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.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_720438)
1 year ago

We need decent maritime strike. Something that can launch a large AShM from well outside enemy SAM range. I don’t think we’ve had an air launched AShM(Martlet is a far lighter missile for “up to” corvette sized ships) since Sea Eagle was retired.

Louis
Louis (@guest_720452)
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

Not to be pedantic but I think Harpoon was our last air launched heavy ASHM.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_720482)
1 year ago
Reply to  Louis

Harpoon was for the Nimrod MR2 and will be carried over to the P8,Sea Eagle was the weapon of choice for the Fighter Fleet.

Rudeboy
Rudeboy (@guest_721420)
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Air launched Harpoon was got rid of years ago….

Any Harpoon on P-8 will be loaned from US stocks..

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_722229)
1 year ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

I meant the capability rather than the actual Missiles – and if we get fresh stocks from the US all the better 🤗

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_722291)
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Not that you want your very expensive, large slow and rare ASW asset playing maritime strike.

Malcrf
Malcrf (@guest_720477)
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

Sounds like we need a Buccaneer with EJ200s and modern avionics. That’s do the job!

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_720483)
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcrf

Always a big fan of the old Buccaneer. But we just need to get a modern AShM & get our fighters able to carry & use it, as well as our P-8s.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_720753)
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

👍

Heraclius
Heraclius (@guest_720518)
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcrf

There used to be something called TSR 2.

Malcrf
Malcrf (@guest_723769)
1 year ago
Reply to  Heraclius

My favourite aircraft, but the Buccaneer is proven as a fast stable low-flying platform. Updated it would do an excellent job.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_749742)
8 months ago
Reply to  Malcrf

Maybe we have the talent to design a new modern version.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_749744)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

I’ve always believed that using th innovations of the Pas that could be done toda early carriers made from retired battlcruisers e.t.c we lost ocean without any obvious thoughts about what would take up the gap in capability.in the past we’d have had no issues, and a ship from trade would have been bought and adapted. I’m all for a bay class with the superstructure removed and replaced by a full length deck. Look at pictures of one and it’s easy to see. Many nations include missile boats in the fleet inventor, we don’t. The omani and Thai navys have… Read more »

Malcrf
Malcrf (@guest_749749)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Just stick some EJ200s and modern avionics in the Buccaneer and jobs a good’un.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_720481)
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

We have the perfect platform in the F35b.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_720540)
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

I read recently (on Janes I think) that the RAAF here in 🇦🇺 are looking at integrating the LRASM as well as the JSM onto the F35As and likely P-8s too. UK can do the same. Even modify Storm Shadow for AShM strike.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_749740)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

At five times the price

Kn
Kn (@guest_720564)
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

Do you mean sea venom for corvette size targets i thought martlet was much lighter for small boats

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_723662)
1 year ago
Reply to  Kn

My bad Kn, I did mean Sea Venom. Thanks for pointing it out.

Tom Riley
Tom Riley (@guest_720812)
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

F35 will have antiship missiles

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_723663)
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

Sorry everyone, I put Martlet instead of Sea Venom.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_766619)
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

There MUST BE A VSTOL VERSION OF THE TEMPEST or the u.k carriers will have to operate non current aircraft

David
David (@guest_720443)
1 year ago

I hope we actually get Tempest in decent numbers. The RAF/RN had to give up F-35 orders to help pay for the project (which is now why we’re getting only ~70 F-35s maximum instead of the original 138), which isn’t enough to support two carrier air wings.

That’s British defence procurement for you – rob Peter to pay Paul. Anyone recall the RN had to give up Type 45 ships 7 and 8 to bring forward Type 26?

There never seems be any new money for defence but plenty of political lip service! Well, I suppose that’s because it’s free!

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_720448)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

The RN has had the lions share of major funding in recent years. It is possible that F35 orders have been slower than expected because the platform is not as mature as expected by this point. Ultimately the numbers should be adequate for the RN needs – with the RAF shifting to Tempest me thinks. Also both services will be thinking where drones fit into the mix as that technology matures. I’m not sure that it’s the numbers that concerns me it’s the effort to stay at the leading edge & to achieve the right mix in the right numbers… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_720466)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

F35 numbers haven’t been cut to fund Tempest. In 2025 the MOD will decide on F35 numbers past the current planned 74. The 138 over the life of the project still stands. That doesn’t mean 138 are going to be purchased in one go. But more F35B’s could be ordered in the future to replace earlier models. The carrier’s will be in service until at least 2070. They will need F35B’s to match the life of the carrier’s. Unless unmanned aircraft have completely taken centre stage by then

Pete
Pete (@guest_720586)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I recall when the original plan @1999 was for the 138 F35 to pretty quickly replace the @300+ then operational Harrier GR7 / SHAR / Jaguars and Tornado GR 1/4s

What wasn’t being replaced by F35 was the Tornado F3 fleet which was to be replaced by eurofighter.

