The new Tempest Combat Aircraft
At the Farnborough International airshow, July 2018, Gavin Williamson, then Secretary for Defence announced Tempest as a new combat aircraft. as part of the UK’s Air Combat Strategy. The government is investing £2 billion in Team Tempest, a consortium of defence companies including BAE Systems(advanced combat air systems); Rolls-Royce (advanced power and propulsion systems);Leonardo (advanced sensors, electronics and avionics, and MBDA (weapons systems).
Tempest aspires to be a dual use aircraft, flown manned or as a drone.. Novel weapons may include directed energy weapons and hypersonic missiles. It will be able to deploy and manage air-launched swarming drones through the payload bay.
The UK is looking to India and Japan to help develop the project.
Tempest is expected to enter service around 2035.
Rolls Royce, Bristol, will be responsible for the advanced power and propulsion systems.