Japan will now work with the United States instead of Britain to develop a new fighter jet, according to local media.

Sankei News reports that Japan has decided to create a working group of local and U.S. aerospace companies for the development of the successor to the Japanese F-2 fighter, meaning that Japan will not participate in the Tempest project.

The report added that Britain lost the race for the joint development programme as it “wants to have the lead and Japan is unwilling to participate in joint development with other countries in the Tempest program”.

Last month, the firms involved in the Tempest programme (BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo’s UK arm and MBDA) increased the number of people working on the project from 1,000 to 2,500.

Team Tempest Future Combat Air System concept. Copyright BAE Systems

What is Tempest?

The project, named ‘Tempest’ is designed to showcase key technologies that will be important in the future. The jet, might end up looking nothing like the concept model.

BAE say that a future combat air system must be able to survive the most challenging combat environments meaning that payload-range, speed and manoeuvrability will be key.

“We expect that the system will be equipped with a range of sensors including radio frequency, active and passive electro-optical sensors and advanced electronic support measures to detect and intercept threats.”

The system say the defence giant, is likely to operate with kinetic and non-kinetic weapons.

A BAE produced concept image of a rear-firing laser on Tempest via BAE.

The integration of Laser Directed Energy Weapons for self-defence and use within visual range combat is also highly likely. The use of directed energy weapons on aircraft is becoming reality as the US Air Force will shortly begin testing a laser that will be mounted on an F-15.

“We have got tests starting this summer and the flight tests next summer,” Jeff Stanley, deputy assistant secretary of the US Air Force for science, technology and engineering, told reporters.

“There are still some technical challenges that we have to overcome, mainly size, weight, power.”

The Pentagon last year awarded a $26 million contract to Lockheed Martin for a laser program called SHiELD (Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator). The overall aim is to put a laser system on aircraft with an output of about 50 kw to test their ability against unmanned aircraft and missiles.

Another key talking point is the ability to deploy and manage air launched ‘swarming’ Unmanned Air Vehicles through a flexible payload bay allows the system to address dangerous Anti-Access Area Denial environments. In the US, Phase III of a programme that will see C-130 aircraft drop drone swarms has now started according to reports.
Concept imagery of Tempest dropping drones via BAE.

Another driver for the concept say BAE is that air forces of the future ‘will require a fighter system that is highly flexible and can be applied to a wide variety of military operations’, a multi-role aircraft then, which is not really all to different to most new aircraft today.

“Operators will have the ability to rapidly adapt the system to perform new functions or to change its performance. Depending on the mission, ‘role fit’ additions such as low observable conformal fuel tanks, weapons dispensers, air launched UAV dispensers, large modular sensors, long range oblique photography systems for reconnaissance and Laser Directed Energy Weapons could be available. Adaptability will be built into the system design, with systems architectures which support a ‘plug and play’ approach, easily integrating new algorithms and hardware.”

The system will also support ‘scalable autonomy’ say BAE, to provide a number of modes of unmanned operation and a range of pilot decisions aids when manned flight is being conducted. This concept is known to most as ‘optionally manned’.

The Tempest concept aircraft model at the Farnborough International Airshow.

An optionally piloted vehicle is a hybrid between a conventional aircraft and an unmanned aerial vehicle, able to fly with or without a human crew on board the aircraft. The thinking is that, unimpeded by a human’s physiological limitations, an OPV is able to operate under more adverse conditions and/or for greater endurance times.

It is understood that the fighter is being developed jointly by the UK, Italy and Sweden.

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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago

What a surprise! Not. They were always going with the US.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 months ago

Never in any doubt sadly.

geoff
geoff
5 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Good Day Gentlemen. So where to now? Sweden seems the best bet. Italy might be under pressure to bow out from the EU perspective although it was not a barrier for the UK choosing not to work with France for example on Tornado, Typhoon but with us being out of the EU will that hamper co-peration with Italy? And who is likely to buy it if the project goes ahead? It will obviously need volume The USA has huge clout and is not shy to use it in more ways than one! I merely pose these questions but honestly ont… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Afternoon geoff, from a sunny Surrey.

