Flyaway

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It will be interesting to see what results come out of the flight testing of the nose from the Tempest will be when Leonardo flys the 757 test plane, whether or not the front nose section of the Tempest needs a redesign.
Notice the nose is hard to see even in the painting. Not sure how easy it will be to keep the nose away from public eyes on the actual 757.
 

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Flyaway

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LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - BAE Systems (BAES.L) said Tempest, the British-led project to build a new fighter jet, would sign contracts with partners Italy and Sweden by the end of this year and talks were ongoing with Japan about joining the project.

BAE's director of Future Combat Air Systems Michael Christie said he expected contracts with the two partners on the concept and assessment phase to be signed by the end of 2021.

Talks with Japan ranged from the country joining the programme as a partner to collaborating on technology, he said.

"There's a lot of commonality between the UK and Japan in terms of what they're trying to achieve in this sphere ... that's an ongoing area and one that we are actively pursuing," Christie told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.
"We are challenging ourselves effectively to deliver the Tempest system in half the time we delivered Typhoon," he said.

The aim is for the main development programme to start in 2025, with the jet operational by 2035.


Christie envisages a manned aircraft surrounded by unmanned drones and smart weapons, connected by an information cloud, but says the decisions on how Tempest operates won't be finalised until 2025.

 

FighterJock

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LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - BAE Systems (BAES.L) said Tempest, the British-led project to build a new fighter jet, would sign contracts with partners Italy and Sweden by the end of this year and talks were ongoing with Japan about joining the project.

BAE's director of Future Combat Air Systems Michael Christie said he expected contracts with the two partners on the concept and assessment phase to be signed by the end of 2021.

Talks with Japan ranged from the country joining the programme as a partner to collaborating on technology, he said.

"There's a lot of commonality between the UK and Japan in terms of what they're trying to achieve in this sphere ... that's an ongoing area and one that we are actively pursuing," Christie told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.
"We are challenging ourselves effectively to deliver the Tempest system in half the time we delivered Typhoon," he said.

The aim is for the main development programme to start in 2025, with the jet operational by 2035.


Christie envisages a manned aircraft surrounded by unmanned drones and smart weapons, connected by an information cloud, but says the decisions on how Tempest operates won't be finalised until 2025.


Good news about Tempest, hopefully the design phase will move forward without any problems and Japan will join soon. I have my fingers crossed that Japan will join, as designing and building a sixth generation fighter will be too expensive to develop on their own.
 

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Yeah the first photo caption reckons Tempest is an F-15, way to go Lancashire Telegraph.

I can't see Japan joining as a full partner, maybe to share certain key technologies but I doubt they will want the full package.
 

Flyaway

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Yeah the first photo caption reckons Tempest is an F-15, way to go Lancashire Telegraph.

I can't see Japan joining as a full partner, maybe to share certain key technologies but I doubt they will want the full package.
What is your reasoning on that?
 

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What is your reasoning on that?
First, several announcements by BAE previously have indicated cooperation at the subsystem level and on engines (https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/japan-uk-discuss-partnership-on-fighter-jet-engines).

They have already signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin to assist with the design of the airframe and LO aspects.

Japan will want a sizable domestic industry input in regards to systems and of course airframe construction and assembly.

Two large and two small partners on Tempest might strain the workshare and make it impossible to reach agreement. Building F-35s across the world made some economic sense when talking of production runs of thousands, but 450-500 Tempests

We don't know what the official operational requirements are behind Tempest and F-X, they might not be compatible. On the face of it, both Tempest and F-X are likely to be very similar in design and the wider combat system is likely to be too but there might be important differences in role and how they are designed to meet whatever parameters have been laid down.

There may well be US technology issues that might hamper sharing of information between Japan and the UK and Italy/Sweden too.

We don't know much about the unmanned aspects of either Tempest or F-X, work has only just begun. There might be room for synergy but equally the US might offer the Boeing Loyal Wingman or XQ-58 to both nations or they might go it alone with Mosquito and whatever Japanese system emerges.

I've seen nothing so far that indicates Japan is likely to chuck away its work done so far (ATD-X etc) and jump onto Tempest. That discussions about the option of full partnership have taken place I don't doubt, but I don't see it happening unless US support vanished from F-X.
 

