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Tempest - UK Future fighter programme

zen

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CTOL to CATOBAR.....give over!
So some of us labour under acronym overload and struggle to remember our CFC from CFC and RCS from RCS. GOYH on your OCD as GSoH isn't a NATO OR let alone AFAIK FWIW CTOL is a reasonable SH for CATOBAR when discussing JSF on CVF.
 

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It wasn't just changing CVF to CTOL that was expensive, it was running CTOL operations compared to STOVL.

correct me if I'm wrong..
but someone somewhere screwed up on the cost estimates and the ease of converting the ships to CTOL. it wasn't quite as modular as claimed
Firstly people are confusing CTOL and CATOBAR. BAE were asked to produce a flexible carrier that could easily be changed from STOVL to CATOBAR, BAE actually produced a carrier that cost as much as a new carrier to convert from STOVL to CATOBAR and this saga played out early last decade.
BAE didn't, ACA actually did a dirty deal with Gordon Brown when he was manipulating the order as a result of the 2008 economic crisis, the official line in the MOD was the that final selection for F-35 and this the carriers was 2011, which is why it was switched from STOVL to CATOBAR and the F-35C as Rumsfeld was about to can the F-35B. The problem was ACA did a an unannounced backhand deal with Gordon Brown the then PM to design and build STOVL to get the carriers built quicker and boost the economy whilst the F-35B was unproven. Thus when the 2010 SDSR was announced the ACA had to step forward and admit they had dropped the assigned spaces from the design and that to reimplement them would delay the build by a couple of years whilst the govt would carry the cost as it was the govt that had authorised the quiet dropping of the functionality and set the contract so strict by using the CVF program as a carrot and cancelling other warship projects as a stick to force an unwanted alliance that has led to a virtual monopoly and left RN short on ships and put the next generation a decade behind creating much of the current chaos.
 

Thorvic

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Not sure we will be able to build the Tempest, should we cap the F-35B at 48 those orders come to an end in a couple of years, The US and LM may well decide to reassign the UK workshare of the F-35 programme to others leaving BAE at Salmesbury and Warton with sod all to work on in the meantime whilst hoping that the Tempest actually materialises. They were happy to stop Typhoon orders as the F-35 was a steady stream of business, but if we cancel F-35 after batch 1 and the USAF are looking at alternatives that cash cow will soon run dry.
 

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Not sure we will be able to build the Tempest, should we cap the F-35B at 48 those orders come to an end in a couple of years, The US and LM may well decide to reassign the UK workshare of the F-35 programme to others leaving BAE at Salmesbury and Warton with sod all to work on in the meantime whilst hoping that the Tempest actually materialises. They were happy to stop Typhoon orders as the F-35 was a steady stream of business, but if we cancel F-35 after batch 1 and the USAF are looking at alternatives that cash cow will soon run dry.
The silver lining is that we are the only Tier 1 partner nation, so it wouldn't be easy to pull BAE's workshare away given its a 15% share of every F-35 (estimates reckon 30% of a F-35 is British-built kit of some form) and is apparently keeping 21,000 people employed in the UK among BAE and 21 sub-contractors. Those jobs have been supported by £3.6bn of knowledge transfer and training, including stealth technologies and digital manufacturing as well as a capital investment programme over £600mil.

The two F-35B's ordered from LRIP Lot 11 were $115mil each, about 24% cheaper than the initial ones cost and the MoD not that long ago seemed pretty happy about that.

The MoD seems coy on the real costs, but a 2017 defence select committee report said that the programme cost to 2026 for 48 aircraft including spares and support etc. would be £9.1bn.
But the committee's main point at the time was that the MoD had no idea what the final price would be as it was still negotiating the price of the final 17 of the 48 aircraft. The MoD basically told the committee that they couldn't estimate how much all 138 would cost until all 138 has been purchased.
So the question is how come 4 years later the MoD seems to know how much it might save from not buying more?

