The UK has signed a treaty with Japan and Italy for a future combat air programme that aims to develop an innovative stealth fighter with supersonic capability and equipped with cutting-edge technology.

The treaty marks a key stage of the landmark Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), and the headquarters of the programme will be based in Britain.

This combat air aircraft, due to take to the skies by 2035, aims to harness next-generation technologies and become one of the world’s most advanced, interoperable, adaptable and connected fighter jets in service globally.

“The programme is expected to create highly-skilled jobs in the UK and in partner countries over the next decade and beyond. The supersonic stealth jet will boast a powerful radar that can provide 10,000 times more data than current systems, giving a battle-winning advantage.

Within the UK, the effort is being led by BAE Systems, in close partnership with Rolls-Royce, Leonardo UK and MBDA UK – as well as hundreds of companies in the supply chain from across the country. Together, they are working closely with lead companies from Japan and Italy to progress the design and development of this aircraft.”

Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps said:

“Our world-leading combat aircraft programme aims to be crucial to global security and we continue to make hugely positive progress toward delivery of the new jets to our respective air forces in 2035. 

The UK-based headquarters will also see us make important decisions collaboratively and at pace, working with our close partners Italy and Japan, and our impressive defence industries, to deliver an outstanding aircraft.”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps met with his Japanese and Italian counterparts, Minister Minoru Kihara and Minister Guido Crosetto, in Tokyo. The signing of the Treaty comes a year after the formal launch of GCAP and highlights the positive progress in the development of this next-generation fighter jet. The joint development phase of the programme is due to launch in 2025.

“The treaty confirmed the UK will host the joint GCAP government headquarters, supporting hundreds of UK jobs and working with Japanese and Italian colleagues. The first CEO will come from Japan. The HQ will be responsible for delivering vital military capability, strengthening each country’s combat air industrial capability, and achieving value for money. Supporting the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy, there are already around 3,000 people in major combat air hubs across the UK, including the south-west and north-west of England and Edinburgh, with almost 600 organisations on contract across the country, including SMEs and academic institutions.

In combat air, the MOD has spent £2 billion in the UK over the last 5 years on technology, creating skills and capabilities – with a further £600 million from industry – to ensure the UK is ready to drive this programme forward. A crucial programme for the future of stability in the Euro Atlantic, Indo-Pacific and wider global security, GCAP is a strong example of the UK’s global leadership in developing next generation military capability to deter and defeat threats to the UK and our allies.”

Separately, a new joint business construct will be headquartered in the UK, with significant global presence. This industry counterpart of the Government organisation will oversee support and timely delivery of the programme, including the 2035 in-service date of the combat aircraft – known as Tempest in the UK.

The first leader of the joint business construct will be from Italy.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 months ago

Going to be a big fight this year to host that HQ with thousands of jobs attached.

Already 9,000 people around the world working on it before it kicks into high gear in 2025 and Japan has said they will have to amend their law on government agents working abroad as they will be sending thousands of officials to work in the UK at the HQ when previously their largest government delegation to any foreign agency has been in the dozens.

Last edited 3 months ago by Watcherzero
Colin Brooks
Colin Brooks
3 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I must ask what is the point if government can not (will not) even afford to buy F35Bs to equip[ our carriers?

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Why do anything? Perhaps because we can?? Jobs/sales/security. Hopefully it won’t be a TSR2 repeat but with global partners I don’t think that’s likely to happen. With our partners we can build a platform that is affordable and World beating.

Colin Brooks
Colin Brooks
3 months ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

Perhaps because we can???
What we CAN do and what actually happens are vastly different. We certainly CAN achieve this goal but for many years the technology of the hypersonic (not supersonic) engines would have allowed us to transform Typhoon and F35B into aircraft capable of Mach 5 or greater but it did not happen.

GlynH
GlynH
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Where would these a hypersonic Tiffy operate? It is rare for any combat aircraft to fly even supersonic for a number of issues. Fuel Usage, Noise Pollution, Supersonic Manoeuvrability or rather lack of.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  GlynH

It would melt and then go boom..scattering itself across a wide area…manned hypersonic fight is still the edge of science.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  GlynH

Indeed the damage to the stealth coatings at supersonic speeds is well known, fine degrading it somewhat over the flight of a missile but a serious issue when you have to re use an aircraft.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  GlynH

Typhoon regularly flies supersonic. From the outset it was designed for supersonic manoeuvrability. This was was one of the reasons it has a close coupled canard and delta wing combination. As it allows the aircraft to sustain a turn supersonically, without bleeding off too much energy. Which was decided upon by air engagements facing off at each other, using active radar beyond visual range air to air missiles (BVRAAM). The idea was to fire off an AMRAAM whilst supersonic, then turn away as quickly as possible whilst maintaining maximum energy. Thereby giving yourself the greatest chance of evading your opponent’s… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by DaveyB
AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

You have a very “nice” turning radius at supersonic speed…

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Depends on your definition of nice?

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Dozens of bad km’s. You gain missile range firing it at fast speed but you need then to turn away and the faster you go the larger your radius, you can turn speed into reserve energy going up but there is a limit.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Structurally neither jet could take it and the F35 is already limited due to heat and the stealth costing don’t mix!!

Derek
Derek
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

That’s because they stole it from an alien disc which flies inside an anti-gravity bubble meaning no contact with the ship’s skin and the environment. 😎

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  Derek

I thought it was reverse engineered ( pinched) off Santa’s Sleigh,

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Modern airframes are not designed to fly at hypersonic speeds…propelling a modern fighter into hypersonic speeds would lead to a big mess and a dead pilot…you would need a completely new concept in airframe…the SR71 is the fastest military airframe we have at Mach 3 ( and that was highly specialised) and that used an 80% titanium structure with a corrugated skin..it’s had loss fitting panels and actually was designed to constantly leak fuel as there was a need for so much expansion of the fuel system due to heat…but to be clear the only manned hypersonic flights ( above… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Jonathan
David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

This will absorb £billions from the defence budget and then be cancelled – just like the TSR2

Matt
Matt
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Rubbish.

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt

👍

Martin Cutler
Martin Cutler
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Reminds me of a rock song by Status Quo and the lyrics went: Would you like to fly my paper plane!

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

A well reasoned argument from Mr David Lloyd as per usual 😀

Expat
Expat
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

I think both Labour and Tories support a 6th gen fighter. The difference is Tories have a desire to work globally on defence programs where as Labour want to work closely with Europe. One way or another we’ll get a 6th gen fighter time will tell on just how that will be delivered.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Expat

During this period of rapidly developing state tension, logic – as in potential quantity of platforms, overall costs, aviation knowledge across various european / EU counties, dispersed manufacturing &/or ‘ghost’ sites (still within close logistical proximity with short sea lines of communication), weapons development, etc. – would dictate increased cooperation from partnerships along the lines of those already established. Now, I’m aware that Typhoon development did not go as smoothly as it could, but it’s ended up an extremely versatile platform nontheless; and the same arguments as above ought to smooth future aviation passageways. But then we run up against… Read more »

Expat
Expat
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Regarding the Saudi order it could be the next UK government that blocks it. KSA probably second only to Isreal with some factions of the Labour Party.

Those ghost manufacturing sites were a major part of UKs pre WW2 strategy.