Flyaway

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What is your reasoning on that?
First, several announcements by BAE previously have indicated cooperation at the subsystem level and on engines (https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/japan-uk-discuss-partnership-on-fighter-jet-engines).

They have already signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin to assist with the design of the airframe and LO aspects.

Japan will want a sizable domestic industry input in regards to systems and of course airframe construction and assembly.

Two large and two small partners on Tempest might strain the workshare and make it impossible to reach agreement. Building F-35s across the world made some economic sense when talking of production runs of thousands, but 450-500 Tempests

We don't know what the official operational requirements are behind Tempest and F-X, they might not be compatible. On the face of it, both Tempest and F-X are likely to be very similar in design and the wider combat system is likely to be too but there might be important differences in role and how they are designed to meet whatever parameters have been laid down.

There may well be US technology issues that might hamper sharing of information between Japan and the UK and Italy/Sweden too.

We don't know much about the unmanned aspects of either Tempest or F-X, work has only just begun. There might be room for synergy but equally the US might offer the Boeing Loyal Wingman or XQ-58 to both nations or they might go it alone with Mosquito and whatever Japanese system emerges.

I've seen nothing so far that indicates Japan is likely to chuck away its work done so far (ATD-X etc) and jump onto Tempest. That discussions about the option of full partnership have taken place I don't doubt, but I don't see it happening unless US support vanished from F-X.
And yet here is this article I posted only the other day.

 

Ingraman

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Reading the last Key Publishing Special about Tempest... I'm starting to think Jap and UK want some pretty different fighters...
" We are not developing an high-power-to-weight ratio fighter. They are NOT going to engage enemies in a traditional manner. They won't be highly manoeuvrable. Will engage stand-off. We will use higher bypass ratio engine than legacy fighters."
Focus on electric generation and heat management.
 

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Don't forget that there is no confirmation that the goal outside Bae would be a single airframe for all.

1. Japan will be reluctant to trash all their hard work in airframe design unless Tempest can prove it is better suited (survivability performance)
2. Even if we can forsee similar requirements in term of range b/w Japan and the UK, UK closest partners (geographically speaking), Sweden and Italy would certainly push for a lighter design
3. The US involvement would certainly not accommodate itself with the plethora of partners in team Tempest (that still might grow).

Hence, IMOHO, the emphasis will be on a serie of common systems and mutually shared Sciences and technologies to trim down cost and hasten future sustainment loops (upgrades).
It is however also possible that Tempest will inherit its shapes from the Japanese fighter and that a smaller airframe, optionally manned, would be the basis for the Joint UK/Sweden/Italy design. An optionally manned airframe offering more range in its unmanned version, possibly reaching the requirements for a long range Loyal wingman able to stand aside the long range fighter.
 
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supergaleb

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Can someone explain me how is UK suppose to afford development of new combat aircraft?
 

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And yet here is this article I posted only the other day.
The article tells us nothing other than "Talks with Japan ranged from the country joining the programme as a partner to collaborating on technology," which covers a lot of ground, doesn't say when these talks took place or which option is favoured. Its logical they would explore a range of options, but that doesn't tell us which option the Japanese feel is the best for them. The statement ignores the previous agreements from July that specifically state "sub-systems" and the engine technology deal with Rolls-Royce, it also ignores LMs involvement on the F-X airframe.
It even goes over the defence media's obsession with Tempest-SCAF one day merging, BAE seems pretty cool towards that idea, doubtless Dassault wouldn't go near the idea with a barge pole now. And an Anglo-Franco-German-Sweedish-Italo-Japanese-American fighter sounds about as realistic as buying J-20s from China.

Can someone explain me how is UK suppose to afford development of new combat aircraft?
Are you kidding, we chucked £66 billion on a covid tracing app that didn't work, we're likely to spend £80+billion on a high-speed rail link nobody wants. £2 billion for Tempest is small fry, the cost of two Type 45 destroyers. Quite frankly there is no excuse not to do this.
 

