MBDA in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with its partners in Team Tempest, has unveiled a range of advanced weapon system concepts designed to complement and exploit the technologies that will inform the development of a sixth-generation fighter platform under the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative.
Team Tempest is a UK government-industry partnership comprising MoD personnel from the Royal Air Force (RAF) Rapid Capabilities Office, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Defence Equipment & Support and industry partners, BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA, and Rolls-Royce.
"We are looking at how future weapons concepts and the future platform can work together," Chris Allard, group head of surface attack and future systems at MBDA, told Jane's . "Rather than the more traditional approach, where we integrate weapons after the platform has been designed, we are now looking at how we can design the weapons and the platform together to optimise overall mission effectiveness. Being involved in the development of novel interfaces, bay designs, and integration processes will be a key enabler to the spiral development of complementing effectors in the future," he added.
Working with Leonardo and BAE Systems, MBDA is advancing a hard-kill defensive aid system (HK-DAS) concept as part of the platform's integrated defensive system. Designed to track, target, and intercept incoming missiles, HK-DAS is a compact < 1 m length, 10 kg-class imaging infrared (IIR) hit-to-kill missile, released from launchers integrated within the platform airframe. In keeping with its commonality, modularity, and reuse principle, the company is also considering, as part of the same conceptual family, a scalable Ground Attack Micromissile in the same form factor, but furnished with a small explosive payload to enable a close-air support role from the platform.
In the air-to-air domain, leveraging its current in-service 88 kg class, 166 mm calibre, IR-homing Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) technologies, MBDA is exploring new within-visual-range air-to-air missile (WVRAAM) concepts.
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