Last edited 3 months ago by Expat
Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Mind you here, we have a European and Global partner!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Or get sunk like the Hood, the evidence from either has little actual influence upon the likely future of this project. Indeed, unless there are massive fall outs I really doubt that the project will be cancelled, the repercussions would be a catastrophe for Britain well beyond the lack of a new front line fighter to defend ourselves with.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Last week GA posted a series of well informed observations, pointing out that the MoD is shy roughly £15bn on their equipment programmes. Despite Wallace getting them an additional £24bn over the four years that he was SoS defence.

There is no way the country can afford Tempest. We have a national debt approaching £2.4 TRILLION, with interest rates at 5.25% it is costing us ~£100bn a year to service. Unless the MoD is seriously reformed, Tempest and several other projects will have to be cancelled. I’d put my money on Schrapps scrapping the CH3 upgrade

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

And maybe buy Israeli tanks instead!

Expat
Expat
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

The country can afford to do somethings and not others,its a matter of choices. So we can afford Tempest if we don’t do something else.i don’t think the Tories will cut anything before the election they have no reasons to as they will loose eitherway and be next government’s scape goat for 3-4 years, which is fairly standard position irrespective of the political party. Looking at the direction Labour are taking I’d say the RAF and RN are going to be cut to fund a larger army. Labour will also be favouring EU defence projects so we’ll see what survives.

Marked
Marked
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

It has to work. Otherwise we get stuck working with the US again and being screwed over to the back of the queue for everything we need.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Marked

What are you proposing that we scrap to pay for it then?

Marked
Marked
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Nothing, stop wasting billions on dead end projects that lead nowhere and the money is already there.

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  Marked

👍

Netking
Netking
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

basically at present the technology is not there to create a credible hypersonic jet fighter, only hurl a hyper expensive scientific manned experiment in an Essentially a straight line and hope it does not explode”

A follow on black aircraft to the SR-71 exist….shhhhh!!! 🤐🤐🤐

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  Netking

I disagree.
First off the work being done by reactions engines.
And secondly ( mildly straying into conspiracy theory)it is claimed that the Yanks have already cracked the technology and their current efforts are a show to “ launder” the technology from black projects into the daylight. It is “ claimed” that Lockheed has already built a hypersonic spy plane son of Blackbird.
Now you can take the above with a spade of salt but given the skunks works track record, I am inclined to think it is not that far fetched.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

A spy plane is one thing but an air superiority fighter is quite the other. Hypersonic planes are flying blind. Not what you want in an A2A platform.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Rubbish

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Clearly you have insight into top secret programmes that the rest of us don’t if you think these basic problems are rubbish. It’s a well known fact of targeting in hypersonic missiles in their terminal stage due to the immense pressure waves produced. It’s one reason why evidence from the evidenced Zircon flight tests that suggest it isn’t fundamentally a hypersonic missile might be explained in part to it slowing down so as to be able to target properly.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It’s the absolute crap that “Jim” posts that is bunkum and rubbish. Unlike “Jim” I do not claim any special insight into any top secret programs; unlike many who post here I’ve signed the OSA so I wouldn’t comment even if I had

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Agree. I understand it, and other undisclosed types, have been flying for years. Son of Blackbird may even have been cancelled after a few examples, but I think it existed.
Chris Gibson’s 1990 sighting over the North Sea as an example at how far back sightings of such aircraft go.

Big difference between a jet fighter and a larger pure speed spy plane using PDWE or other such tech.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago

Problem is the power plant of the Black Bird can’t go hypersonic though or anything like though there have been talk of using it as part of a hybrid design true. There are as I relate about recent successful tests of a hybrid engine byt very early days and there is little to suggest factually such an engine has been operating reliably in recent years but hey maybe nothing has crept out so one can’t be definitive. But yes either way a spy or test plane and fighter jet are completely different beasts anyway. Certainly son of Blackbird talk has… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Spyinthesky
Netking
Netking
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

It is said the tech that is publicly displayed but the US military is often times a decade or two behind what exist in the black world. Hypersonic aircraft research I would dare say is older than most of us posting on this site and there is no reason to believe that the US just stopped working on it when they made a lot of notable advancements in the 70s and 80s in particular. As I’ve said multiple times here, one should always be very skeptical when the US military just cancels a promising research program when they seem so… Read more »

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  Netking

The excuse for cancelling the blackbird that satellite can do it better never held up to scrutiny.
Satellites are very predictable you have a fixed sensor package and can be spoofed.
An aircraft appearing unannounced and out of the blue will always be a better source of intel.

For that reason alone, I believe the USA has a son of Blackbird,

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I tend to agree with you, there has long been talk of the Aurora though only plastic models really inspired any actual form of an aircraft and kept the idea going. But was reading only a few weeks ago of sightings near Hawaii of an aircraft which it was claimed had high speed characteristics and indeed active stealth but these ‘sightings’ were by fishermen so how credible is another matter. But there have been projects that came and went over the past decade in particular and at least one of these has evidence of an actual aircraft though it was… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Also, the G-forces of a hypersonic aircraft would be enough to kill a human!
So unmanned only.

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Essentially, the ‘Reaction Engine’ will enable a supersonic aircraft to fly at speed, using only the amount of fuel as a subsonic aircraft would use and increase the range of fighter-aircraft!
Fuel burn-rate will be low, enabling the aircraft to fly much further.
Thereby saving a lot of money in operating supersonic fighter-aircraft.

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

It will make a jet engine more efficient and be able to fly faster . Their precooler has many possibilities .

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Absolutely even now Space X can’t keep the heat tiles affixed to Starship and we have 50 years of experience of that procedure. Doesn’t bear thinking about what sort of measures you could use on an operable fighter aircraft at hypersonic speed in the atmosphere esp doing anything but fly in a starlight line. There’s a reason that aircraft have tended to have tended to have lower top speeds over the last 30 years certainly not higher. The Russians went all out (was it the SU27) hitting around Mach 2.75 to try to stop the Blackbird and failed miserably. It… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

indeed physics is physics..you can’t change the reality around hypersonic speed….the simple issue is that even if you can manage: 1) the engine issues…at present we need a rocket booster to get up to speed for the scramjet to work..Which is fine of missiles and experimental aircraft not for operational Aircraft..so at present the engine tec cannot support an operational aircraft. 2) the heat issue…if your heat shield fails your plane dies…maintains a reliable heat shield is not yet possible on an operational aircraft. 3) manoeuvre..there is no ability to manoeuvre hypersonic aircraft other than a predictable glide path with… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

With todays ceramic based composites. You can produce an aircraft skin that can cope with cruising at Mach 5, without the need for additional active cooling, any faster then yes things start to get interesting. If you google Alex Bond of Reaction Engines Limited fame. He did a lecture that describes the use of these composites in a hypersonic aircraft. Basically your aircraft skin is in two parts. With an outer and inner shell, that is separated by an air gap. The outer shell is the ceramic based composite. The air gap acts as an insulator, with the inner shell… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The key question Davey is can you build and operational fighter jet…clever stuff but still not for an operational fighter.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes. You could build a hypersonic aircraft fairly easily, that topped out at Mach 6. Any faster, things like manufacturing and the construction materials begin to get extremely expensive. The pilot also would have to wear a space (pressure) suit, as the aircraft would be operating well above 60,000ft, By rights between 100 and 150,000ft, perhaps even higher. As at these heights the air is thin enough to mitigate frictional interference, but still provide enough oxygen for the engine like a ramjet/scramjet to work. Much like the SR-71 Blackbird, at these speeds, turns will be long graceful arcs due to… Read more »

Colin Brooks
Colin Brooks
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Sir, you are the only one talking sense here.
Why are people bringing hypersonic maneuvering into the discussion? You get yourself into position to release/fire your weapons,. turn round and get the hell out at Mach 5.