Flyaway

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And yet here is this article I posted only the other day.
The article tells us nothing other than "Talks with Japan ranged from the country joining the programme as a partner to collaborating on technology," which covers a lot of ground, doesn't say when these talks took place or which option is favoured. Its logical they would explore a range of options, but that doesn't tell us which option the Japanese feel is the best for them. The statement ignores the previous agreements from July that specifically state "sub-systems" and the engine technology deal with Rolls-Royce, it also ignores LMs involvement on the F-X airframe.
It even goes over the defence media's obsession with Tempest-SCAF one day merging, BAE seems pretty cool towards that idea, doubtless Dassault wouldn't go near the idea with a barge pole now. And an Anglo-Franco-German-Sweedish-Italo-Japanese-American fighter sounds about as realistic as buying J-20s from China.

Can someone explain me how is UK suppose to afford development of new combat aircraft?
Are you kidding, we chucked £66 billion on a covid tracing app that didn't work, we're likely to spend £80+billion on a high-speed rail link nobody wants. £2 billion for Tempest is small fry, the cost of two Type 45 destroyers. Quite frankly there is no excuse not to do this.
I read the article as meaning talks were active and ongoing.
 

datafuser

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Can someone explain me how is UK suppose to afford development of new combat aircraft?
By another round of Quantitative Easing perhaps?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_easing#United_Kingdom

Below is from a paper by the RUSI.

" Affordability is therefore a matter of national priority, political will and, inevitably, political debate. Especially in today’s situation, as The Economist put it, ‘Governments can borrow more than was once believed’. Who would have said in 2019 that the UK could ‘afford’ the furlough scheme and ‘Operation Moonshot’ associated with the coronavirus pandemic?

In simple terms, the UK and its government can afford the Combat Air Strategy, if necessary with contributions from outside the core defence budget if it perceives it to be of sufficient importance. "

92. The Economist, ‘Putting on Weight: Governments Can Borrow More Than Was Once Believed’, 12 September 2020, p. 59.

93. Sarah Boseley and Robert Booth, ‘What is No 10’s “Moonshot” Covid Testing Plan and is it Feasible?’, The Guardian, 9 September 2020. The Johnson government apparently feels it worthwhile to sacrifice more than 5% of GDP to escape from the EU. See Ben Chu, ‘Brexit to Cost Britain More Than 5% of GDP by 2030, Say City Economists’, The Independent, 23 January 2017; HM Government, EU Exit: Long-Term Economic Analysis, Cm 9742 (London: The Stationery Office, 2018).

https://rusi.org/sites/default/files/tempest_programme_final_web_version_0.pdf
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

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Can someone explain me how is UK suppose to afford development of new combat aircraft?
Are you kidding, we chucked £66 billion on a covid tracing app that didn't work, we're likely to spend £80+billion on a high-speed rail link nobody wants. £2 billion for Tempest is small fry, the cost of two Type 45 destroyers. Quite frankly there is no excuse not to do this.
Speak for yourself. It's currently the best way of adding more capacity to Britain's railway network, and will enable the segregation of high-speed cross-country from slower regional services, enabling the latter to be scheduled more frequently.
 

torginus

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Can someone explain me how is UK suppose to afford development of new combat aircraft?
I think that if modern aircraft are to be procured in significant numbers (100+), and you have the technological base to produce a modern plane, it makes zero sense to buy foreign - the money you save on development costs and setting up local production will be offset by the the price markup of foreign manufacturers for both buying planes, and maintenance - and they'll bleed you dry on all the customization to your domestic requirements. And that's just the sticker price - the fact you're creating domestic jobs and supporting your own companies, giving R&D to local universities and labs looks very appealing from the government side.
 
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kaiserd

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But that, particularly for the UK, isn’t really the choice in respect of the Tempest.

The Tempest exists as an alternative to a different joint project with European partners rendered impossible by the “B word” or to a junior workshare joint partnership on the equivalent US next generation aircraft (along the lines of the JSF/ F-35 project). And the Tempest itself should have/ will need to have a fair chunk of “foreign” (Italian and Swedish, and as many more as can be got) involvement/ content or will likely become unviable (if left as a UK only project).

And the more general economic impact and utility of this kind of spending on very high end specialist military technology is generally rather exaggerated by the relevant industries for obvious self-interested reasons. Again if justified by national defence basis that is another argument but generally for the wider economic benefit other types of spending (R&D, infrastructure, less specialised etc.) are considerably better. And as the UK has a limited civil aviation industry the scope for Tempest spending to impact more widely is actually quite limited.
 

