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Future Combat Air System (FCAS)

TomcatViP

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mrmalaya said:
Here is a paper showing a bit more of what BAE might have up their sleeves:



https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_432748_en.pdf

Including more detail on how that adaptable airframe might work (with a hint as to why those tailfins appear to be stuck on as an afterthought on the newly released BAE concept image).
Gorgeous !!!! Althought Those that did read Ol'T-VIP would not feel like standing off guard :) so, Taranis IS the first supersonic stealthy drone designed in Europe?
 

Hood

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Interesting. A drone with VG wings and tails.
I'm no aerodynamics expert, but I assume the complicated VG tail fins are purely to ensure stability during sweep-change of the main wings? I can't think of any tailless VG concepts off hand.
 

mrmalaya

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I think the tails and reconfigurable leading edge and wing are to allow the same system to perform different roles. When you combine this with the flexible payload bay (which has already been tested), this UAV concept allows much more bang for buck.

BAE first talked about this with Corax, which was their Raven UAV demonstrator with ISTAR suitable wings.
 

litzj

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mrmalaya said:
Here is a paper showing a bit more of what BAE might have up their sleeves:



https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_432748_en.pdf

Including more detail on how that adaptable airframe might work (with a hint as to why those tailfins appear to be stuck on as an afterthought on the newly released BAE concept image).
Thx for sharing PDF !!, concept of BAE like airflow control for stealth, and variable wing are interesting !!
 

TomcatViP

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super Vulcan?
(The fr art is similarly a super Rafale. How funny....)
 

Deltafan

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I hope that it's the good place for this link :

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/farnborough/2018/07/11/why-an-unmanned-fighter-fleet-isnt-yet-viable-in-the-words-of-britains-air-force-chief/
 

Flyaway

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Jobs boost as MoD plan for British fighter jet takes off

Ministers are set to unveil plans to build a new fighter jet tomorrow — in a move that will sustain thousands of jobs and continue more than a century of combat aircraft manufacturing.

The commitment to develop a sixth-generation manned fighter is expected to be the highlight of defence secretary Gavin Williamson’s Combat Air Strategy, a blueprint for sustaining military aerospace design and manufacturing skills.

The pledge will provide a boost for the defence industry on the first day of the Farnborough air show, which will be opened by Theresa May. Bosses have long argued that Britain must commit to a new fighter jet or risk losing a crucial industry.

The move will sustain thousands of jobs in Lancashire, where BAE Systems builds the Eurofighter…
Unfortunately the rest of the article is behind a paywall.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/jobs-boost-as-mod-plan-for-british-fighter-jet-takes-off-xn372l230
 

mrmalaya

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Well the Combat Air Strategy is definitely on for tomorrow, but what will it bring? Can we hope for a genuinely national project?
 

mrmalaya

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Surely this must warrant it's own thread now that we have a name for the project and some clearly defined aims?

Is it Team Tempest or just plain tempest?
 

mrmalaya

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The low cost UCAV being developed under LANCA is to have 2 phases of development and a flight demonstration according to Tony Osborne on Twitter. Open only to UK manufacturers.
 

Jackonicko

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mrmalaya said:
Team Tempest
Team Tempest is the name of the RAF RCO led consortium responsible for the FCAS-TI series of technology demonstrations.

The conceptual model shown at Fairford and Farnborough does not have a name.

There is, as yet, no Tempest.
 

flateric

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Jackonicko said:
The conceptual model shown at Fairford and Farnborough does not have a name.
There is, as yet, no Tempest.
Then this is BS? (well, I understand that Team Tempest =/= concept name, but whatever)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWATZoGyLq0&feature=youtu.be&t=228

UPD
yes, you are right - nowhere at the BAE, RR or MoD site I see Tempest as a fighter name
 

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Jackonicko

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It's certainly a big hint as to what people think the new fighter should be called, when it's eventually defined and designed, but the concept shown at Fairford and Farnborough is a VERY long way from being the RAF's next fighter. That aircraft could still look VERY different - as discussed on the Tempest thread.
 

mrmalaya

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In fairness to myself there, I was questioning what to call the project within minutes of the launch and have since stopped calling the aircraft Tempest.