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Admittedly Flash Gordon might be flying such things but you might have to go to planet Zog to get that technology.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

How to get the radar working and communications on an aircraft that’s traveling at hypersonic speed? Even if you can overcome the heat the plasma envelopes the aircraft. Fine for a missile but not a strike platform.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Bullshit

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

I don’t think Bullshit would work at hypersonic speeds judging by my morning walks across fields.

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Why??

Expat
Expat
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Unless they cracked communication via quantum entanglement 😀

Expat
Expat
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Sorry you can convert mach 2 fighter to Mach 5. The materials used and the aerodynamics of these airframes are not suitable. Mach 5 is outside the design envelope.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Simply not true those aircraft could not possibly have been made hypersonic, nor would the value in doing so ever outweighed the cost had it been possible. What are the choices for hypersonic engines? You either have an engine as on the Blackbird that’s horrendously complex, costly and maintenance intensive and that only a few are capable of handling in both flight and on the ground and thus it’s a specialist small number platform or you have some form of combined cycle engine exploiting turbojet and ram/scramjet technology, the maturing of which is only taking place now with many stumbles… Read more »

Netking
Netking
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky
Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

An F-35 equipped with the Reaction Engine, would have the range to reach Moscow, with the same fuel load, but still keeping to flight specific limits!

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
DMJ
DMJ
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

An engine like that would not ‘transform’ either Typhoon or F-35B. It would entail a radical redesign, aka a new aircraft.
In any case, Tempest is showing signs of being a winner.

Colin Brooks
Colin Brooks
3 months ago
Reply to  DMJ

Reaction Engines specifically mentioned the opportunity to improve the performance of existing aircraft/engine combinations.

DMJ
DMJ
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

It’ll be interesting to see how/when/if RE and VG work together under the Bilateral Fund.

Expat
Expat
3 months ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

Are you sure? I’m less convinced, history is littered with governments backing out of large international programs and history has a tenancy to repeat itself.

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
3 months ago
Reply to  Expat

In my wiew I dont think we can. I see your point and its always possible it’ll merge into another joint project, only time will tell.

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

IMHO we should always be researching future prototypes or upgrades to existing systems, When we don’t we end up losing our ability to design and manufacture defence systems.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Admittedly, for the UK to announce what could be considered grand plans for future cutting-edge technology may sound hubristic & uneconomical. However, from my perspective i.e. during rapidly increasing peer state conflict (effectively already Russia/inevitably soon China), the prime consideration is that we must reinvigorate our technological expertise, in conjunction with just these like-minded partners (Sweden would have been, and potentially still could be, mighty useful) – since we’ll have no other option. The USA, once it gets passed it’s traditional ‘what’s Europe to us?’ phrase – coupled with ‘you can integrate any weapon you want, providing it’s ours’ will… Read more »

Dokis
Dokis
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I am wondering whether you refer to Iceland or Sicily

Martin Cutler
Martin Cutler
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Totally agree with you there! Our carriers should be filled to capacity by uk f35, and nice as it is not relying on US Marine squadrons filling the capacity out! Total disgraceful by our government and a total disdain attitude! The whole procurement process needs an earthquake put under it to shake it up as well as the financing of defence!!

Expat
Expat
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Cutler

In my view unless Britain has a ambition to be global we don’t need carriers, the capability they offer is best used to deploy 1000s of miles away not hundreds or to areas that can be served by land bases on our the European continent. There more cost effective ways to provide the range we need to land based fighters within Europe. So we may get an earthquake in defence but it may not result in an improvement in carrier based aviation.

Marked
Marked
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Cutler

What is the point in buying a few dozen extra f35s now that will be very limited with their 1990s weapon loads? None. Their stealth is negated by having to get within detection range to use ancient weapons.

Better to wait until we can buy aircraft that are genuinely useful.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Marked

The lack of modern weaponry is a serious issue ATM. Hopefully by CSG25 Meteor is fully integrated to make sure the Chinese don’t come anywhere close.
Soon after that we ought to have SPEAR 3 for F35 which will really complicate operations in the vicinity. The one thing they still lack is heavyweight ASM, as FC/ASW is not for F35. Relying on Paveway will only work if we have a previous mission kill with SPEAR and they finish the thing off with Paveway.

Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Well they have…. 48 so far…. Plus they were waiting for the next level of upgrades to be released before ordering more…

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

No “They” don’t.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

We managed to win the Falklands with just 20 sea harriers with virtually no radar onboard.

Can’t imagine a scenario where the UK is fighting solo and 48 F35B is not enough.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Are you going to try and tell us you were there next?

Expat
Expat
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I can’t imagine we be fighting over the Falklands anytime soon. Whilst the new president of Argentina has stated the Falklands should be recovered he has gone out of his way to state war is not an option. So that means he wants to win over the islanders peacefully which will mean Argentina will need to convince the Islanders to join Argentina. That’s going to take at least 2 decades and mean the sabre rattling Peronist need to consigned to history.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The Harriers were just one part of the equation, please consider the whole picture and personal sacrifice before typing such sweeping statements.

Dokis
Dokis
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

The whole picture or all the parts of the equation?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Big question will be next year when Such aircraft (at least fitted for) are available. No real excuse then for not at least trying to up the tick if supply, how available they will be is another matter.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

48 F35B is more than enough for the carriers. If Tempest provides all land based roles then job done.

LM has consistently under delivered on F35 and has thus far failed to integrate our weapons so we owe them nothing moving forward and we already have most of the economic benefits from F35 program.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jim
David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Crap. Who is paying you, the Russians?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

I do question if there is irony in that comment.

Dokis
Dokis
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It definitely is not enough, double that to be any close. Sure, criticise US but it will have to be USMC to put planes on the carriers. Incidentally LM did not fail, it rather doesn’t try

elyh
elyh
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Because F-35 aren’t built localy. GCAP will keep the money in the UK instead of filling LM bank account.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago
Reply to  elyh

That is true and other government budgets should be funding big industrial projects like tempest aswell as the MOD.
The MOD need a product for the services. Their worry will be getting the best items for the money available. It doesn’t matter to them if 80% of that money stays in the U.K. economy or goes abroad. That does matter to other departments and the innovations and businesses that develop other projects from tempest then contributes to the U.K. economy

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

Well the F35 scenario has been discussed here time and again and the question is whether it’s worth taking on more planes now that will be expensive to upgrade to Block 4 (and thus uk weapons) or wait as in indeed are the US presently until B4 ready aircraft are coming off the lines, not sure if that’s happening as yet was supposed to be late Summer but further delays were reported. But there are many other reasons, do we need an aircraft industry? One of the few high tech industries in which we excel and probably stops Bae headquartering… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin Brooks

F-35 is a giant project failure and a commercial success.

I am afraid GCAP will arrive at a much changed world.
A world that missiles and drones will make airbases impracticable.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

👌

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
3 months ago

Great news for the UK. I think the French, Germans and Spanish will struggle with their program so if GCAP is done right there should be lots of export potential.
Maybe in the future we replace F35 with a navalised version of GCAP? Would like to see a UK lifetime order of at least 200+ units.