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And as the UK has a limited civil aviation industry the scope for Tempest spending to impact more widely is actually quite limited.

The very first result in a Google search for "size of the UK aerospace industry" gives the following:
The UK aerospace industry is the second largest in the world, behind that of the U.S. In 2020, total UK civil aerospace turnover totaled over $34.8 billion, and the sector had approximately a 16% global market share. The UK aerospace industry is the crown jewel for UK exports and, even though the UK does not produce large civil aircraft, 97% of domestic aerospace production is exported. The UK has a reputation as a global center of excellence for the design and production of engines, helicopters, wings, structures, and aircraft systems (including landing gear). The UK also designs and manufactures wings for all Airbus aircraft platforms. In addition to manufacturing, the UK has a thriving maintenance, repair, and overhaul sector (MRO), which provides services to the huge numbers of military and civil aircraft that fly through and from the UK every year. It is estimated that there are over 1,300 companies involved in the MRO sector in the UK employing over 57,000 people.

More than 3,000 aerospace companies operate in the UK, and the aerospace sector has the largest number of SME companies in Europe, providing over 282,000 jobs directly and indirectly. Domestic companies include BAE Systems, Cobham, GKN, Meggitt, QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce, and Ultra Electronics. Non-domestic companies with a major presence include Boeing, Airbus Group, Leonardo (including its AgustaWestland and Selex ES subsidiaries), General Electric (including its GE Aviation Systems subsidiary), Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Safran, and Thales Group.
I am sure one could quibble with the exact numbers but in no way could anybody credibly describe the UK civil aviation industry as "limited".
 
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kaiserd

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Poor choice of wording by me; meant more the limited scope for the technology developed for the Tempest to see use in civilian applications given the lack of large scale airframe manufacturing except for that associated with Airbus (welsh wings).
And even in areas like engine technology that might on the face of it have the potential for the most wider application it is arguable that in recent years it has been the technology developed for civil engines that has been benefiting military engines rather more than vice versa.

And if the central focus was to invest in local aerospace then there would be more efficient “bang for the buck” ways of doing so. Not a dig at the Tempest project, same thing could equally be said of equivalent high end military aviation projects around the World. Wider economic benefits (and application of their technology) of such projects are genuinely exaggerated but inevitably becomes part of the sales pitch.
 

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Speak for yourself. It's currently the best way of adding more capacity to Britain's railway network, and will enable the segregation of high-speed cross-country from slower regional services, enabling the latter to be scheduled more frequently.
Not to derail this thread (pardon the pun), if the entire HS2 project is brought to fruition then it will be a useful addition, but if it gets truncated and salami-sliced by future budget cuts then it might never realise its full potential. And if it takes as long as Crossrail (still not completed) to build then I might just bet that Tempest will be in RAF service before HS2 is completed.

and the Tempest itself should have/ will need to have a fair chunk of “foreign” (Italian and Swedish, and as many more as can be got) involvement/ content or will likely become unviable (if left as a UK only project).
There is the rub, other than a little Italian cash set aside we've heard very little about what the partners are bringing to the table or how much of the economic benefits they hope to see. But on the other hand we've seen plenty of BAE Systems slick marketing and government papers forecasting oodles of dosh and jobs.

And if the central focus was to invest in local aerospace then there would be more efficient “bang for the buck” ways of doing so. Not a dig at the Tempest project, same thing could equally be said of equivalent high end military aviation projects around the World. Wider economic benefits (and application of their technology) of such projects are genuinely exaggerated but inevitably becomes part of the sales pitch.
F-35 has arguably had a big impact in keeping military production viable in the UK, if it becomes the new F-16 and their still building them in 2061 then it will have been an massive boost. Tempest builds on this base, how far it can realistically expand the sector or avoid impinging on F-35 capacity within the UK industry remains to be seen. But one day the F-35 tap will be shut off and Tempest and UCAVs are the only realistic hopes of BAE Systems to remain in the airframe game.