Even today there are still 6 jets yet to be ordered from Lots 16 onward with delivery in 2023-25.
So the question is how come 4 years later the MoD seems to know how much it might save from not buying more?

With hindsight, paying up to 10% of the development costs as the fee for Tier 1 status in return for four-dozen fighters must be one of the worst deals £-per aircraft in British military aircraft history. The payback on the profits made from the 15% workshare will more than compensate for the military costs, I can't help but wonder if a risk-benefits analysis has really been done?
Why endanger such a large industrial vale worth literally billons? Tempest is never going to offer as much industrial reward per £ invested.
 

uk 75

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The RAF now has ground attack capability on its Typhoons. If the Saudi orders fall through (quite likely given the new line from Washington) BAe will look to the RAF to take them on.
48 F35B for the RN (who are like the US Marines wedded to STOVL) makes sense as the RAF can then have an all Typhoon fleet.
That pushes a new generation into the 2030-40 period.
Tempest looks like another TSR2 in the making. F35 or a future US design is likely to be cheaper and keep BAe involved.
This time round unlike the 60s to the 80s the European option wont have any political impetus, though if it is competitive on price and capability it might be chosen.
 

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BAE didn't, ACA actually did a dirty deal with Gordon Brown when he was manipulating the order as a result of the 2008 economic crisis, the official line in the MOD was the that final selection for F-35 and this the carriers was 2011, which is why it was switched from STOVL to CATOBAR and the F-35C as Rumsfeld was about to can the F-35B. The problem was ACA did a an unannounced backhand deal with Gordon Brown the then PM to design and build STOVL to get the carriers built quicker and boost the economy whilst the F-35B was unproven. Thus when the 2010 SDSR was announced the ACA had to step forward and admit they had dropped the assigned spaces from the design and that to reimplement them would delay the build by a couple of years whilst the govt would carry the cost as it was the govt that had authorised the quiet dropping of the functionality and set the contract so strict by using the CVF program as a carrot and cancelling other warship projects as a stick to force an unwanted alliance that has led to a virtual monopoly and left RN short on ships and put the next generation a decade behind creating much of the current chaos.
Interesting, I hadn't heard that. What does ACA stand for?
 
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helmutkohl

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It wasn't just changing CVF to CTOL that was expensive, it was running CTOL operations compared to STOVL.

correct me if I'm wrong..
but someone somewhere screwed up on the cost estimates and the ease of converting the ships to CTOL. it wasn't quite as modular as claimed
Firstly people are confusing CTOL and CATOBAR. BAE were asked to produce a flexible carrier that could easily be changed from STOVL to CATOBAR, BAE actually produced a carrier that cost as much as a new carrier to convert from STOVL to CATOBAR and this saga played out early last decade.
BAE didn't, ACA actually did a dirty deal with Gordon Brown when he was manipulating the order as a result of the 2008 economic crisis, the official line in the MOD was the that final selection for F-35 and this the carriers was 2011, which is why it was switched from STOVL to CATOBAR and the F-35C as Rumsfeld was about to can the F-35B. The problem was ACA did a an unannounced backhand deal with Gordon Brown the then PM to design and build STOVL to get the carriers built quicker and boost the economy whilst the F-35B was unproven. Thus when the 2010 SDSR was announced the ACA had to step forward and admit they had dropped the assigned spaces from the design and that to reimplement them would delay the build by a couple of years whilst the govt would carry the cost as it was the govt that had authorised the quiet dropping of the functionality and set the contract so strict by using the CVF program as a carrot and cancelling other warship projects as a stick to force an unwanted alliance that has led to a virtual monopoly and left RN short on ships and put the next generation a decade behind creating much of the current chaos.
thanks it confirmed earlier rumors that the main problems that prohibited the conversion was expensive costs of the retrofit and that the design wasn't as easily convertable. not the issue of higher expenses in operating a CATOBAR
 

zen

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It wasn't just changing CVF to CTOL that was expensive, it was running CTOL operations compared to STOVL.

