The Tempest’s twin-engine delta wing will include artificial intelligence, machine learning, & autonomous systems that will enable the craft to act as a flight command & control center, while the pilot acts as a senior officer rather than a dog fighter. In addition, Tempest will have abundant excess electrical energy that will enable it to carry hypersonic missiles, control swarms of drones, & run-laser weapons.
“Working with our industrial partners and the Department of Defense, we are on track to create an ambitious program for the UK that will provide highly advanced & sophisticated air defense capabilities capable of countering future threats and ensuring our national-security and defense.” says Chris Boardman, Group managing-director BAE Systems’ Air Industry Sector.
The tech research originally published on BAE System.