I will pass on this one, not my area.

geoff
geoff
5 months ago

Thanks Daniele from Sunny Lockdown Durban with nowhere to go!

maurice10
maurice10
5 months ago
Reply to  geoff

What matters who is the best at making aircraft? The US is always a better way to risk such a budget, but it does not necessarily mean you have bought the best kit? I’m very comfortable with the UK and Sweden going it alone, however, the old chestnut of having the confidence of successive governments, as both countries could see new political leadership before quantity production is achieved. As seen in the past, brittle national economies can have a significant impact on such a project reaching fruition? The other factor, is the state of the World economy post-COVID-19?

Graham
Graham
5 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Two problems, 1st UK and Sweden can’t afford it, they need partners with lots of cash and 2nd Swedish restrictions on arms sales mean exports will be very limited.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago
Reply to  geoff

The Euro aircraft consortium of France, Germany and Spain basically said no to Italy being a partner. So I personally believe Italy will be a full partner with Tempest. Sweden is also keen on technology transfer and being part of the project. However, does their requirement marry up with Tempest? Historically they want a light-ish multi-role aircraft, predominately a interceptor, that can be used from their road infrastructure. Hence the development of Gripen from Viggen. But then you have to think what do we need and then what are Italy’s need. For us we require a heavy multi-role fighter, that… Read more »

John Fedup
John Fedup
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

After COVID-19 costs are factored in, Italy will be on the verge of default. They would be a partner with no money.

geoff
geoff
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Wow Davey-thanks for a really comprehensive reply

John F. MacMichael
John F. MacMichael
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I love your phrase “…history of throwing their teddies out of the cot…”. Is it your own invention or is it a British idiom that I have not encountered before?

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago

Its a very British phrase. It’s used in the military a lot.

John F. MacMichael
John F. MacMichael
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Thank you. Always good to learn something new.

James M
James M
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

To be fair, I’ve never heard that particular variation. I’ve heard “throwing their toys out of the pram” a fair bit though. Regional differences maybe?

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Good post. I will only add that some of Sweden’s recent paper next gen studies have been twin engined which at least suggests that they are not opposed to the configuration. If so it would certainly help reaching a potential meeting point on the various partner’s preferences.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 months ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

These images are from an official SAAB presentation for a next-generation fighter. It is bigger than the very compact Gripen and has two engines. It has a faceted fuselage with small internal weapon bays for air-to-air missiles. Bigger payload will be carried externally and there will be provision for tight integration with UCAVs. The general arrangement apart from the engines and stealth surfacing is similar to the flying scale demonstrator and this is a strong indication that this general design is highly considered. A V-tail has a lot of advantages for a stealth aircraft. It replaces four (twin-engine fighter jets… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Thanks Davey, really interesting analysis. I agree, there is definitely a stage where too many cooks spoil the broth- I guess we just have to hope that there’s enough funding for something decent between the 3 of us. Would be cool to get Norway, Denmark, or the Netherlands involved too- if only for some extra cash, seeing as we work quite closely with them anyway. I’ve not thought of our need to use Tempest to cover the GIUK gap before, to be honest. Is that truly practical? That’s an awful lot of surface area that would need covering, and I… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

We have been patrolling the GIUK gap properly since the mid 70’s. It was the combination of the Phantom and Victor tankers that gave us the ability to cover the vast distances. The mission was to intercept long range patrol aircraft but also bombers coming around Norway. The Tornado F3 took over this role and was well suited to the role when married to our Sentry and VC10/Tristar tankers. The Typhoon has taken this NATO tasking to a whole new level. However, with the advent of the Su27 and its successors. These long range fighters have been escorting the Bears… Read more »

Cam
Cam
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I wonder if there will be three versions like the f35, can’t see it though. Would be nice to have a carrier version though, and unmanned?

Meirion X
Meirion X
5 months ago
Reply to  Cam

It will be cheaper to convert the carriers to CATOBAR then develop three versions!