correct me if I'm wrong..
but someone somewhere screwed up on the cost estimates and the ease of converting the ships to CTOL. it wasn't quite as modular as claimed
Firstly people are confusing CTOL and CATOBAR. BAE were asked to produce a flexible carrier that could easily be changed from STOVL to CATOBAR, BAE actually produced a carrier that cost as much as a new carrier to convert from STOVL to CATOBAR and this saga played out early last decade.
BAE didn't, ACA actually did a dirty deal with Gordon Brown when he was manipulating the order as a result of the 2008 economic crisis, the official line in the MOD was the that final selection for F-35 and this the carriers was 2011, which is why it was switched from STOVL to CATOBAR and the F-35C as Rumsfeld was about to can the F-35B. The problem was ACA did a an unannounced backhand deal with Gordon Brown the then PM to design and build STOVL to get the carriers built quicker and boost the economy whilst the F-35B was unproven. Thus when the 2010 SDSR was announced the ACA had to step forward and admit they had dropped the assigned spaces from the design and that to reimplement them would delay the build by a couple of years whilst the govt would carry the cost as it was the govt that had authorised the quiet dropping of the functionality and set the contract so strict by using the CVF program as a carrot and cancelling other warship projects as a stick to force an unwanted alliance that has led to a virtual monopoly and left RN short on ships and put the next generation a decade behind creating much of the current chaos.
This sort of needs dealing with.
First off if like me you were paying close attention to the whole CVF process.....you'd notice that key decisions were put back on multiple occasions. Years wasted, and vast amounts of cost increased. But not at the time, cheaper now and someone else pays later.
Just as with the Type 45s, wasted opportunity to cut costs by large order.

Just as you'd know that study after study at MoD/industry kept producing the same result, something that wasn't a cheap Invincible like carrier. Because Invincible was never intended to run SHar ops off Yugoslavia or retake the Falklands.
SHar was extension of ships missile systems, minimal numbers, minimal capability.
To even run SHar in decent numbers and capability would drive up CV beyond Hermes size.
Yet why were they still answering those same questions for years?
Because Gordon Brown and the Treasury kept asking them.
And it was No.11 that kept kicking the can down the road on those same key decisions. Blair defered on this as on most of the economy.

The idea Brown was going to fast track this is revisionism.

Switch to CATOBAR (ocd happy now?) Was under Fox after 2010, and ran slap bang into hard reality.
That for full spec CATOBAR capability needed AWACS, training up dedicated Naval avators and far less capacity to skimp on running costs through 'peaceful years'.
STOVL was and is cheaper. Helicopter AEW
Naval component after common training.
RAF reinforcement in wartime.

Running costs, through life costs are far greater than mere purchase cost.
And it's what contributed to CVA-01 death back in the 60's.

Anyway QE was too far gone on build to stop and fit for CATOBAR, PoW was potentially but QE would have to complete as STOVL and be reworked for CATOBAR.
Cost cost and more cost before a single Cat and Trap. Then more cost to switch to F35-C and yet more cost to train up with USN to qualify.
RAF opposed the lot as it had sacrificed FOAS to be promised F35. Opposed a possible cherry picking FAA luring away RAF funded pilots.
RAF was taking ever more of ye burden on pilots and virtually the lot with fast jet FAA disbanded after Harrier II cut.
 

uk 75

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History has sort of repeated itself.
The RN refused to join in the P1154 vstol fighter programme and killed their version off by over-egging the specification. They did so in order to get the F4 Phantom.
The delay meant that the RAF version had been stalled long enough to get cancelled in favour of F4s and P1127s.
The RAF gets is own back by helping to knife the carriers needed to fly F4s.
It then tries to ensure that only RAF Harriers (P1127) will fly off the Through Deck Cruisers.
The RN get their own version in time for the
Falklands as the Sea Harrier.
So I expect the RAF to be as unhelpful as possible over F35B procurement and the RN in turn to oppose Tempest as being unsuitable for carriers.
 

