Advanced Tech for Britain-led Tempest jet Program Revealed

  • Bureau
  • 05:17 AM, June 15, 2023
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Advanced Tech for Britain-led Tempest jet Program Revealed
Tempest fighter

British companies including BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce involved in the Tempest project have uncloaked few of the technologies that will be employed on the sixth-generation combat jet.

A new power plant manufacturing process, a bespoke simulator and auto-coding software all got a name check in a progress statement due for release by BAE Systems June 14.

Experts from BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo UK, MBDA and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) are collaborating to build the first British flying combat air demonstrator since the Experimental Aircraft Program took to the skies in 1986 – a design that eventually became the Typhoon fighter.

The Flying Technology Demonstrator, first announced by the UK Government in July 2022, is set to fly within the next four years and is being designed using a range of innovative digital techniques and transformative processes.

In what BAE described as a first for military aircraft, the company said engineers have used auto-coding to create safety-critical systems software in a matter of days rather than weeks. This enables rapid assessment of the flight control systems during more complex flight maneuvers with the simulator capturing crucial data about how the jet will handle and perform, years before its first flight.

A new facility at Warton, Lancashire, has already enabled test pilots from BAE, Rolls-Royce and the Royal Air Force to fly more than 150 hours on the demonstrator aircraft in a new, bespoke simulator.

Rolls-Royce engineers have also been undertaking aerodynamic engine testing, employing new manufacturing processes to produce an engine duct that’s shaped to slow air from supersonic to subsonic speeds at the engine face. This innovative design has resulted in an intake with fewer moving parts than a traditional fighter jet design, thereby enhancing the aircraft’s stealthiness.

Ejection seat trials involving a rocket propelled sled traveling at more than 500mph also got a mention in the statement, though no details were given.

Global Combat Air Program

The British Tempest team is developing the aicraft alongside Italy and Japan, working on what is known as the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP).

The demonstrator program is, for the moment at least, a British effort.

GCAP team partners are creating new gas turbine, radar and other technologies, separately.


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