NorthernAlly
NorthernAlly
3 months ago

I read an article on the national interest I think that said the French/Dassault have already started to develop at 6th gen fighter and loyal wingman separate from the German/Spanish program. Looks like they are already preparing for that program to fail.

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
3 months ago
Reply to  NorthernAlly

Yes I saw that but I question whether even the French have the resources to make a credible 6th gen fighter all by themselves. But if they do go it alone the Germans and Spanish will be in a difficult situation. Will be interesting to see what the Swedes try and do as well.

NorthernAlly
NorthernAlly
3 months ago

I can see the French stubbornly pushing on by themselves if they don’t get project lead like they want, however I can’t see it being an export success like the rafale as it will be ridiculously expensive compared to the US and other colab projects.

As for Sweden yes it should be interesting to see what they do.

Jonno
Jonno
3 months ago

The French are going to be in deep poo because they will be looking to replace their Nuke Carrier, SSBN’s and Fighters all at once. Not good planning, Good luck to them.

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  NorthernAlly

Didn’t I read that Belgium will be joining them, even though Dassault complained? It feels far less harmonious than GCAP.

Expat
Expat
3 months ago
Reply to  NorthernAlly

Both GCAP and FCAS are sharing some data as they want the drone/loyal wing man and the fighter to be able to work together. That means an FCAS loyal wing man can fly with a Tempest which is completely logical as we need to work with allies. But what it also means as countries could mix and match the unmanned elements. This will also be true for US NGAD, Tempest could team with US unmanned systems.

Robert Blay
3 months ago

I wouldn’t get to excited about airframe numbers. This will be a system of systems. It will be a very different way of operating compared to today. I’d expect numbers to be considerably less then the number of Typhoons in service.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago

France will be playing catch up. As they have not built or operated a 5th Gen jet. So don’t really know of the nuances of maintaining a stealth jet. Germany will be learning this as soon as they get their F35s. Whereas Japan, Italy and the UK already do. Plus both Italy and the UK have already built parts for the F35. So they have an understanding of what manufacturing processes are required. The MoD have already said that they’re not looking at a navalised version of GCAP. Which may be a mistake. But then if the design favors high… Read more »

Tullzter
Tullzter
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Why build a 5th gen when an upgraded Variant of the current gen is sufficient

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Tullzter

Because it’s not. Don’t get me wrong I think Rafale is an excellent aircraft. It is simply a generation behind the F35 and always will be. The aircraft cannot be modified to match the radar cross section of a purposely designed and manufactured stealth aircraft. No matter how good the additional Radar absorbent material applied to it or how good it’s jammer is. The inherent incredibly low radar signature of the F35 will always beat the performance of a jammer for two reasons. 1st, for the jammer to be effective it must transmit. Therefore with the right equipment you can… Read more »

Expat
Expat
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Another point is the sensors on the F35 are built into different parts of the airframe so it has supperior situational awareness. To a achieve this with a 4th gen airframe requires redesigned internals of the airframe so for instance, wing structure charges to add sensors to leading edge would be extremely difficult and costly, or even impossible. There’s also the factor that 4th generation fighter tend to quote RCS figures for the front of the aircraft. The F35 has supperior RCS from every aspect. So even if jamming was effective most of the power is going to be projected… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Tullzter

Interesting point. However, both 5th gen stealth/intel platforms operating alongside upgraded 4th appears to be the route the USAF is actually heading down, since both are required to effectively prosecute high intensity engagements at ‘reasonable’ operating costs.
To date I’d followed the received wisdom that F15EX was a bomb truck with new AESA radar, but was genuinely surprised by Alex Hollings’ assertion that cutting-edge fly-by-wire technology had in fact transformed it into a highly agile fighter platform evidently beyond F15C.
Clearly, that has significance for the Typhoon, if we were sufficiently inclined to invest beyond ECRS2.

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

The US will also have its sixth-generation fighter operational before this aircraft is even flown.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Quite possible!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I guess it depends upon just how much they have learned from F-22 and F-35.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

About how not to run a fighter programme.
They’ve got lots of experience of that…

Cripes
Cripes
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

😄😄😄

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

It may have transformed the aircraft, but not to the extent that they are claiming. The F15 was designed as a stable aerodynamic platform, unlike the electric jets starting with the F16, that have relaxed stability. Bordering to next to no stability for Rafale and Typhoon etc. You can make an aircraft more responsive by increasing the surface area of its flying controls. But Boeing have not done so. You can also shift the weight around by moving the aircraft’s centre of gravity closer to the centre of pressure. Which can be done with how you manage the fuel location.… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Certainly not in a position to argue on aerodynamics, DB – I feel more political, strategic & logistic nowadays – with a residue smattering of maritime. With regard to the aircraft pros & cons, I conisidered Alex is usually valued both for not trying to over egg, and subject access following from his erstwhile fighter skills. Hopefully, my overall intent here was to highlight the value of continued development in a successful platform still in production – necessary for platform fatigue amelioration of course – and the extent to which advanced computing can transform that for use alongside genuine 5th/6th… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

That’s interesting Gavin I hadn’t picked up on the F-15’s new fighter capabilities. The USAF is lucky to have the financial resources to upgrade aircraft like this. The cash-strspped RAF is limited to upgrading only 40 of the 107 Typhoons to the ECRS standard. Admittedly it is horribly expensive, I saw a figure of £40m per aircraft which, if remotely accurate in nearly half the original cost of the FGR4. I would doubt that we will see any investment in Typhoon beyond ECRS , the RAF combat aircraft programme just doesn’t have the budget. And what it does have is… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

I’d say that Interesting is indeed appropriate, Cripes, both for the start of your post & the final paragraph, of course.
Seems time for convincing defenders of democracy to take the stage, rather than those essentially still feeding their egos, subsequent to decades of dividends; the peace type – or otherwise. The former will be there somewhere, just beneath the usual crop of pretenders. Haven’t seen any that convince yet though….Interesting.

Jonno
Jonno
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The Japanese may give the MOD a good kicking when it come to navalisation. Lets hope so.

Matt
Matt
3 months ago

Hopefully GCAP will be available at least 5 years before too.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago

I hope they leave it open to navalisation. Typhoon design pretty much ruled out a carrier version on day 1.

Japan and Italy all operate F35B and I would not be surprised if Japan in particular has its eyes on a future full scale carrier.

It’s highly likely this will be the last manned platform we ever build so it’s important to keep our production line hot for as long as possible and using a Sea Tempest to replace F35 in the last 2040’s is probably the way to go.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Absolute nonsense

Animal
Animal
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Constantly, but it’s great comedy entertainment.😂

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago
Reply to  Animal

Nah it’s pathetic really. If you don’t agree with someone that’s fine. But putting some school yard comment after every post is really pathetic.
He must be sitting refreshing the page for hours waiting on him putting a comment on just so he can be the first to comment under it.