Graham
Graham
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

It’s Macron using F-35 participation as a blocker to joining FCAS so France can lead the project while Germany puts up the funding. However Macron will probably be one term and a French president with a better understanding of the difficulties and cost can reverse that stance. FCAS really needs to be the Eurofighter nations plus France to have a real chance of success otherwise both projects will be unaffordable and likely to fail. Macron is the problem once he’s gone lets see where we are.

Trevor
Trevor
5 months ago

Yes, but it’s not a ‘US/Japan project’ is it. It reads as a Japan project but working with some US companies. It’s not 2 countries, US and Japan, working together. I read it as 3 projects… The inevitable US one, ours and Japan. Plus France/Germany. 4. It always looked as if, for what ever reason, the Japanese want to build a plane of their own. 4 western projects, only the Americans will build in significant numbers. I wonder what the criteria are for this Japanese project. On related matters, Can a pencil like beam, I know at the speed of… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
5 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Simple answer is yes. But… 1. How big is the target you are trying to hit and is it visible. If you are using the laser to dazzle sensors on a IR homing missile for example the seeker head has to be pointing at your platform, so it is a self defence only weapon i.e. not a lot of use in an escort role; 2. Even if the target is visible can you achieve the required targetting accuracy, probably not at long ranges, hence the article suggests ‘visual’ ranges (which refers to the mark one eye ball). 3. Dwell time… Read more »

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
5 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Yes it seems they have a working prototype but only works in none of the configurations that such a weapon would require to be usable. That said you have to start somewhere to get to the ultimate (Z) version and while the A version is nearly always impractical its how long to get to a letter version in-between that and the ultimate where it starts to be useable in practice.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

A number of aircraft now carry directional infra-red countermeasures (DIRCM). The most basic form of this is where a small turret shines a very bright modulated light source at an incoming missile. However, missiles such as ASRAAM have a home on jam mode. The ASRAAM sensor also has automatic shuttering (blinking), so its not blinded. Missiles with this capability has led to the replacement of the light source by a multi-band laser. A number of aircraft now use these, such as the Su57 and the Queens Flight 146s. These work on a similar principle, where usually passive senors detect the… Read more »

dave12
dave12
5 months ago

Not good news for Global Britain post brexit and you got China in the mix so the commonwealth is not going to help either.

Meirion X
Meirion X
5 months ago
Reply to  dave12

You seem to want to bite the hand that feeds you!

dave12
dave12
5 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Nope I hope I’m wrong ,we can only hope in getting more done with the Canadians and Ozzies like the T26 project.

Meirion X
Meirion X
5 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Sorry, just not in good mood tonight!

Meirion X
Meirion X
5 months ago
Reply to  dave12

I would like the UK have better relations with Taiwan. Much more trustworthy than China! They would be a good partner for projects I think.

dave12
dave12
5 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

No worries ,on Taiwan I think the US has got Taiwan tied up like japan , I can only see Sweden, Canada, and the Ozzies coming in to the project.

Meirion X
Meirion X
5 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Also, No one ever talks about Portugal.
Uk has had a treaty with them for hundreds of years! They were on our side in the Napoleonic Wars.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Britain’s oldest ally I read.

Doubt Portugal would want a combat aircraft of Tempests capabilities?

I think they have F16 still.

Martin
Martin
5 months ago

in 20 years from now they will end up knocking out F35 copies at triple the Lockheed price.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
5 months ago

This is a political matter for Japan, they don’t want a repeat of what happened with the F2. To that end they want technology insertion not a derivative of another nations design.

Considering the deep long term relationship between the US and Japanese Aerospace industry when it comes to fighter production this was all but inevitable.

I am expecting Italy to change its mind at some point as well and join the Franco/German effort for a next generation fighter.

Mike
Mike
5 months ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

Undoubtably the UK government habit of killing promising aerospace projects for political reason will have influenced the Japanese. They didn’t want to invest not inconsiderable sums of time and money without some kind of guarantee they won’t be left high and dry at the end.
Can’t say I blame them, my scepticism this project will not get sacrificed has existed since day one.