The F35 138 ‘life of project’ language came in much much later….ho hum

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_720591)
1 year ago
Reply to  Pete

It did indeed. In a perfect world, an F35A purchase would be to replace Tornado GR4 capability and F35B for carrier strike. Along with Typhoon fleet.

Andy
Andy (@guest_721047)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

The F35 C should been brought over the B, it can carry more go further and is cheaper. But they changed the carriers to fit the 35B (made them samller) and tied it in for the next 50 years plus of Defence. The RAF should really be buying the A model now and giving the current Bs plus another 40 of them for the RN maintaining the air wing for them. Tempest is looking like it’s going to a different beast all together with the large multinational armed forces involved with a lot of different requirements needed. Hopefully it doesn’t… Read more »

Simon
Simon (@guest_721597)
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy

Tempest is unmanned , it’s therefore a drone. Can see the advantages of a cheap low cost low maintenance gen 5+ manned fighter given what we know now after f35, but what is tempest going to be?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_720469)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

“Anyone recall the RN had to give up Type 45 ships 7 and 8 to bring forward Type 26″ Oh, yes. The irony. There are many, many other examples over the last 3 decades, it is not a new phenomenon. The “Defence of the Realm” series on TV from the mid 90s had Com 5 Airborne Bde bemoaning that to get more kit for the then “officially stood up” Pathfinder Platoon would mean robbing Peter to pay Paul. ( Pathfinder Platoon by the way had existed for some time already, but its funding came from elsewhere and it lacked its… Read more »

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_720527)
1 year ago

The F35B VSTOL equipment makes it a very heavy aircraft, which means reduced range and payload and reliance on air refueling – unless the carriers are closer to the enemy. It is said to be difficult to fly and requires a lot of maintenance between sorties. It is also very expensive. Even the USAF is reducing the numbers of older aircraft types to pay for their F35 program

The F35B needs the long range stand off missile Meteor to realise its potential. The quicker the better, 2027 is a long way off

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_720528)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

You won’t find a single F35 pilot who will say it’s difficult to fly. The exact opposite, in fact. Compared to the Harrier, or any fast jet, it’s an absolute dream to fly. And carrys considerably more fuel than a Typhoon.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_720555)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Yes, I was about to comment to David that I recall reading that the Harrier was a difficult aircraft, and it’s still regarded as a great aircraft regardless.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_720567)
1 year ago

The Harrier GR7 airframe was a big improvement over earlier versions of the Harrier, and hover performance and handling was much better. But it was still patting your head and rubbing your tummy kind of handling when in the hover. F35B is like driving an automatic. One push of a button and the computer does the rest. It’s rock solid stable in the hover, and the flight controls stay the same as conventional flight. It’s designed, so it requires a lot less brain capacity just to land. Seeing the F35B up close with the lift fan, it really is a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_720576)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Agree mate.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_720584)
1 year ago

Enjoy the Coronation if you are watching, mate. Hopefully, the weather will hold out for the flypast. 🇬🇧

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_720659)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Seen most of it, don’t see FP happening?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_720676)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Well they had some rotary up and the Reds, but you could barely see them in the mists and the rest was canned. Oh well, HM won’t mind and we’ve seen such fly pasts many, many times. BBC commentary is usually pretty clueless too but they had an AC on to provide the facts.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_720775)
1 year ago

Yeah shame about the fly past. Can’t help the weather though. So much practice and hard work goes into these fly pasts. Oh well, there will be others 👍🇬🇧

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_720544)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

We also require enough pilots to fly them.

LINK

F-35B 14,700 kg Range: 1,667 km
F-35A 13,300 kg Range: 2,220 km
F-35C 15,800 kg Range: 2,200 km
Typhoon 10,000kg Range: 2,900 km

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_720545)
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“An F-35A takes off from Edwards Air Force Base, California, on January 6, 2023, in the first test flight of an F-35 loaded with Technology Refresh 3 hardware and software upgrades.

F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin said on April 18 that issues with TR-3’s software and hardware will keep it from delivering as many F-35s as it originally planned in 2023.”

LINK

Last edited 1 year ago by Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_720546)
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Clearance for full-rate production might not happen this year either.

DoD delays key F-35 tests, lowering chance of 2023 production decision

LINK

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_720568)
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

With low rate production delivering over 900 aircraft, its already eclipsed Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen, Super Hornet, Strike Eagle and F15C numbers for each individual project. If you are fishing for an argument.You aren’t going to get it.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_720571)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Hi Robert – I believe the issue really is F35B pilots, or the lack of them. Do we have any simulators that can speed up the training?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_720574)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Yes, we have F35 simulators at RAF Marham. around 50% of the training is conducted using the simulators and that will likelyincrease. Another 7 aircraft will be delivered this year. And contrary to another commentator, we do have more pilots than aircraft.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_720616)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

I think it’s prudent to wait and see how the aircraft performs before buying more and if the costs will decrease or continue to increase. Mission-capable rates also need to increase. “Operational testing of the F-35 continues to be delayed—primarily by holdups in developing an aircraft simulator—even as DOD goes forward with purchasing up to 152 aircraft a year. The more aircraft produced before testing is complete, the more it might cost to retrofit those aircraft if issues are discovered. We testified that if DOD moves forward as planned, it will have bought a third of all F-35s before determining… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_720618)
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

29 March 2023 at 20:30 BST

“Only about half of the Pentagon’s fleet of F-35 fighter jets are considered mission-capable, well below the target of 65% and a state of readiness the program manager terms “unacceptable.”