Dokis
Dokis
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Agreed, it was ruled out already

Animal
Animal
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

A small matter of launch and recovery pretty much rules out your wish unless you can provide insight ? Did Rachel Reeves tell you anything at the do ?😎

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

When Typhoon was in the “Day 1” stage, we only had Invincible class and no plans for QE class. A Navalised Typhoon option was never seriously considered. Neither will a Tempest version due to the very basic facts that the QE class have not got and never will get C’s & T’s. When you state that “It is highly likely that this will be the last manned platform we ever build”… seriously fella, just what is going through your brain ?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

’It’s highly likely this will be the last manned platform we ever build’ I remember them saying that about the Lightning mind, I was barely out of nappies.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It was said in the 1957 defence paper and cancelled lots manned aircraft projects.
We are closer so I will wait and see

Last edited 3 months ago by monkey spanker
monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I’ve thought the lift fan would have seen more use or progression/improvement. Perhaps electrical powered for unmanned aircraft and so on.

Jonno
Jonno
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Sea Fury the best ever!

Cripes
Cripes
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I can’t see any of the participants being interested in a navalised Tempest to be honest. All 3 would need an STOL version with a weighty, performance-limiting lift fan to cart about, can’t see the remotest possibility of additional money for a naval variant being available. Should it be? I would argue not, because Tempest’s role already looks to be expanding beyond what is required. Japan and Italy already have a 5th generation interdiction/strike capability with their F-35As. What they (and the Saudis) need from Tempest is a long-range air defence capability, which was the RAF’s starting point too. With… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Are the roles that different though? An air superiority/SEAD role, like F35, is not too much to ask for and would allow Tempest to take control of airspace effectively wherever it liked. F22 is what you get when you try for specialised and end up with an overspecced aircraft that has to be multirole anyway. We just don’t have the budget for specialisation at the moment, hence T26, land attack for T83 etc.

Jonno
Jonno
3 months ago

I agree we definitely need a navalised version now the RAF and FAA are working closer together. In fact All our fighter aircraft should be dual purpose so to speak. The South Atlantic could well be a battle space within the next 25 years with the growing competition in Africa and South America with the USA looking to the Pacific, who will fill that space? The UK is uniquely well placed to assist in keeping it friendly if shipping has to go round the southern Capes.

Jonno
Jonno
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

Interestingly after the CVA01 debacle we had F4 Phantoms and Buccaneers which meant the RAF only had EE/BAC Lightnings home grown, had it not been for the foresight of the FAA until the Tornadoes and Jaguars came in.

ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

Excuse me but the Buccaneer was 100% British

PeterS
PeterS
3 months ago

Joint business construct leader from Italy.
Joint GCAP government HQ CEO from Japan.
I thought whoever pays the piper calls the tune. So what are the funding arrangements? So far it seems the costs have been incurred entirely by the UK.
We can’t afford the delays caused to the Typhoon programme by German changes of commitments on numbers and funding.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

The biggest problem is getting headship to get its head round:-

– our ridiculous H&S regime; and
– workforce that doesn’t do a full days work and can’t be told to;
– the woke rubbish; and
– the inability to stick to a simple plan.

I can see all of those things becoming issues.

Robert Blay
3 months ago

I think thousands of people in our defence industry do a full day’s work. Japan and Italy also have very high standards of HSE. We wouldn’t be able to build Typhoons or aircraft carriers or nuclear submarines if all you stated was true.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I think you underestimate how much ‘work’ has changed since lockdown.

High standards of H&S are perfectly possible without the nightmare of the HSE’s obsessional, self-referential thinking. No other county does H&S the way we do in the UK for a very good reason.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago

“ our ridiculous H&S regime” would you care to elaborate.?

grizzler
grizzler
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I think he has in the above hasn’t he?

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  grizzler

I didn’t find it. However as an experienced project/ engineering manager the H&S regime in this country has evolved from several hard fought and costly lesson (deaths). Yes it has been used as a reason for not doing a job. That is not the intent of H&S nor should it. If it is considered from day 1 of a project and is an integral part of the project development process it will not get in the way. The UK H&S regime has been copied by several countries and has been virtual lifted in its entirety by the EU. It has… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

No other country ties itself in into such H&S knots as we do and with zero regard for the productivity problem.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago

All of the EU follow the sane regime . And it is only a problem when it is ignored and has to be back fitted.
Managed properly it is not a problem.
H&S is frequently used as a cover for plain bad management,

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I totally disagree.

The UK implementation is, as usual, the most aggressive.

The main issue in the UK is that H&S is used to cover for lack of skilled forkforce – the mix is incredibly toxic.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Well I had assumed it had been EU consistent standards, I find it difficult to believe we will have got even more restrictive (overall) since we left with this Govt. More concerned about the next perhaps.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago

I’m not so sure. With Nissan and latterly Honda having factories in the UK. The Japanese work ethos was instilled and made to work. Optimistically, I am hoping for the same in the aerospace sector.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Indeed the Japanese seem to have had few issues with the regime, indeed they have culturally preferred to work with the UK and what is generally a less restrictive and manageable regime overall in most areas at least than the Continent. The biggest contribution the Japanese can contribute is probably improving further upon safe but efficient procedures all round.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Wait to they start working properly with the Italians…..

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago

Having lived and worked in Italy you could have said the same statement…minus the woke bit

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Having lived and worked in Italy they are all terrified of being cast out of the umbrella of patronage….

Dokis
Dokis
3 months ago

Having lived and worked in Italy I think these are very stupid statements

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Well Italy is the longest partner with UK in combat aircraft since Tornado, they have had essentially the same aircraft since 1980’s : Tornado, Eurofighter, F-35 even Harriers.
Leonardo(Agusta) partnered with Westland for Merlin.
RAF pilots are now training in Sardegna due to Hawk issues.

So i would say they are known.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Japan has budgeted $30bn to 2035 for development and procurement, Italy has budgeted $8.1bn to 2037 for R&D and prototyping and UK has budgeted £2bn to 2025

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Believe that w/ formalization into a treaty structure, collective governments are signalling at least a semi-serious intent to proceed, regardless of budget constraint/ limitation. 🤔

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

There’s no way they are bringing this in under £50 billion, probably closer to £60, so everyone has about a year to work out numbers needed, workshare, then find and ring fence the necessary funding through to fruition.

Lessons will have been learnt from Eurofighter, the key one being that all it takes is one heel dragging partner to slow development, fielding and upgrade path to radically increase costs for all and miss out on hundreds of potential exports.

It will likely be a Labour Government that signs off on this in 2025.

Jonno
Jonno
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Shades of Dennis Healey, I do hope not.

PeterS
PeterS
3 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Large commitments if sustained but little spent to date. And if Japans total includes procurement, which won’t be possible before 2035, it seems little more than a costed ambition. Eurofighter tried to match funding and work share with planned orders but ran into problems when Germany delayed spending and reduced planned orders( but kept the 40% work share). Partnering with two of the most heavily indebted countries in G7/20 must bring similar risks over such a long term programme.
If it works, it could seriously dent the US dominance of the combat aircraft market.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

I do think you are right talking about your commitment to 2035 or beyond is hardly a firm commitment just an estimate. We haven’t seem to have made any such estimate (rightly in my opinion) and have purely costed the initial investment in the preparatory work. Of course sooner or later that will have to change.

Enobob
Enobob
3 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Wrong. BAE Systems have the largest Eurofighter production share at 37.5%. Airbus Germany has 30%, Leonardo Italy has 19.5% and Airbus Spain have 13%.