helmutkohl

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History has sort of repeated itself.
The RN refused to join in the P1154 vstol fighter programme and killed their version off by over-egging the specification. They did so in order to get the F4 Phantom.
The delay meant that the RAF version had been stalled long enough to get cancelled in favour of F4s and P1127s.
The RAF gets is own back by helping to knife the carriers needed to fly F4s.
It then tries to ensure that only RAF Harriers (P1127) will fly off the Through Deck Cruisers.
The RN get their own version in time for the
Falklands as the Sea Harrier.
So I expect the RAF to be as unhelpful as possible over F35B procurement and the RN in turn to oppose Tempest as being unsuitable for carriers.
and here I thought the US had the most bitter interservice rivalries
 

uk 75

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The RAF has along history of being resented by the Navy as the Senior Service and the Army out of which it emerged from the Royal Flying Corps.
One of my more enjoyable memories of life as a civil servant attached to the UK Delegation to NATO was a young naval officer sharing an office with a very serious more senior RAF officer. If I looked in on them, the RN chap would ask me "Have you ever wondered why we have an Air Force?"
In the opening episode of "Yes Prime Minister" the Chief of the Defence Staff (a General) refers to the RAF as "garage mechanics". And you thought Megan had it bad...
 
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Forest Green

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This sort of needs dealing with.
First off if like me you were paying close attention to the whole CVF process.....you'd notice that key decisions were put back on multiple occasions. Years wasted, and vast amounts of cost increased. But not at the time, cheaper now and someone else pays later.
Just as with the Type 45s, wasted opportunity to cut costs by large order.

Just as you'd know that study after study at MoD/industry kept producing the same result, something that wasn't a cheap Invincible like carrier. Because Invincible was never intended to run SHar ops off Yugoslavia or retake the Falklands.
SHar was extension of ships missile systems, minimal numbers, minimal capability.
To even run SHar in decent numbers and capability would drive up CV beyond Hermes size.
Yet why were they still answering those same questions for years?
Because Gordon Brown and the Treasury kept asking them.
And it was No.11 that kept kicking the can down the road on those same key decisions. Blair defered on this as on most of the economy.

The idea Brown was going to fast track this is revisionism.

Switch to CATOBAR (ocd happy now?) Was under Fox after 2010, and ran slap bang into hard reality.
That for full spec CATOBAR capability needed AWACS, training up dedicated Naval avators and far less capacity to skimp on running costs through 'peaceful years'.
STOVL was and is cheaper. Helicopter AEW
Naval component after common training.
RAF reinforcement in wartime.

Running costs, through life costs are far greater than mere purchase cost.
And it's what contributed to CVA-01 death back in the 60's.

Anyway QE was too far gone on build to stop and fit for CATOBAR, PoW was potentially but QE would have to complete as STOVL and be reworked for CATOBAR.
Cost cost and more cost before a single Cat and Trap. Then more cost to switch to F35-C and yet more cost to train up with USN to qualify.
RAF opposed the lot as it had sacrificed FOAS to be promised F35. Opposed a possible cherry picking FAA luring away RAF funded pilots.
RAF was taking ever more of ye burden on pilots and virtually the lot with fast jet FAA disbanded after Harrier II cut.
That's at odds with news stories from the time.

 

zen

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1. I'm working on memories of reading Richard Beedle's very detailed and concise reports from years ago. Sadly he gave up on that and his site seems to have faded away.
His efforts on keeping abrest of the whole CVF process is much missed.

2. Robert Peston is no defence journalist and the BBC is not a honest source of information on defence generally.
 

Flyaway

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1. I'm working on memories of reading Richard Beedle's very detailed and concise reports from years ago. Sadly he gave up on that and his site seems to have faded away.
His efforts on keeping abrest of the whole CVF process is much missed.