Not that there is anything better to call it, and there are still plenty of industry types calling it Tempest -if only as a form of shorthand.

I understand why Jackonicko needs to be more accurate in the reporting though.
 

Hood

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Team Tempest (BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls-Royce) was formed around the time of the MoD industry day on 13th March 2018. Flightglobal reported this was work on concepts for a low-cost unmanned combat air system demonstrator alongside the Anglo-French UCAV efforts.
The Aerosociety article posted in the LANCA thread splits out Team Tempest's involvement as broader FCAS concepts and the Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) RFI issued around the same time for LANCA is a ‘Loyal Wingman’ low-cost UCAV as a separate but "potential part of the future combat air system.”
Then in July the Tempest is unveiled at Farnborough as a potential collaborative sixth-gen fighter platform, with Team Tempest seemingly behind it.

From my analysis it seems like the initial Flightglobal article was hinting at LANCA but whether Team Tempest is actively involved in LANCA is open to question, given the involvement of RCO and restriction to UK companies with involvement from university research partners etc., which seems to indicate a programme similar in scope and scale to MAGMA.
The quotes in the Aerosociety article by Air Vice Marshall Simon Rochelle clearly states Team Tempest involvement is to look at FCAS concepts. Plus there is still the Anglo-French programme of which little has been said, but presumably is still rumbling along, perhaps at slow pace.

Therefore I think we can discount that Team Tempest is leading LANCA at this stage, though they may well enter a proposal bid. Instead they are looking at the bigger hardware. FCAS is going to be a manned platform, a sixth-generation aircraft. Whatever thoughts might have led to Taranis have probably been swept aside by the European clamour for new fighters to replace Rafale, Typhoon and Gripen. The potential market and collaborations are simply too great to miss. Strike UCAVs have little or no export market (political implications too) so its natural a fighter platform is seen as a cash generator. This is where the bulk of the governments R&D spending will go.

Where does that leave LANCA? A low-cost demonstrator to add to the others in a dusty hangar? I doubt the MoD can contribute to a fighter programme and develop a homegrown UCAV at the same time but it makes a good case to retain a home industry by developing something cheaper at home to give FCAS a full national component. LANCA makes no sense if the MoD wants to wait until 2040 when FCAS is ready. My hunch is that LANCA might reach fruition sooner, perhaps a loyal wingman for F-35? France and Germany probably face the same problem. Making the fighter optionally manned offers a solution but its hardly the low-cost expendable strike platform that LANCA is aiming towards. Taranis and Neuron are similar high-end options that might be feasible within the shorter term (potentially ready before the fighter platform is) but the appetite seems to have shifted, perhaps the defence staffs are interested but the aerospace industry seems to be pushing fighters to any government that will listen (Airbus especially with Enders telling politicians not to interfere - shut up and open the cheque book).
 

Jackonicko

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Hood,

Like so many people, you're making the mistake of assuming that FCAS is a single platform. It isn't. Everyone who has got up and talked about it recognises that it will be a system of systems.

FCAS is not, in other words:

"going to be a manned platform, a sixth-generation aircraft."
FCAS will be much more than a manned platform. I don't think the Sixth generation tag is remotely useful, incidentally.

It's going to be a system of systems - just one element of which will be a manned platform. That means that it is absolutely 100% the plan to:

"contribute to a fighter programme and develop a homegrown UCAV at the same time."
There is no way that FCAS will not include other platforms - including a 'loyal wingman' kind of vehicle, smaller swarming UAVs, etc. I'd be astonished if LANCA (as a core component of the Future Combat Air System) isn't being managed by Team Tempest (and the RCO in particular) even if the contract for building it eventually goes outside the core companies who CURRENTLY comprise the Tempest team.
 

flateric

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Jackonicko said:
It's certainly a big hint as to what people think the new fighter should be called, when it's eventually defined and designed
But...well
 

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Hood

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Jackonicko,
You misread me. Of course FCAS will be a system with several component parts, that is plainly obvious. But the core platform will be a manned fighter/strike aircraft, that is the node of the airborne system and that is where the industry focus is. Air Vice Marshal Rochelle was quoted as saying of FCAS says: “It’s a platform within a systems of systems which is important in the future... There’s always a system within a system. The question for us is: how far do we go further forward in the conceptual ideas and what is the next natural evolution of those concepts?”. Whatever the Tempest mockup eventually emerges at will be with platform around which FCAS will sit.

