UK unveils Tempest concept - fighter of the future

At the opening of the international air show in Farnborough, the British Secretary of Defense presented a conceptual model of the Tempest fighter - The Tempest. It will become one of the first sixth generation fighters in the world - and at the same time a purely British project as opposed to the Eurofighter family. This is important because a year ago the UK withdrew from the joint development program with France and Germany, and now it is getting a chance to declare itself as a significant player in the industry.

The Tempest concept is based on the experience gained from the creation and operation of the Typhoon and the F-35 Lightning II. It will be a twin-engine stealth aircraft with a delta-wing hull and an innovative propulsion system capable of transferring large amounts of energy to next-generation weapons like lasers. It uses a plug-and-play payload distribution system so that the fighter can carry anything from cruise missiles to drone nests.

Separately highlighted are new communication systems protected from cyberattacks and such a function as turning a fighter into a communications and battle control center. A wide range of multispectral sensors, radio frequency sensors and augmented reality system in the cockpit are briefly described. And also "Tempest" is designed in such a way that it would be possible to entrust its servicing to robotic installations on the ground. Plus, a number of "cosmetic solutions" are provided that will make the new product attractive to foreign buyers.

BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, MBDA, Leonardo, Defense Equipment & Support and RAF Rapid Capability Office are named among the project contractors, with an initial investment of $ 2.6 billion. The country's authorities hope to receive a business plan and sketches in 2019-2020, so that by 2025 to start attracting investments from foreign partners. The first Tempest flight may take place in 2035, and it will enter service approximately in 2040.