Dokis
Dokis
3 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Market… Japan with its law about weapons sales might be as tough as Germany

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

As I recall, the UK had £18bn pencilled in over this decade.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

I would expect the Japanese have plowed a fair amount in their own design before this agreement, considering they had already shown outline imagery and given contracts to RR for engine development and Bae/RR to design the engine related aerodynamic elements and structures. Though obviously rather less Italy had already set up joint sensor cooperation structures with the Japanese. I guess as the headquarters is here it’s only fair to give something to your partners to ‘sell’ back home for political reasons. It’s only first dabs as it will rotate after all.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago

All good news for Global Britain, Microsoft are also investing £2.5 billion in Wales and the pound is at $1.27…… no doubt someone will be along in a bit to offer some negativity.

Fedex
Fedex
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

More like reality rather than negativity.

Matt
Matt
3 months ago
Reply to  Fedex

Elaborate please.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Fedex

So, what is your “Reality” then Mr clever cloggs.?

Dokis
Dokis
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Probably that you take 1 or 2 convenient examples but ignore that Foreign Direct Investments are sinking overall

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago
Reply to  Dokis

Sucker punch😂😂😂😂

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Just a remoaner’s typical comment…. some people can’t move on or bring themselves to applaud new investment.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Dokis

There’s that predicted Negativity. You must hate it when good news arrives…. moan on mate.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Dokis

Well I can add the TATA giga factory and the RR/Airbus contract to build 220 aircraft for Turkish airlines to these examples but I already know the sort of negative reply you’ll give. Sometimes , you have to step away from your argumentative mindset and embrace the good news.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

Has Healey, Labour endorsed this yet?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

I’ve found Healey commenting on military LGBTG issues over the last 24 hours but nothing on this.

NorthernAlly
NorthernAlly
3 months ago

Tbh most MPs will probably have an allocated time for social media engagement. If nothing by the end of the day then yes it’s playing politics. However the LGBT issues he is talking about a very important even if some commenters on this site couldn’t care less. Serving members of the military fired, striped of rank, refused medels and importantly refused a pension no matter how long they served all because they were gay, bi ect. The law only changed in 2000 and its only now those service men and women are actually getting some sort of closure and pensions.… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  NorthernAlly

Fair comment. Yeah, agree it is important that this is highlighted and any issues rectified. I hope to see some positive comments from him.

NorthernAlly
NorthernAlly
3 months ago

Didn’t mean to go on a rant, been one of those days at work. Even though we are on different sides of the political spectrum, we both agree on human decency and the need for a strong defence. Unfortunately both sides are lacking atm.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  NorthernAlly

Absolutely mate, no issues from me re that. One can disagree politically and maintain respect. 👍

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  NorthernAlly

Just to clarify, I m usually the first to scream Woke, but this has nothing to do with Woke

Obviously, Gay previously serving members of the armed forces were treay very badly indeed and this needs to be redressed in full.

grizzler
grizzler
3 months ago
Reply to  NorthernAlly

I wasn’t aware of those details- if that is the case I revoke my rather pithy comment ( Although in my defence it was based on how Labour in general)

NorthernAlly
NorthernAlly
3 months ago
Reply to  grizzler

I also believe they also received criminal records as well which meant a lot of them couldn’t go to other professions like teaching, I think they got rectified a couple of years ago though.

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago

It’s a moot point mate and quite frankly absolutely vital to hear something positive from Labour over this.

A Shadow Defence (or even better leader) approval is needed to be heard in the House, to cement this, after all, the signature of a Government in its death throws actually means little with a programme like this ..

MP’s need to ask Labour that direct question in the new year.

Last edited 3 months ago by John Clark
grizzler
grizzler
3 months ago

priorities my boy…priorities…

klonkie
klonkie
3 months ago

Awesome Mate -hopefully they’ll livery up a couple in rainbow branding. A nice inclusive way to fight a war. (insert LGBTG emoji here )😋

Jonno
Jonno
3 months ago

As long as those are his only concerns everything is settled then.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago

MP for Preston is Mark Hendrick (Labour). MP for Preston North and Wyre Ben Wallace. Let’s hear it for BAE Warton, Samlesbury 🙂

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago

“The supersonic stealth jet will boast a powerful radar that can provide 10,000 times more data than current systems, giving a battle-winning advantage.”
This is pretty specific. Does that mean radar is already developed, along with software for it?
If so, pretty big step forwards for program, even more so than a contract

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Its called Jaguar, it exists in the lab based primarily on the ECRS Mk.2 and its massive data bandwidth which is being rolled out to Eurofighter but has to be turned into a deployable system with the massive computational requirement that processes that much raw data shrunk down and fitted into an aircraft, they are likely to incorporate some tech Japan has developed on compact radar transmitter elements as well.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

That had me wondering too, what with the F35 capability…… 10,000 times better ? 🤔

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Unlikely to be that much better. Probably able to scan more widely at the same time.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

10000 times more data, which is not the same thing. But probably compared with Leonardo or whoever’s previous effort rather than with F35 radar which is, by all accounts, a bit of a beast

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

It’s the wording in the article… “10000 times more data than current systems” it doesn’t specify which current systems though, so therefore I would include F35.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Always a bit nebulous these sort of comments aren’t they. I guess it’s easy to compare a lab prototype to existing u it’s and make such numbers seem amazing. Of course by the time they enter production other systems will have come on line too so far less a differential. ‘More data’ could perhaps include the F-35 radar as it stands because data upgrades do come in massive steps Arm based chips can be 2 to 4 times faster than a year ago processor so imagine a decade ago one, so a next gen radar might be able to sport… Read more »

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

This figure was announced a couple of years ago by Leonardo UK, claiming it had a breakthrough. I can’t recall the details, something about moving transponders closer to the antenna if memory serves. It is supposed to incorporate tech beyond the ECRS Mk 2.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Wiring all the individual radar elements directly into the signal processor rather than having them go via a receiver that blends the signals, essentially an incredibly wide databus.

Last edited 3 months ago by Watcherzero
DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

The newer AESA radars are using more and more parallel processing. Where previously radar signal processing was done linearly. I am sure in the very near future, each transmitter-receiver module (TRM) will have its own dedicated signal processing function. Its not worth putting on the same board. As that makes upgrading difficult and expensive. But having a TRM connected to its own blade server, means upgrading will be easier. One of the bigger issues with modern AESA is there operating bandwidth. Traditionally even AESA radars that operate in the X-band (8 to 12GHz). Would operate around a base frequency of… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Sampson on ships is a genius bit of kit and has a massive capacity to generate targets. Thats the easy bit. The processing of the data is the hard part and getting useable data from the mountain of tracks you generate. Thats down to software, track extractors and computational power. Powerful computers in an aircraft mean power density and cooling will be an issue.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Specifically why I presume RR has highlighted its new engine technologies to support and deal with these sort of resulting expectations/problems.

Oli G
Oli G
3 months ago

Are Sweden still a part of the project>?

NorthernAlly
NorthernAlly
3 months ago
Reply to  Oli G

I think they were always just an observer, never properly part of it.

Coll
Coll
3 months ago
Reply to  Oli G

No.

Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago
Reply to  Oli G

Sweden have been out of the Tempest /GCAP Programme for some time.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

In my opinion, a big loss.