As Gavin Williamson said "Team Tempest's activities will span work across 50-60 national demonstrations, covering aspects such as low-observability, advanced sensors, propulsion and future cockpit design, contained within an existing FCAS technology initiative." That's a lot of R&D work and they can't do everything, so it makes sense to bring in smaller partners for particular demonstrator models. I agree it makes sense for Team Tempest to have an oversight of all the technical aspects.

FCAS started in 2011 to identify and research unmanned technologies. In 2014 under the Lancaster House talks it became an Anglo-French programme, the government allocating £120M of its £200M unmanned research budget for the joint study phase designed to build on experience with Taranis and Neuron (£80M also went to further work on both). In March 2016 £1.54 billion was committed to a full scale demonstrator programme due to start at the end of 2017, with a first flight planned for 2025 and an operational system during the 2030s. But the full scale demonstrator never happened for whatever reason and Dassault by early 2018 were looking at Airbus' fighter programme instead.

It seems to me to be no coincidence that as France and Germany began studying a manned Eurofighter/Rafale replacement for the 2040s and BAE Systems began to look at its diminishing production line at Warton, that suddenly FCAS stopped being a purely unmanned technology demonstrator but has grown to encompass a manned Eurofighter replacement as well, including technologies required for future cockpits etc. FCAS has now also absorbed Rolls-Royce's future engine work which their chief engineer for future defence programmes Conrad Banks in Februrary 2018 stated was for futuristic programmes in general rather than FCAS-specific work.
In March 2018 Team Tempest was formed to look into FCAS concept, some 7 years after FCAS began, indicating whatever original concepts there were have been reviewed and revised. In July Flightglobal revealed BAE Systems had received a single-source award with 12 month contract for unspecified FCAS work, we can only conjecture what that might be.

FCAS still seems quite undefined, or at least everyone is holding their cards to their chest. Its clear that as it has evolved FCAS has had various national and multinational threads. If the UK does join one of the European programmes on offer its highly likely that the scope of FCAS will change again.
 

flateric

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mrmalaya said:
This could be the UK cranked delta version of the planform Dassault has been publicising in the past couple of years.
Slightly better versions and some more stuff on BAE Systems cranked kite FCAS configuration (it was BAE Systems pavilion at FIA'16 for a note)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7Ggj9tjufg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7puQdQCwpA
 

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mrmalaya

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Great find flateric!

The more I look at that model, the more it is apparent that it is the same as the French one, except the structure related to the British approach to the intake and engine.
 

flateric

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For a note: all FCAS/SCAF images/video galleries are gone from Dassault core site.
Just a couple of press-releases left.
There are FCAS interviews still at Dassault TV though.
 

flateric

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some retrospective before UK/FR FCAS will kick off

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/05/10/brexit-wont-harm-anglo-eu-defence-co-operation-drones-says-bae/
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/07/14/bae-systems-dismisses-concerns-lack-involvement-new-french-german/
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/feature/5/185582/future-french_german-fighter-could-integrate-french_uk-combat-drone.html
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/brexit-throws-anglo-french-fcas-programme-into-doubt-446592/
https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/04/12/uk-was-the-one-to-put-the-brakes-on-drone-demo-project-industry-says/
https://www.defensenews.com/unmanned/2018/05/11/britain-flip-flops-toward-isr-drone-but-france-keeps-eye-on-combat-capability/
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/04/25/fears-britain-could-frozen-new-european-fighter-project/
 

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fightingirish

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It looks like, that the British-French FCAS project has been canceled.
Helen Ch. @ChDefense said:
Ah. Pour celles et ceux qui se demandent ce qu'est devenu le programme FCAS franco-britannique lancé en novembre 2014 : les travaux ont été arrêtés, confirme Eric Trappier.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChDefense/status/1101035355057332224
Dominic Perry @fg_domperry said:
More tests this year on @Dassault_OnAir Neuron demonstrator focused on stealth, confirms CEO Eric Trappier. However work on FCAS with "our British friends" has been discontinued.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fg_domperry/status/1101035607550296064
 

