The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the Tempest supersonic stealth fighter will replace the roles currently fulfilled by the Typhoon aircraft.
Baroness Goldie, The Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded to a parliamentary written question by Lord West of Spithead about the Tempest’s role in future combat air capabilities.
“The UK capability to deliver ‘Control of the Air’ beyond Typhoon out of service date has been described in the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) Concept of Employment and supporting documents. This requirement describes an integrated system of systems, in which the core platform is currently referred to as Tempest,” said Baroness Goldie.
She added, “In line with the Integrated Review, we are continuing to develop Future Combat Air System (FCAS) as a replacement for the capabilities provided by our Typhoon aircraft. Advances in technology mean it is being designed to deliver an even larger range and depth of capabilities than current platforms to address emerging threats, including greater networked interoperability with uncrewed aircraft and F-35. FCAS will, therefore, replace the UK Typhoon roles and will complement the F-35 fleet but not replace it.”
The Future Combat Air System is an integrated system that aims to provide the UK military with greater control of the air beyond the Typhoon’s service life. The Tempest supersonic stealth fighter will serve as the core platform of the system. According to Baroness Goldie, “analysis is ongoing to determine specific quantities of platforms needed to satisfy the UK defence needs. This includes crewed and uncrewed collaborative platforms.”
The Tempest is being designed to provide a more extensive range of capabilities than current platforms, using the latest technological advancements to address emerging threats effectively. Baroness Goldie noted that the Tempest is being developed with “greater networked interoperability with uncrewed aircraft and F-35.” This interoperability will enable the Tempest to work in conjunction with the F-35 fleet while replacing the Typhoon’s role in the UK’s air defence system.