Coll
Coll
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Yep.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Coll

Their main input was I believe the Saab based computer modelling for creating a computerised digital twin. The US uses it and I thus expect that will still be used in the Tempest project too that’s the important thing. I can understand why Sweden would not want to commit as theirs requirements have traditionally been rather different to the complex larger requirement of Tempest. I guess it’s better they bide their time and offer relevant tech as a supplier rather than over stretching a sparsely populated Country who would have on that basis only a minor share in the project.… Read more »

Coll
Coll
3 months ago

Great news. Also, more good news hopefully. It has been reported that Cammell Laird will now entirely build the new Mersey Ferry. Let’s hope that is kept.
(Link)

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago

Good news , hopefully unlike the TSR2 it will have full government backing and not have the Navy doing their best to kill it.

I wish the Franco/ German effort “ Bon Chance” with the Germans antics during eurofighter development, they are going to need it.

I still think not making it carrier capable is a mistake that will haunt us in the future. Especially with the growing threat in the Pacific.

Tullzter
Tullzter
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Germany has allocated 50 billions to the drafting of the draft that outlines the agreement needed for the contract and project chart to be implemented. So yeah bonne chance

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  Tullzter

Seems a wee bit make that astronomically high for the what in project management speak we call Project Definition and the User Spec.

Tullzter
Tullzter
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Yeah it’s an exaggeration but it illustrates how lost german Mod has always been

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  Tullzter

If the Germans have swallowed a large dose of reality about defence then nobody will be more pleased than myself. They have been a bit of a freeloader in NATO for many years but are now struggling to get match fit ( yes I know I just painted a target on my back) Their shinanigans during eurofighter cost billions and years on the program. Their continual threats to pull out and or drive to dumb down the aircraft. So I am very glad they are not involved. Heaven forbid that both project amalganate as it will be a match made… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Sadly the German intransigence looks like scuppering the Saudi Typhoon deal. As Saudi are now also looking at Rafales just in case.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Well at least we won’t have meddling Royals stirring up problems for it, unless they let Andrew back into the equation anyway. Mountbatten pretty much destroyed any chance of an Australian order.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago

How soon before the Japanese petition to join AUKUS I wonder?

Billy
Billy
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I rather like the sound of JAUKUS

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

JAUKUS?
Sounds like an adjective meaning noisily jolly.
Like nightclubbers

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

With a hint of dissonance

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

The Japanese are moving back towards have a blue water navy having abandoned their self defence stance.
Although they make excellent coastal defence boats I can see they could want a jump start Into nuclear submarine tech.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I don’t think, for Japan, it is worth the cost and Chinese propaganda of building nuclear boats. Their ambitions are largely local so conventional boats in twice the numbers are more useful

Frank62
Frank62
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

They have a large escort fleet we can only dream of & a blue water capability going back decades if not to practically WW2..

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Their Frigates along with the South Koreans are arguably the best in the World, even read US publications fretting at how much better they are certainly in punch, than even US destroyers and they should let them build US versions of them if the US shipbuilding industry can’t up its game in numbers and quality.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Similar to our having to form a tripartite pact with Australia, not France. The acronym FUKUS being just too close to the mark.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

China:
Well, if you say so…

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

😉

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

You’d replied to the above spoof acronym. Reference ‘China:’ could have indicated an earlier post, but you did not elaborate, therefore…..

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

👍

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Don’t let the French in or it will be a Fraukus

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago

Really welcome news. I am hoping that BAe were savy with the contract arrangements. In that if a future Government decides if it to pull out. Then the contract had included a massive penalty clause, which will make the Government have second thoughts. This project is too important Nationally for a future Government to squander!

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
3 months ago

GCAP is certainly pulling ahead of the French-German-Spanish FCAS project, as they keep arguing over what the agreed French leadership of the programme means in practice. The big question is whether the GCAP development budget is affordable without the deep pockets of the Saudi’s, the UK and Italy seem to think not but Japan would prefer to keep them out. With a Japanese CEO initially heading the programme, they might win the argument.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago

Bringing in the Saudis at this point would probably be more trouble than it’s worth not to mention technological risk with their thawing foreign relations with suspect nations. Let’s see what happens much further into the programme mind when such risks ‘might’ be less risky and the developing atmosphere more definable.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago

So we don’t have enough Typhoon jets… we don’t have enough F35 jets, and Bae and whoever else, thinks its a rollicking good idea, if the MOD goes off and wastes billions of £’s, to revive on an old 1960 jet fighter/bomber.

And people are actually going to lap this up, as a jolly good thing to do??

So clearly the Army are set to suffer for years yet, as well as the navy, who need how many new ships?

Wow… mind boggled bigtime.

Louis
Louis
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

What exactly do you plan to replace Typhoon? Will it just stay in service forever?

Tom
Tom
3 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Yes!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Oh dear another day tripper.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

“Oh dear another day tripper” Your point being?

Actually I have an original 1965 copy of ‘Day Tripper’ by the Beatles. A little scratched, but still good to go..

If I shot a drone with my 1982 .357 Colt Python, it would be as fubar as shooting the same type of drone with a 2023 .357 Colt Python.

Why are people so hung up on reinventing the wheel?

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

What 1960 jet bomber? I’m utterly confused as to what on earth you are referring to. Tempest is a new aircraft with a new airframe.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

No matter… never mind!

klonkie
klonkie
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

sorry Tom -you have me confused “to revive on an old 1960 jet fighter/bomber”?.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago
Reply to  klonkie

The TSR-2… Oh no matter… never mind!

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

That’s because you are offering the TSR2 as a comparison to Tempest. It clearly is nothing like that.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

One thing that is a fact, (just like the 60’s) the UK will never be able to afford to buy them in the quantities we need, or require.

So yes it is a fair comparison! Then to cap it all, bae go off into the sunset with the plans and the means to flog them to whoever wants them.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Well if we don’t have the numbers with Tempest we won’t with any other solution without the added benefits. Bae will not without Govt support, indeed Govts support be able to seek anything to anyone, they already work with others on present contracts as do RR mind, the Turks for one, but again they will do that anyway and to be honest such companies need to to earn a living. This agreement actually frees them from working with less savoury regimes if anything so I don’t really see the objection. Without aircraft neither the Army or Navy will survive a… Read more »

Tom
Tom
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The government IS already supporting/funding Bae and whoever else. They have given “£2 billion in the UK over the last 5 years on technology, creating skills and capabilities – with a further £600 million from industry”

Wow cool trade off…. the UK Gov spend £2billion, and Industry (bae and whoever) only have to part with £600 million.

I have often found that prior to a ‘rant’ read the full report first. 🤓

Klonkie
Klonkie
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

all good Tom -thanks

Challenger
Challenger
3 months ago

Fantastic! Italy and Japan look like natural bedfellows when it comes to this level of complex aerospace technology and investment.

Critically though what is being baked into GCAP to make sure no current or future partners can block exports to third party customers?

Will construction being done via workshare of components like Typhoon or will the 3 original partners manufacture 100% of their own airframes?

Presumably any additional exports will need to involve workshare agreements between the partners?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

ARTICLE 50
(1) Each Party shall support, to the maximum extent possible, in accordance with legal obligations and regulations, and with due consideration of the direct interests of national security, the intention of one of the Parties to export or transfer items and information generated within or through the GCAP to non-Parties.
(2) Should one of the Parties have concerns about the possibility of exporting to a non-Party, the Parties shall initiate high-level consultations without undue delay in order to exchange their assessments and find appropriate solutions.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/657b1171095987001295e109/GIGO_treaty.pdf

Cthulhu Arose
Cthulhu Arose
3 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

I would imagine a workshare arrangement, rather that spending out on creating three separate assembly lines. BAe/UK for the basic airframe, Mitsubishi/Japan for the engines, and Leonardo/Italy for the radar/EW suite

Frank62
Frank62
3 months ago

Let’s hope Tempest doesn’t have to fly in a holding pattern while all the top spec shiney software is buffering!🙂

Great to have others sharing the project & bringing their expertise.