Hood

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This Flightglobal article has a few more snippets, the most important perhaps being that interest from Britain seemed to wane. Even Trappier seems unaware exactly why it fizzled out.
The demonstrator phase was due to start in 2017, so it seems the pullback, perhaps due to funding or change of political interests, took hold before 'Tempest' came on the scene.
It seems some low-level co-operation is being maintained.
It would be too tempting to say the Brexit guillotine imposed by the government that inexplicably cut us from things like Euratom, which had little to do with the EU, had a hand in the unraveling of all the 2010-era Anglo-French defence cooperation initiatives. The truth is probably more nuanced than that.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/dassault-confirms-end-of-anglo-french-ucav-work-456199/
 

red admiral

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The historians will have fun reading through the emails and PowerPoint, and interviewing in the future. The reasons for this will be pretty obvious.
 

FighterJock

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red admiral said:
The historians will have fun reading through the emails and PowerPoint, and interviewing in the future. The reasons for this will be pretty obvious.
Don't get me started on the B word red admiral. :mad:
 

Mike Pryce

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red admiral said:
The historians will have fun reading through the emails and PowerPoint, and interviewing in the future. The reasons for this will be pretty obvious.
Patisserie?
 

Hood

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Trappier seems to be laying out the arguments for not letting anyone interfere with his company's project. "One company or one country" sounds easy, but Dassault and Airbus are not one company (yet) and that assumes that the AdA and Luftwaffe have the same requirements in mind.
The cynic would say how would Dassault know about the multinational experience having not been part of one since the 1960s!

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/dassault-chief-warns-on-creating-eurofighter-20-f-456242/


red admiral said:
The historians will have fun reading through the emails and PowerPoint, and interviewing in the future. The reasons for this will be pretty obvious.
I very much doubt much of the electronic source material will ever find its way to Kew or the company archives for us to read about. With 50 years to wait plus however long the Tempest is in service for (the 2040 introduction is barely halfway through the embargo period) we will all be dead or doddery old centenarians before we get the inside story. Hopefully our children or grandchildren will pick up the aviation historian bug and go have a look for us, assuming the software exists to read the files.
 

TomcatViP

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You're too pessimistic (but I agree that the matters discussed in the latter posts brings anyone easily into this). In 50y from now, the SP forum will still be hotly debated by yet to be born forumers.
 

Deltafan

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Hood said:
The cynic would say how would Dassault know about the multinational experience having not been part of one since the 1960s!
https://youtu.be/G3UtJ6u0QL0
 

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kaiserd

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FighterJock said:
red admiral said:
Hood said:
Dassaults repeats demand to have most of the workshare whilst France puts in less money. I don't remember that working out well for them last time. Its almost like they don't know what "partner" means.
Here we go again. Looks like Dassault have never learned from their past mistakes.
Not going to defend previous decisions by Dassault & France but trying to project that on current decision making in a very different context is perhaps overreaching.

And considering how Brexit and it’s impact is going, and the state of the current relationship between the current US administration and many of its closest allies, perhaps we should all be mindful of getting high and mighty about being a good “partner”.

And specifically on this topic it’s the UK that just “let down” France in their joint “FCAS” project.
 

Hood

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kaiserd said:
And specifically on this topic it’s the UK that just “let down” France in their joint “FCAS” project.
Certainly it seems the UK lost interest in the demonstrator by early 2018. (https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/brexit-throws-anglo-french-fcas-programme-into-doubt-446592/)
But interestingly Paris didn't put up the rest of the money for the demonstrator to satisfy Dassault either and since mid-2018 the focus on both sides of the channel has been the manned element of the FCAS system rather than the UCAV element.

Taranis and Neuron had proven the UCAV element, a further demonstrator might not have been that useful without a suitable manned 'wingman' for it to operate with and the complete combat system required. The new FCAS seems to be a more logical progression looking at the software first.
 

red admiral

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kaiserd said:
And specifically on this topic it’s the UK that just “let down” France in their joint “FCAS” project.
That is the Dassault line...
 
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