As of February, the monthly average rate of mission-capable jets in the US’s fleet of more than 540 F-35s was 53.1%, according to Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Schmidt, the program manager. That means they can fly at least some of their required missions, such as combat, show-of-force flights, training and testing.”

LINK

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_720816)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

I think this link answers the question.

LINK

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_720774)
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

The timeline for Block 4 is now scheduled for 2029, I’m not sure how long it will take to clear Meteor for operations.

“The Block 4 modernization plan was initially set up to wrap up in 2026. By 2020, the F-35 program office had pushed that date out until 2027, the GAO reported last year.

This year’s report extends Block 4 development and delivery “into fiscal year 2029, in part, due to the addition of new capabilities,” the GAO said in its annual report on the F-35.”

LINK

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_720495)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

You might end up being right, but in all honesty we need F-35s thzt zre fit for purpose and in reality only those built later this year (hopefully) will be capable of doing that and supporting the weapons we need them to… eventually. So yes we need a minimum amount to get us through granted but when you funds are so limited waiting till now to increase the numbers makes economic sense. The only problem is that events on the ground are making that rather less desirable while no doubt getting airframes to the required standard will be in great… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_720532)
1 year ago
Reply to  David

The problem with numbers David is that in the UK they very rarely materialise. The original plan for Typhoon was for 250 aircraft, reduced to 232. So far we have purchased 160, with 60 of these being scrapped by 2026, and no real hope of anymore being ordered. There were to be 138 F35’s. Currently we will have 47 by 2025/26, not in service but delivered. We were then told that another 26 would be forthcoming but now that has become “a decision on future orders will be made in 2025”, coincidentally after the election. Based on our current record… Read more »

PeterS
PeterS (@guest_720449)
1 year ago

Seeing how hard the Typhoon fleet is being worked, a more immediate priority should be increasing their numbers over the next few years. F35 was originally intended to replace joint force Harrier on a roughly one to one basis. It now seems the orders will be capped at around half that. An order of 50/60 new build Typhoons would bring the combat air fleet up to the kind of strength level we had 15 years ago, before the security situation grew so much more threatening. There is every reason to expect Tempest FOC will be later than planned: the F35… Read more »

Sean
Sean (@guest_720478)
1 year ago
Reply to  PeterS

There’s an easy answer why the T7 Redhawk has hit problems – it’s a Boeing design.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sean
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_720496)
1 year ago
Reply to  PeterS

Agreed Typhoon still has plenty of potential which needs exploiting. Too often what supports suppliers takes precedence over what best suits the forces.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_720570)
1 year ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

RAF Typhoons are getting a lot of development of the next few years. It will be very well equipped out to 2040. ECRS MK2 Radar will bring a huge increase in capability.

NorthernAlly
NorthernAlly (@guest_720451)
1 year ago

Don’t know where to post it but the BBC has just reported that the gov is working with two satellite companies to get a cheap spy satellite up next year.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_720472)
1 year ago
Reply to  NorthernAlly

Yes, one in my home town is one. I think part of the Minerva satellite constellation that is being developed of EO and Radar small satellites?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_720592)
1 year ago

It’s a knitted satellite..!

I thought it was a bit of a joke, but no the antena is knitted. Clever bit of UK innovation. Link.

Cheers CR

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_720661)
1 year ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Yes, I’d read of that, but that stuff is way over my head!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_720702)
1 year ago

SST are producing hi definition video satellites which they are adapting to radar satellites too. Being part of Airbus now, I presume they are involved in any proposal. The former (video version) has already been tested in orbit, the latter was supposed to have been flown in prototype form last year but haven’t seen an update on it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Spyinthesky
SteveM
SteveM (@guest_720491)
1 year ago

As long as it is designed to carry brimstone/stormshadow/paveway as well as meteor/assram it should be able to replace the phoon otherwise it will be crippled bird like f-35 not currently worth what is being paid for. Of course ideally would be able to carry JSM etc

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_720500)
1 year ago

In an ideal world, we would have two versions, an interceptor/ground attack, then a big wing, long range strike version.

Glenn Ridsdale
Glenn Ridsdale (@guest_752766)
8 months ago

It’s incredible that senior people are STILL talking about Tempest (the manned element of FCAS) as an operational fighter. It won’t be, although I suspect that rebranding will mean the eventual GCAS is given the name.