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Which such projects are you thinking off that would be comparable.
Which co-operative projects have we ditched out of?
The USA scrapped Skybolt. We dropped TSR2, but that was our own airplane.

Mike
Mike
5 months ago

I was thinking of the TSR 2 , and yes I know it was not a collaborative project but it was still an cutting edge fighter that was cancelled just at the time the major problems were ironed out.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike

UK has been a much better partner on Multi-National defence partnerships than the French (always trying to take over and get the lions share of the work while stealing other countries IP) and the Germans joining, then getting cold feet and trying to wiggle out of it.

Mike
Mike
5 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

Knowing some of the history behind the Typhoon development I cannot disagree with your comments regarding the French and the Germans.
I will confess when the collaboration between France and Germany on a sixth Gen fighter was announced , I had a little chuckle to myself and wished the French good luck keeping the Germans onboard.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
5 months ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

My understanding from what I read last year is that Italy did not like the joining conditions being imposed by France. So they joined our project with the hope that they could convince the two teams to join up later on. Given France’s nationalistic approach to multinational programmes like this I don’t see them changing their approach at anytime so it might be that Germany gets fed up and switches teams instead. That, if it happened, is a long way off as yet. If I was leading the UK effort I’d go looking to smaller technically capable European NATO allies… Read more »

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
5 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Part of the reason Britain didn’t want to work with Germany is its tough export controls which made exports of the Eurofighter and other British military products with German content much harder. France and Germany seem to have come to an understanding of each to his own on this project now but they had been wrangling about it for most of the last year.

Graham
Graham
5 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Wait till you see Sweden’s export controls if you think Germany’s are tough

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
5 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

As things stand Italy absolutely despises both France and Germany for previous political acts as it sees it and the recent report on the EU’s lack of support for Italy during COVID is hardly going to heal the present rift. That said the gestation period on these projects is such that who knows what Govermental and political changes will take place.

Paul42
Paul42
5 months ago

To be honest, at the end of the day, I reckon with all the knowledge and experience gained with the F22 and F35, plus the technology the US effort will out class anything BAE comes up with.

Ron5
Ron5
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Like the F-15 is superior to Typhoon?

Paul42
Paul42
5 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

F35 and F22 are superior to Typhoon

Ethan
Ethan
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

In what way? Stealth, maybe. It isn’t fair to compare the F35, a 5th gen fighter coming on 30 years younger than the Typhoon. The F22 is of similar age. Like I said, the F22 only truly has an edge in RCS. Tranche 3 Typhoons have an excellent avionics suite of jammers and sensors, not to mention a wide array of world leading weaponry like the Meteor. The Typhoon is a much more modernised jet compared to the F22.

Paul42
Paul42
5 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

By all means climb into a Typhoon and attempt to take out an F22, you’ll be dead before you know it. Having designed and built 2 x 5th generation warplanes the US currently dominates this area, with ever more evolving technology being tried and tested as they look forward to the F22 replacement.
I’m sure the eventual unveiling of the SR72 will also give the aviation world something to think about

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

The NATO wargames in the US where Typhoon owned the F22 would tend to point to the fallacy of that belief.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Italian, British and German aircrew have demonstrated that the F22 is not invulnerable. Both the Italians and Brits use the Typhoon’s Pirate IRST to track the F22. The German Typhoons don’t have IRST, so how they defeated the F22 during Red Flag is quite astonishing.