2. Robert Peston is no defence journalist and the BBC is not a honest source of information on defence generally.
He is however a political journalist and the second point is very much your opinion doesn’t make it an actual fact.
 

zen

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1. I'm working on memories of reading Richard Beedle's very detailed and concise reports from years ago. Sadly he gave up on that and his site seems to have faded away.
His efforts on keeping abrest of the whole CVF process is much missed.

2. Robert Peston is no defence journalist and the BBC is not a honest source of information on defence generally.
He is however a political journalist and the second point is very much your opinion doesn’t make it an actual fact.
Yes it is my view, based on experience with UK media.
Look I don't have the time to dig around, if you do, then go look at defence publications, government announcements from the 2000's onwards and read up.
I wish I could point you to some simple neatly arranged website on the matter. But that's no longer the case.
What you should recognise is that the likes of the BBC or the Guardian or the Times etc....are not very good sources on this subject.
 

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As interesting as the CVF saga is, it has very little bearing on Tempest as its highly unlikely to ever be developed as a naval platform.
The idea that the MoD is suddenly going to buy F-35Cs is seriously misplaced given its needs.

We have to be honest here that the Royal Navy part of the Lightning force is a a prestige figleaf. All fixed-wing FAA pilots are trained by the RAF, they will go to the same OCU and they operate from the same base and they fly aircraft from a common pool with common support facilities and joint spares and support package from LM. Most RAF pilots in 617 Sqn will be as equally carrier-capable as their FAA counterparts.

The only difference is in the rank title, colour of their dress uniform and who pays their wage. Its a convenient way for the RN to proclaim the FAA is once again a carrier-based fixed wing outfit while the RAF Department of the MoD offsets some of the personnel and training costs from the Navy Department of the MoD (the Navy probably pays the fuel bill while they are at sea too).
Having two types of F-35 would rather bugger up that system and cause more hassle than it saves.
 

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As interesting as the CVF saga is, it has very little bearing on Tempest as its highly unlikely to ever be developed as a naval platform.
The idea that the MoD is suddenly going to buy F-35Cs is seriously misplaced given its needs.

We have to be honest here that the Royal Navy part of the Lightning force is a a prestige figleaf. All fixed-wing FAA pilots are trained by the RAF, they will go to the same OCU and they operate from the same base and they fly aircraft from a common pool with common support facilities and joint spares and support package from LM. Most RAF pilots in 617 Sqn will be as equally carrier-capable as their FAA counterparts.

The only difference is in the rank title, colour of their dress uniform and who pays their wage. Its a convenient way for the RN to proclaim the FAA is once again a carrier-based fixed wing outfit while the RAF Department of the MoD offsets some of the personnel and training costs from the Navy Department of the MoD (the Navy probably pays the fuel bill while they are at sea too).
Having two types of F-35 would rather bugger up that system and cause more hassle than it saves.

As much as I like the Tempest to be developed into a carrier based fighter, it would be better for the Royal Navy to develop its own fighter from scratch maybe using technology from Tempest to keep costs down to a minimum.
 

uk 75

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Hood I am grateful for your explanation of how the F35B is operated.
I am hoping that the involvement of the Swedes and Italians and possibly others (Japan?) will make Tempest less prone to the BAe management that hit Astute and CVF.
But if the politicians (the current crop seem barely out of the sandpit) screw up again. I fear the F35C will go where the F4 did.
 

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It would seem to depend on the direction taken for Tempest. How much could be used in RAF and Navy requirements from a single airframe will also be a factor.
 

kaiserd

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1. I'm working on memories of reading Richard Beedle's very detailed and concise reports from years ago. Sadly he gave up on that and his site seems to have faded away.
His efforts on keeping abrest of the whole CVF process is much missed.

2. Robert Peston is no defence journalist and the BBC is not a honest source of information on defence generally.
As interesting as the CVF saga is, it has very little bearing on Tempest as its highly unlikely to ever be developed as a naval platform.
The idea that the MoD is suddenly going to buy F-35Cs is seriously misplaced given its needs.