The Tempest exists as an alternative to a different joint project with European partners rendered impossible by the “B word”
I doubt FCAS would ever have joined SCAF even without the B word, the Lancaster House era Anglo-French FCAS UCAV programme ended up with two separate streams (Taranis and Neuron) for example.
In an ideal logical world it would make sense to have a pan-European fighter but the trouble is the cloth gets cut too many ways, and the same has been said of the F-35 programme which is far broader in industrial scope that any post-war fighter programme.

it is arguable that in recent years it has been the technology developed for civil engines that has been benefiting military engines rather more than vice versa
Probably true but it does give Rolls-Royce alternative income when civil engine demand waxes and wanes in line with whatever crisis is affecting the airline industry at a particular time.
I hope the Japanese collaboration comes off too. RB.199 wasn't a massive seller or successful in getting onto non-Tornado fighter projects but there is probably more scope for potential sales to nations who don't want or can't get US engines over the next 30 years.
 

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Excellent we'll go from 2 aircraft that'll never see service to 1 aircraft that'll never see service... economical and ecologically minded.

Right, right.
But if European politicians really agree on "greater independence from Washington", they fortunately have many other options. In that case, they should already be in line for the KF-21, TF-X, AMCA or "F-3".
 

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Hood

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It's one serving officer's opinion. Sure he has clout as Italian CAS but what is to say that his successors will feel the same way or that Leonardo's management views the prospects of prising workshare off Dassault quite so prosaically?

I'm not sure what "investing huge sums" really means? The six richest Western European nations are funding two programmes, its not like Italy is being asked to give money to SCAF and likewise Paris and Berlin won't be supporting Tempest financially (and would anyone seriously suggest these nations are economically poorer than they were circa 1979-1985 when EFA and ACX were born?)
What it sounds more like is "politician's hate spending money so we could pay one sixth instead of one third". Only there is no guarantee a bloated super-Eurofighter would actually work out any cheaper.
In real terms, as I've pointed out before, Italy's Tempest contribution over the next few years looks like a 20% of what the UK has committed. So either Rome would need to spend the same in SCAF or maybe they think they can get away with getting a 6th gen jet for 10-15% input?

Plus spending £2bn on definition studies to just chuck that work away and build Dassault's plane instead would seem the opposite of cost effective (not to mention the millions spent on the Anglo-French UCAV FCAS that went nowhere).
On the other hand, like the UK, Italian industry has the F-35 gravy train to rely on for jobs and money too so the industrial imperatives are lessened.
 

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bring_it_on

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Merging program would complicate industrial partnerships. I guess they could do two engines, two radars, two sets of other critical technologies but I don't see that happening in the current political environment.
 

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I agree with you bring_it_on that sharing vital components of Tempest and FCAS would help to keep both program costs down, I wish that the two sides could come to some sort of agreement with each other to make it work.
 

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Both Tempest and FCAS will face competition from whatever US project is around at the time.
Based on what has happened since 1965 the following may happen..
BAe and Rolls Royce join a US led consortium that replaces Tempest for UK and Italy
Germany delays FCAS so much that France carries it on as a national programme.
Sweden goes with a cheaper national version of Tempest closer to Gripen in size and roles.
The latest in a long line of Sukhoi prototypes threatens to make all of the above obsolete.
 

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So Delpech's rule that cost increases with square root of number of partners. So 6 way programme costs 250% of a single nation programme. Divided by 6 equal shares you're paying 40% of the cost of a single nation programme for 16% of the workshare....

And 5 of those partners are going to be paying for the additional cost of a carrier and nuclear capable aircraft they have no requirement for...

Difficult to describe this as "more efficient"
 
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bring_it_on

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Both Tempest and FCAS will face competition from whatever US project is around at the time.

That may not be true. For example, the F-22 never competed against the three 4+ gen. European fighters. I am not sure USAF's NGAD will be approved for export, and even if so, would be competitive in terms of affordability for a potential buyer looking to replace a Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen, F-16 or even early F-35. The F-35 and its future blocks (blk 5 and beyond) will offer competition as it will exist in large quantities and will be affordable. That said, there will be far more competition from other international programs that will also be maturing at the time.
 

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So Delpech's rule that cost increases with square root of number of partners. So 6 way programme costs 250% of a single nation programme. Divided by 6 equal shares you're paying 40% of the cost of a single nation programme for 16% of the workshare....

And 5 of those partners are going to be paying for the additional cost of a carrier and nuclear capable aircraft they have no requirement for...

Difficult to describe this as "more efficient"

Heaven:​

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Hell:​

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