Mike
Mike
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Indeed, the ESCAN radar developed for Typhoon is even better and has been specifically designed to hunt stealth using the sensor fusion of the aircrafts other sensor including the PIRATE system. The Typhoon doesn’t have the Stealth but war games have shown it is far from a sitting duck . Also remember the US will not sell the F22 to foreign customers. It maintenance to flying hours are considerably higher than the Typhoon . The Typhoon is not cheap but is a good bit cheaper than the F22. The Typhoon is only at a disadvantage in BVR but is not… Read more »

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

The US is hardly renowned for producing the leading aircraft of the day its superiority is based on a far wider organisation of its forces and particular technology to cover the sometimes limited capabilities of its airframes. The F22 on paper is a great aircraft and certainly was the best in the World for many years but its capabilities came at a massive price both literally and in terms of usability that in the end got the whole project cancelled as its costs to get it and keep it in the air became almost impossible even for the US which… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
5 months ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

“The US is hardly renowned for producing the leading aircraft of the day”

That is EXACTLY what the US is known for.

julian1
julian1
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

In some aspects, yes, but not all. The latest Typhoon leads in some aspects. The Typhoon works.

Ron5
Ron5
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Missed my point entirely. Which is, there is zero reason top think the UK can’t build an aircraft superior to the F-22 & F-35. Why? Because they’ve done it before e.g. Typhoon being better than F-15 which was king of the hill at the time Typhoon was born.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

The US binned the more technically advanced YF23 along with the GE variable cycle engines that allowed it super-cruise above Mach 1.6. So not everything that comes out of the States is the best.

The YF23 would be a very could foundation for Tempest. Its design has the promise of significantly faster speeds that the F22 due its better aerodynamics conforming to area ruling.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Some interesting reading out there that although officially YF23 was binned, it was continued in the black world in limited numbers.

It was superior in many aspects to F22.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago

Yes, I agree. It had a smaller all round RCS than the YF22. It was aerodynamically more efficient, i.e. long and thin rather short and stubby. The thrust deflectors gave the YF22 the edge in high alpha and short take-off. But apparently it was Lockheed business plan and presentation that won it the competition over the Northrop led team.

Meirion X
Meirion X
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Very interesting!
Thanks for this info!

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
5 months ago

Yes its designers were totally shocked that they lost the competition and certainly it is rumoured that the Chinese for one didn’t fall out of love with its overall design.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

Isn’t there a Chinese prototype at the moment that looks like a copy of YF23?

Don’t remember its name, just the image in my head!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago

Just checked. The J20.

Ron5
Ron5
5 months ago

Rubbish. All the YF-23’s ended up in museums.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Morning Ron.

Yes, the YF23 prototypes. I’m talking about a variant of that design developed further as a black world aircraft, not THE actual YF23’s.

As an American you do know you have many undisclosed aircraft don’t you?

Rumours abound. And there is no smoke without fire.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago

There are a lot of rumours that a YF23 type of aircraft was seen in the skies around Edwards. Was it the fabled YF23 development, only the USAF know the answer to that. The YF23 was produced in 1989, aerodynamics, materials and stealth concepts have moved on considerably since then. As Nigel points out, SAAB have a couple of concepts, both a light weight and heavy weight aircraft, with both still using a close coupled canard/delta configuration. This shows that STOL is very much at the front of their requirements. Twin V-tails, twin engines for a greater thrust to weight… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Fascinating reading as always. Your aerospace knowledge is superb.

Graham
Graham
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

OK you won me over, UK, Sweden and Italy are the dream team who needs the French and Germans !

James M
James M
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I was under the impression that the adaptive cycle engine GE was developing was being considered as a future upgrade for F-35, so not yet completely abandoned.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago
Reply to  James M

Apparently, from Block 6 of the F35 program, the F136 is allowed to compete again. The problem with this though, is that the F135 engine has now been in place for at least 10 years. The support infrastructure is all set up, along with maintenance and training. Will existing users of F35 want to trade the F135 for the F136? I could see the benefit if you have a F35B or C, as the engine develops more power. So if you’re operating from a carrier, you have a greater safety margin over weight vs power. For the A will a… Read more »

Steve
Steve
5 months ago

Sounds like Trump is behind this. He was effectively threatening Japan about not using US companies and joining team tempest.

If they wanted a domestic lead program, why on earth would they involve US companies in it, The tech IP for US jets will be owned by the US government and so will only be released if the US lets it happen, which means the program would be under control of the US, which defeats the argument of not joining tempest because they didnt’ want to work with other countries.

