BAE Systems Tempest

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Team tempest.jpg
BAE Systems conceptual illustration
Role Sixth-generation jet fighter
National origin United Kingdom[1][2][3]
Introduction Planned for 2035
Status Under Development
Primary user Royal Air Force[4]
Program cost Initially £2 billion up to 2025
by UK Ministry of Defence (MoD)

The BAE Systems Tempest[5] is a proposed fighter aircraft concept that is under development in the United Kingdom for the British Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force (AMI).[6][7] It is being developed by a consortium known as "Team Tempest,"[8] consisting of the UK Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo S.p.A. and MBDA, and is intended to enter service from 2035 replacing the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft in service with the RAF and AMI. Two billion pounds will be spent by the British government on the project by 2025.[9]


The Tempest was announced by the British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson on 16 July 2018 at the Farnborough Airshow as part of the Combat Air Strategy.[10] Tempest will be a sixth-generation jet fighter incorporating several new technologies.[11]

The RAF had a similarly named fighter in the Second World War which also followed a Typhoon.[12]

On 19 July 2019, Sweden and the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding to explore ways of jointly developing sixth-generation air combat technologies.[13] Italy announced its involvement in Project Tempest on 10 September 2019, during DSEI 2019.[14] The Statement of Intent was signed between the UK participant bodies and Italian participant companies (Leonardo Italy, Elettronica, Avio Aero and MBDA Italy).[15]

At the Farnborough Airshow (FIA Connect) in July 2020, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced seven new companies were joining the Team Tempest consortium: GEUK, GKN, Collins Aerospace, Martin Baker, QinetiQ, Bombardier and Thales UK, along with UK universities and SMEs. Together the companies will develop more than 60 technology prototypes and demonstration activities. So far the program has employed 1,800 and is expected to increase to 2,500 by 2021.[16]


A mock-up of the Tempest in 2019

Tempest will be able to fly unmanned, and use swarming technology to control drones. It will incorporate artificial intelligence deep learning and possess directed-energy weapons.[17][18] Another piece of technology being designed into Tempest is so-called Cooperative Engagement Capability, the ability to cooperate on the battlefield, sharing sensor data and messages to coordinate attack or defence.[11] Tempest will feature an adaptive cycle engine and a virtual cockpit shown on a pilot's helmet-mounted display.[19] A generator that delivers "unprecedented levels" of electrical power has also been developed for the aircraft.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Team Tempest". RAF.
  2. ^ "UK and Italian industry partnership". BAE Systems | International.
  3. ^ Chuter, Andrew (July 7, 2019). "Sweden to join British 'Tempest' next-gen fighter push". Defense News.
  4. ^ "Team Tempest". Royal Air Force.
  5. ^ "Inside Tempest – the fighter jet of the future". Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  6. ^ L'Italia sceglie il "Tempest", il caccia di sesta generazione che sostituirà gli Eurofighter Typhoon. [Italy chooses the "Tempest", the sixth generation fighter that will replace the Eurofighter Typhoon.] (in Italian),, retrieved 23 September 2019
  7. ^ Sprenger, Sebastian (2019-09-10). "Italy joins Britain's Tempest combat aircraft program". Defense News. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  8. ^ IndraStra Global News Team (19 July 2018). "RAF Tempest — The Changing Dynamics of Cooperation". IndraStra.
  9. ^ "UK unveils new Tempest fighter jet model". BBC News. 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  10. ^ "Britain to take leading role in next-generation air power, as Defence Secretary launches Combat Air Strategy". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  11. ^ a b "U.K. Introduces New Fighter Jet: The Tempest". 16 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Hawker Tempest V Performance". WWII Aircraft Performance. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Saab banks on Gripen upgrade in new UK-Sweden warplane alliance". Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  14. ^ Jennings, Gareth (12 September 2019). "DSEI 2019: Italy joins Tempest". Jane's 360. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  15. ^ "UK and Italian industry to partner on Tempest". BAE Systems. 2019-09-11.
  16. ^ "New industry leaders partner with Team Tempest to deliver next generation combat aircraft". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  17. ^ "UK unveils new Tempest fighter jet to replace Typhoon", The Guardian
  18. ^ UK military aircraft technology BAE Systems
  19. ^ Farnborough: Tempest concept underscores UK fighter ambitions Flight Global
  20. ^ "New industry leaders partner with Team Tempest to deliver next generation combat aircraft". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2020-07-26.