Ex_Service
Ex_Service
3 months ago

Idiotic, but predictable, that carrier CTOL requirements were not included into Tempest.

Not sure whether to blame the MoD, RN or RAF the most, the order as written is most likely accurate.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Ex_Service

As I mentioned earlier, a lot will depend on the aircraft’s designed role. If it is a direct replacement for Typhoon. But basically better at everything then sure, you can design a stealthy airframe, with a decent short take-off and landing (STOL) capability. That incorporates high lift through active vortex generation and direct laminar flow control. But its speed will be limited to below Mach 2.5-2.7ish, due to the need to keep super-manoeuvrability. The issue comes when you want an aircraft that favours high altitude, speed and endurance over attributers. It will have to be big to hold the necessary… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I have never, ever seen anyone go into as much detail re a movie prop as you have here, DB
Cheers for the knowledge

ElyH
ElyH
3 months ago

France makes the best planes in Europe and it a 100% makes better planes than Japan but somehow people think GCAP will be better than FCAS… You guys are seriously deluded.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  ElyH

Deary me…. someones let their 3 year old use their phone.😂

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
3 months ago
Reply to  ElyH

FCAS, and PANG for that matter, will never be more than a slick rendering on a PowerPoint slide

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  ElyH

I think you are seriously deluded based on that. Rafale certainly is not better than Typhoon the Indians now recognise the Mirage 2000 is as good as obsolete against its likely opposition, so not clear what evidence you have to support your argument, even if opinions can be rather subjective. Japan has qualities obviously, particularly in electronics, mechanical engineering and industrial processes and production that the French and indeed us are not in the same league with, so that’s what they bring to the table as they equally learn about engine and airframe technologies from us. Considering the Japanese once… Read more »

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Only when he grows up !

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago

Already obsolete even before starting.
Missiles and drones and target acquisition and ID is what matters.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago

I do not profess to know the answers to many of the questions posted here but, the two wars that are currently waging, and specially in Ukraine seems to have boiled down to 1/ Infantry warfare 2/ Artillery warfare 3/ Drone warfare This fly’s (no pun intended) in the face of “give us the dollars so we can research fighters that can… do what…? At this moment in time, I see nothing but waste, by shovelling millions and billions of £’s at a new generation aeroplane, especially when a swarm of 100 drones at £300 a pop can neutralise one… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

You’ll never take out a fighter with drones. The ones at the moment would struggle to catch up with a Spitfire.
The point of jets is like Dreadnoughts in WW1 era: in order to destroy one, you need a dreadnought yourself unless your opponent is very stupid (Dardanelles). Therefore, the use of manned fighters is important to maintain military brunt at world stage.
It needs to be manned in order to have the spacial awareness for air combat. Drones just don’t have the reaction time and maneuverability to fight a jet.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Also your numbers are all over the place. Much, much more than £1m for a jet
Ukraine is not a good example of modern warfare, both sides use old tech in large numbers so survivability is less of an issue

Tom
Tom
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

HI SB
Thank you for your financial assessment of my “all over the place figures”. Indeed, I stand corrected.

My figure however, was based on nothing at all, as I have no idea how much these ‘boffins toys’ actually cost.

More than £1m per jet… £5m, £10m, £50m? Maybe even double that amount… in UK MOD terms, unaffordable.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Your average fighter jet costs, at the moment, between £50m and £100m. Tempest, due to new tech, might get up to £150m. Still good value if you consider a T31 frigate that costs £250m and would be a walk in the park for a flight of F35s to evade and mission kill.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

It is this ‘horrific’ cost, that will prevent most countries from owning these aircraft in serious numbers.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

SB… your assumption that dozens of Drones, could never take out a fighter jet, is based on… wishful thinking. I’ve always been a bit of a history buff. I remember one of several fantastic, amazing but true stories of WWII. In 1943, 2 X-Class Royal Navy midget submarines, managed to drop their side explosive charges, under the German Battleship Tirpitz. The Tirpitz was the second Bismarck class of battleships, built for the German Navy. It had a ships company of 2,000 men. It was put out of action until May of 1944. Size means nothing in the grand scheme of… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Disclaimer:I too am a history buff; it and my interest in technology are what got me onto this site. Your Tirpitz analogy is misleading. The X-craft were built with the express purpose of dropping mines beneath structures in harbour. The equivalent would be Ukrainian drones hitting Russian airbases, which has no bearing on our conversation. Your description of very fast UAVs attacking a jet sounds very much like an AA missile. If you’re not aware, these already exist. Jets are capable of operating despite them. There is a speed point (@DaveyB will know more) where effective communication with a hypersonic… Read more »

Tom
Tom
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

You seem like a decent, clever, intelligent individual to me however, why do you have to keep trying to counter an argument, seemingly for argument sake?

The Tirpitz story was not an analogy, but a factual event, highlighting the reality then as now, that big, is not always better.

Ok ok to keep things peaceful… one day, a Drone swarm WILL take out a fighter jet. That day will be upon us, maybe sooner than you think.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Firstly, I continued with this debate because I am enjoying a lengthy conversation on a topic I am interested in. I am not attacking you, we are both learning new things. My point is that the disablement of the Tirpitz was, albeit a very interesting story with several stages of which X-craft were 1, not applicable to a general rule that bigger is not better. When it comes to high speed flight, you cannot possibly both keep up with a fighter jet and remain a cheap and disposable UAV without morphing into a missile. Physics gets in your way pretty… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Of course a drone can take out a fighter.
Fighter need to land and need airbases which are relatively rare and known. Drones and missiles are increasing in range and much more ubiquitous. It is not unconceivable that in future 6-Day War will be done by thousands of missiles and drone attacks against air bases that will be neutralised or destroyed.
And i suspect it will not be done by West but against the West because
West have an unhealthy fascination with the “Archer” = ships, aircraft, tanks. It can be its downfall.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

I agree that the risk to air and naval bases posed by drones is significant and likely to increase.
That is not what Tom was arguing for. He meant that, in open airspace, a swarm of cheap drones could outmanoeuvre and take down a 6th gen fighter. I was arguing that this is impossible due to the economic and physical constraints of high speed flight.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

To be fair SB, I didn’t actually mean that a drone would go 1 on 1 with a fighter jet, and take it out.

If that is the impression I gave, then apologies to whoever interpreted it as such.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

I overstated your argument above. In hindsight, you never did state that the drone swarm would be attacking in the air, which would indeed be near-impossible with any number of drones due to limitations outlined above. However, on the ground drone swarms, like in Ukraine, pose a real threat to airbases not using Hardened Air Shelters like the Typhoons do. This is something the whole military (same applies to naval and army bases) should be worried about and why I think we should buy a whole heap of the Terrahawk systems we bought for Ukraine. It’s essentially a self-contained CIWS… Read more »

Christopher
Christopher
3 months ago

I must protest man. Thus is a farce I say sir why spend all that money on crap we don’t need missle easy do the job fraction cost