Ron5
Ron5
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Paranoid much?

Andy
Andy
5 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

This is exactly what Trump does, it’s all about transactions for him and screw the other guy.

Steve
Steve
5 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Not paranoia, its just drawing a conclusion from a series of events. If Japan had been considering going with US companies, there would have been no reason for Trump to issue the threat only a few weeks ago.

Graham
Graham
5 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Not really, this is how it works with the aircraft the Japanese are intending to replace. US owns the IP and Japan needs permission to make any changes

James M
James M
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Personally I don’t think this had much to do with Trump at all. The JASDF has always been very closely linked to US aviation firms like LM and Boeing. It was pretty much certain that they’d choose to work with the US.

Steve
Steve
5 months ago
Reply to  James M

@James M

I don’t believe in coincidences, especially with this close a timing between the threat being issued and the decision happening.

What we don’t know is if the threat caused the decision, or if the decision was already made secretly, and trump issued the threat to make it look like he impacted the decision.

BB85
BB85
5 months ago

The Japanese where always going to go with the US, they are a far more strategically important partner. I remember Boeing being keen to get involved in Tempest, but a big risk of involving the US is they could kill export chances in favour of 100% US builds. Italy will not be reliable they are completely broke and that was before Covid. We are likely broke too, unless we can partner with someone in the middle East to bank roll this I think it is too risky. The R&D and coding required just to make a new jet design fly… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
5 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Alas BB85, you may well be right…. Japan would have cemented the program and given it a massive injection of money and Japanese technical expertise. Italy will likely withdraw, as moving forward in the ambitious time frame that Tempest requires significant investment right now and increasing year on year. They haven’t got the proverbial pot to piss in now, so projects like Tempest need to be sidelined (simply can’t be justified) in favour of buying more F35’s. Will Tempest survive, that’s an interesting question, depends how much money BAE Systems are prepared to put in to keep up the development… Read more »

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
5 months ago
Reply to  BB85

But as I read it, the Japanese are not joining in with the USA, they want a plane of their own. They want to create ‘a working group’ … this does not sound like a US based project that they can co-partner in, like F35.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Agree BB.

Paul T
Paul T
5 months ago
Reply to  BB85

What might be achievable is an Evolution of Typhoon – all the technical Gizmos and Engines repackaged into a dedicated Stealthy Airframe,that would still be an effective Fighter surely.

Ron5
Ron5
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

WTH do you think Tempest is????

Paul T
Paul T
5 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

A Concept – Nothing More Nothing Less !!!

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

It would be not only interesting, but also beneficial to have a prototype demonstrator, much like the EAP was prior to Typhoon. I do expect Typhoon will be used as test bed for a lot of the avionic systems, perhaps even an engine if it could fit. But a Typhoon wouldn’t be able to prove the aerodynamics or develop the flight control software. Admittedly a lot of this will be proven in the lab and on simulators, but they don’t fully represent the real world and how an aircraft reacts to it. If and when we do get Tempest, I’d… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi DavyB,

I posted this article a while back.

“Leonardo contracts Tempest large-body test aircraft”
Early 20’s apparently.

https://www.janes.com/article/90044/leonardo-contracts-tempest-large-body-test-aircraft

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
5 months ago

Tempest is delusional. There is no way the combined financial, technological, and manufacturing capabilities of the UK and Sweden (and perhaps a destitute Italy) can design and build a fighter jet with the advanced capabilities BAE seeks in the program in sufficient numbers to make it financially viable, even assuming the technologies envisioned are developed. Even less viable after the costs of the coronavirus are added.

dave12
dave12
5 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

The UK has a lager economy then the french and they can make the Rafale.
The UK has the experience and skill to make Tempest but just not enough demand to export it, The US saturates that market.

Ron5
Ron5
5 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

What does “financially viable mean” ? Countries haven’t make profits on fighter aircraft for a long, long time.

