The Tempest project has been given an “amber/red” rating by the Infrastructure Project Authority, warning more funding is required or their could be a delay in the aircraft entering service.
According to the 2021 Annual Report on the Government Major Projects Portfolio from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, which can be found here, Tempest is categorised with a level of risk.
Through the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy the Future Combat Air System received investment for the first 4-years to complete the Concept and Assessment Phase. A phase that will complete an Alternative System Review of the Future Combat Air System including the Core Platform, as well as establishing the international partnerships.
The level of investment was significantly less than required, however it preserves the feasibility of the programme within current parameters, but adds significant overall programme risk, particularly to the assumed date for Initial Operating Capability. The Concept and Assessment Phase will provide the evidence for Programme viability including level of additional investment and/or other options for the provision of Combat Air. Investments and milestones beyond this phase are subject to a margin of error in terms of time, cost and performance that will be refined prior to the next decision gate.”
What does ‘Amber/Red’ mean?
The IPA describe this rating in the following way:
“Successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas. Urgent action is needed to address these problems and/or assess whether resolution is feasible.”
What is Tempest?
Tempest is the RAF’s next generation combat aircraft, coming into service from 2035 to replace the Typhoon.
The report goes a bit more in-depth than I just have.:
“Future Combat Air will play a vital role in the United Kingdom’s military strategic capabilities for decades to come, enabling us to defend the United Kingdom, our allies, and make a decisive contribution to global security. The Future Combat Air Systems Programme will design and deliver innovative systems of highly networked crewed and uncrewed air vehicles, sensors and effectors to be able to operate in a range of complex and evolving threat environments and preserve operational advantage for future decades.”