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UK holds Team Tempest industry day

19 March 2019
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Seen at its reveal at the Farnborough Airshow in 2018, the Tempest future fighter is being developed to enter service with the RAF in the 2030s. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

The UK government has drawn together representatives from the across the nation's defence aerospace industry to engage on the Tempest future fighter and other aspects of the wider Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

The event, held at Farnborough on 19 March, was the first time that companies outside of the four current Team Tempest participants of BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA, and Rolls-Royce had been invited to collaborate on the concepts, technologies, and capabilities that should lead to an operational combat aircraft entering service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the 2030s. The Tempest will be part of wider FCAS that will include swarming unmanned aircraft and other capabilities.

With the Minister for Defence Procurement, Stuart Andrew, launching the event, some 300 delegates including subject matter experts (SMEs) and technology-led organisations were in attendance "to build connections and take part in a series of briefings outlining the capabilities and skills needed to shape the future of Combat Air System delivery in the UK", BAE Systems said.

The Tempest programme is a fundamental pillar of the Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) Combat Air Strategy announced in February last year, with GBP2 billion (USD2.65 billion) initial investment in the project announced at the 2018 Farnborough Air Show.

According to BAE Systems, which along with its three industrial partners is also working with the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) on the Tempest project, the industry event was followed by a classified briefing.

"The event today has set into motion a series of discussions to develop the right capabilities, the right technologies, and the right level of agility and collaborative working to meet the demands of this future acquisition programme, delivering a prosperous and sustainable sector," BAE Systems noted, although neither it nor the UK government disclosed if or when this industry day might result in contracts.

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