Andy
Andy
5 months ago

The UK can go it alone, with or without Italy and Sweden (or Turkey). The Tempest is a system of systems, it doesn’t need to be expensive and it doesn’t need to be exported. The value is in the parts, not the airframe. They haven’t even decided on what this will look like, and that very smart. So the development of hypersonic engines, laser weapons, software, logistics and robotic manufacturing and maintenance can all be developed and tested first. Much like we are doing with future Type 26 engines, we can fly these technologies first and work out the kinks.… Read more »

Steve
Steve
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy

UK can’t go it alone, we won’t have the economy of scale to make the jet cost effective.

Ron5
Ron5
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Once again, what does “cost effective” mean when related top fighter jets? If Tempest helps to deter WW3 does that make it CE?

Steve
Steve
5 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Very simply it means can the UK afford to buy the number it needs on the budget it has available without cutting capability.

Considering we have under-armed ships, outdated tanks/ifv, etc etc or look at the t45 and the constant cuts in numbers due to going it alone, i think its clear the answer is no unless we gain from economy of scale.

Ian
Ian
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Yes Steve……..we could order 20 build 4 over 5 years but pay for 21

BB85
BB85
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy

The problem with the airframe is it is so expensive to design and code the software to make it fly. It took over a decade to code the F35, something that can only be paid for through EOS. The advanced engines and sensors can all be developed for a Typhoon 2.0 and further F35. I’m still not convinced stealth is as effective as claimed. If we could have 2 or 3 Typhoon with the same sensor suite as Tempest it would be far more effective deterent and threat in a real war.

Ron5
Ron5
5 months ago
Reply to  BB85

What the heck is EOS? The software is paid for by the taxpayer.

By the way, the expensive software wasn’t the software to enable the F-35 to fly so you’re completely wrong. It was the software to enable it to fight.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
5 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Interesting BB. When I first read about stealth – revealed to the world by Jimmy Carter fighting for his political life! – I thought at once that the likelihood would be that advances in detection would be swift and wipe out any brief advantage. I notice now the emphasis when discussing stealth seems to be ‘low observability’. I also wondered how easily it might be to programme a computer to recognise that a tennis ball or bird cannot fly that fast! Your thinking on this seems to me to be sound. Typhoon II is realistic and who knows: If it… Read more »

dave12
dave12
5 months ago

Not good news for Global Britain post Brexit and you got China in the mix so the commonwealth is not going to help either.

Meirion X
Meirion X
5 months ago
Reply to  dave12

You said this twice now!
@dave12
Dont you have anything new to say?
You don’t seem to read or analyse the other comments!
You just seem to Sprout whatever comes in your head!

dave12
dave12
5 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Calm yourself Meirion X ,;0

Philippe Geril
Philippe Geril
5 months ago

This is old news as the Japanese press already announced it in March

Mark B
Mark B
5 months ago

We cannot build a plane which just competes with the US it needs to completely outclass our American cousins or we are not get any orders.

1. We need to start with a plank sheet of paper
2. List what we need from a plane in 2040,2050,2060
3. Ensure it is affordable
4. Ensure it is Flexible

If the answer looks like Tempest we should go for it otherwise perhaps we need to think again. It is good to think with the heart but we must listen to the brain

Paul T
Paul T
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

Mark B – Point 3 is the problem,to produce an Aircraft that outclasses what the US can produce is simply way beyond our financial means.

Mark B
Mark B
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

In which case the options suggest a consortium including the Americans or perhaps thinking outside the box, maybe skipping the next step and moving directly to inexpensive UAV swarms or something like that?

A lot of traditionalists might baulk at that but there is a lot of tech changes in the pipeline and we want to be involved in the winning strategy. Time to think out of the box?

dan
dan
5 months ago

Not surprising since if they had gone with Tempest they would be just 1 of many with input on a final product while with the U.S. they are the main country with the majority say in the outcome.

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
5 months ago
Reply to  dan

I think Tempest best hope for survival lies in the fact that there is every chance that Bae will become an American company in the foreseeable future without it. Equally RR which is hardly in a great financial state with its engine reliability hit which it is only just overcoming this year or was till the COVID no doubt hits its revenue stream will struggle without a similar project to inject a development and profit stream. Global Britain could soon hit the buffers certainly psychologically, if two of its major world renowned companies exit the ship in one way or… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
5 months ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

The French make sure they have got Stakes in their strategic industries!