We have to be honest here that the Royal Navy part of the Lightning force is a a prestige figleaf. All fixed-wing FAA pilots are trained by the RAF, they will go to the same OCU and they operate from the same base and they fly aircraft from a common pool with common support facilities and joint spares and support package from LM. Most RAF pilots in 617 Sqn will be as equally carrier-capable as their FAA counterparts.

The only difference is in the rank title, colour of their dress uniform and who pays their wage. Its a convenient way for the RN to proclaim the FAA is once again a carrier-based fixed wing outfit while the RAF Department of the MoD offsets some of the personnel and training costs from the Navy Department of the MoD (the Navy probably pays the fuel bill while they are at sea too).
Having two types of F-35 would rather bugger up that system and cause more hassle than it saves.

As much as I like the Tempest to be developed into a carrier based fighter, it would be better for the Royal Navy to develop its own fighter from scratch maybe using technology from Tempest to keep costs down to a minimum.
That’s drifting off to out-right science fiction; there is absolutely zero prospect of that happening.
 

zen

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Just a little aside that might yet impact all this. A figure in the French government on working with Germany said it was much easier working with the British.

So while it's currently Speculation and Theory....it has often seemed like French and British requirements, and views are closer to each other.
 

uk 75

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Germany usually was needed to bring money to a programme rather than add much else. These days its not that keen on bringing money.
 

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That ambition potentially got a boost in 2019 when the British MoD signed a deal with Rolls-Royce, Reaction Engines and BAE to undertake high-Mach propulsion studies in parallel with early work being conducted on the Tempest sixth-generation fighter, under development by Britain and its partners Italy and Sweden.
Updating the EJ200 engine, which powers the Typhoon fighter, with Reaction Engines’ know-how might be another option, a senior Royal Air Force officer suggested at the time of the announcement.
“The full Sabre engine design is at the end of the road map, offering a complete revolution in the way we access space. That doesn’t come online until the mid-2030s as a fully operational system,” Dissel said.

 

kaiserd

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That ambition potentially got a boost in 2019 when the British MoD signed a deal with Rolls-Royce, Reaction Engines and BAE to undertake high-Mach propulsion studies in parallel with early work being conducted on the Tempest sixth-generation fighter, under development by Britain and its partners Italy and Sweden.
Updating the EJ200 engine, which powers the Typhoon fighter, with Reaction Engines’ know-how might be another option, a senior Royal Air Force officer suggested at the time of the announcement.
“The full Sabre engine design is at the end of the road map, offering a complete revolution in the way we access space. That doesn’t come online until the mid-2030s as a fully operational system,” Dissel said.

Unclear scope for applying hypersonic engine technology to a supersonic (max out a bit above Mach 2, if that) fighter engine.
Aren’t a lot of contemporary fighter engine technology developments (variable cycle etc.) really around trying to get them to function more efficiently (like airline engines) at sub-sonic cruise conditions without sacrificing higher speed performance.
 

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Behind à Paywall but the headline is good enough given we have been debating this exact possibility in the past already.


Why on earth is repeating lines from the Defence Industrial Strategy paper verbatim behind a paywall?
 

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Well, it's more Tempest and F-3 that would potentially embed some of the same systems and software lines. So that will probably not happen. Instead of having each allies developing an equivalent systems in their remote corner, what is suggested is that there would be a cross-sharing of sensitive systems to the point that many sub-systems would be developed to be platform agnostic among who is ready to share a certain level of know-how (as of today where many systems are first put into service before being adapted to another platform afterward).
In effect, UK is accelerating (2B£ is a lot of cash) IMOHO to catch-up with Japan tempo and have their products relevant for that platform.

The direct benefits for Tempest are scale effect, direct operationability and cost.
 
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I would like to see the Tempest with some sort of on board laser system to zap incoming enemy missiles, the system would work better than the traditional anti-ballistic missiles that are around today, after all the missiles cannot escape from something that can travel at the speed of light.
 

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