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
5 months ago

Theres a bit more to the story coming out of Japan. They have rejected three licensing offers for basing the F3 on a foreign design. Lockheed Martin offered the opportunity to create a hybrid of the F-35 and F-22, Boeing offered a derivative of the F-18 and BAE offered a derivative of the Eurofighter. They have also rejected all offers of full partnerships, the Tempest as they want to be the lead partner with a high workshare rather than a junior partner and Britain refused the Japanese offer to be a Junior in Tempest and also American joint development offers… Read more »

r cummingse
r cummingse
5 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I very much doubt that we have the money or political determination to develop Tempest. Advanced fighters are a political-industrial contest between nations seeking to be in the top industrial tier and depend on copious government finance. Only a handful of nations are prepared to invest the vast sums needed – the USA, China, Russia, Japan, and France. The best alternative.to having to buy whatever the US is offering would have been a European successor to Typhoon, building on that very successful design. But France politically wants to lead the fast jet field, as Airbus does the civil and multi-engine… Read more »

StraySun
StraySun
5 months ago

Japan’s major media constantly makes misleaded article or fakenews like CNN.
Several monthes ago, Japan goverment officially decided that domestically make F-3 & a joint development a system about interoperability with the U.S. though, something else aren’t known. Most of articles aren’t truth.

Ron5
Ron5
5 months ago

Lots of folks here arguing that UK shouldn’t develop Tempest. I wonder how many are actually UK citizens.

Meirion X
Meirion X
5 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

The same thing was said about the Typhoon after the Berlin Wall came down! We didn’t need them, Russia has gone away!

Meirion X
Meirion X
5 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Good job we didn’t listen to those anti defence voices back in the 90s, we wouldn’t have good fighter jet to defend our airspace!

expat
expat
5 months ago

May be mute point anyway, we’ll need to see what the economic fall out from the current crisis looks like before we continue to commit to continuing a future fighter programme. We all know defence is the sacrificial lamb when budgets are stretched. btw it not my opinion that defence spending should be cut just pointing out what I think may be the outcome.

T.S
5 months ago

If tempest gives us capabilities that will stay relevant for a number of decades, then we should build it. However, my thinking is that maybe we shouldn’t be looking at this in regards to selling them as whole planes. Unlikely we will sell many. If we can get an edge on some of the high tech parts – It’s all the components built into the plane that could be good earners for others to use on different platforms maybe? Ie the engines, especially if reaction engines get involved, the drone swarms the lasers etc.

Cam
Cam
5 months ago

That was obvious considering how many Japanese/USA millitary projects they share. Can’t compete with a superpower but we should give them a run for their money hopefully with tempest. I wonder what country japan didnt want to work with in the tempest group?

Harold
Harold
5 months ago

They will be considering cut backs in military spending as well. Japan is in almost as much of a financial mess as the UK.

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago
Reply to  Harold

No they won’t due to their strategic location! Come on son make an effort to know some subject matter knowledge.

dave12
dave12
5 months ago
Reply to  Harold

The UK has a larger economy than Russia twice the size in fact and it is much more diverse Haroldski!!! enjoy the cheap Russian oil it depends on for export lol!!

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago
Reply to  Harold

Japan will never cut back on defence spending especially now that China have two carriers and two large LHDs, complete with supporting LPDs and a fully functioning escort group. The third Type 075 LHD is more than 2/3 through its build and they’ve already started on their CATOBAR carrier. The J20 aircraft is being developed to be flown of their carriers and will be a significant threat to Japan’s 4th gen aircraft. Then there’s the minor issue over the Senkaku Islands, where oil has been found. The Chinese have been using fishing boats and their coastguard vessels to harass Japanese… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Harold never ceases to amaze us all with his consistent lack of knowledge mate!