Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
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mrclark303
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by mrclark303 »

Jensy wrote: 24 Sep 2023, 01:41
serge750 wrote: 23 Sep 2023, 15:08 When the Tempest program starts showing its full potential late this decade or early 2030, perhaps the raf will offer up lightnings to the RN in exchange for the funds for the potential xtra f35b to be transfered to tempest product airframes.....but if the FAA get the 48 f35b that will a huge drain on th RN budget ( 48 maybe enough for 2 sqaudrons on 1 carrier in peactime - would be good to see ! ) but where would they operate from ? is there room at yeovil ?
Under Project Anvil we've invested a fortune in Marham. If, and it's a big if, Lighting is transferred to the Navy so would the base.

Our current and future situation was defined by two things in the late 90s / early 00s:

- The RAF believing they could get Typhoon, JSF and a replacement for Tornado

- The RN wanting a Shar replacement that was both supersonic and stealth

In that period we had 120 odd Harriers of all sorts (FAA & RF); about 300 Tornados split between F3 and GRA4 (being upgraded) and about 60 GR3/GR3A Jaguars, by the time it was retired in 2007 (unsure of exact figures before then).

That's more than triple the UK's current FJ mass. A change of circumstance like that is very hard to plan for or predict.

In hindsight our combat air procurement perhaps should have been very different but we are where we are. Getting GCAP into series production might give us the opportunity to reverse that course, even if only marginally.
Providing we can actually get 72 F35B's under contract to equip and sustain 3 squadrons and 150 GCAP to equip 8 Squadrons, plus a carrier capable Ghost Bat (or equivalent) to provide mass for both forces, then we might actually create a fast air force that surpasses anything we've ever had.....

The mix of capabilities and weapon systems will create an extremely effective force.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by SW1 »

Aircraft numbers aren’t the issue, who’s going to maintain and fly them if more are leaving than joining. Comparing numbers with other Europe countries is nice an all but how many can they actually use. Between NATO and shader we have maintained a significant number of typhoons on operations this past 18 months whilst continuing high end training exercises.

I really do not get what people think is going to happen with the let’s move the f35 to the navy narrative. Considering it’s currently under strength in personal what’s going to happen when you go and take 60 percentage of the people who are currently operating it away from it? It’s going to fall over. Colour me sceptic that this proposed additional order of 24 f35 will do anything other than save the need for most of current fielded a/c to be brought to block 4 standard and they will be hangered when the new ones arrive.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by topman »

I think it's just wishful thinking rather than anything realistic. It does come up a lot though.

The money would be far better spent on the ones we've got and the people who we need to for the aircraft to operate.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Did i also read that there is a lack of space at Marham for future 'Lots' of F35 ?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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serge750 wrote: 24 Sep 2023, 19:28 Did i also read that there is a lack of space at Marham for future 'Lots' of F35 ?
Not an issue.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Make no mistake: the outcome of GCAP really matters to each of the three nations involved, but so far there have been no forecasts released suggesting the potential scale of their combined future buys. This means that also selling the type on the international market will be a key contributor towards driving down costs.

With Japan today unable to export defence equipment as a result of the nation’s constitution, strong agreements around the ability of its partners to make future international sales of the jointly-developed fighter must be hammered out at this early stage.

The UK is currently unable to conclude a potential follow-on sale of Typhoons to Saudi Arabia due to political opposition from Eurofighter partner nation Germany, and such a situation cannot be allowed to happen again on a future collaborative product.
https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-int ... 33.article

I am not sure that Japan's constitution prevents it exporting defence equipment - IIRC it has offered the C2 airlifter for export. If the constitution bans export of kit with lethal capabilities (eg a fighter aircraft) then GCAP faces a big problem. It is one thing for governments to invest tens of billions in a project to equip their own air forces with prospects of extra orders from elsewhere. It is another thing with no such prospects. Establishing the position on exports is critical, I think, before reaching a decision on whether or not to proceed with the project. In essence if the cost is unacceptably high to UK or Italy without the mitigating factor of possible exports the project should not go ahead.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Spitfire9 wrote: 26 Sep 2023, 09:49 I am not sure that Japan's constitution prevents it exporting defence equipment - IIRC it has offered the C2 airlifter for export. If the constitution bans export of kit with lethal capabilities (eg a fighter aircraft) then GCAP faces a big problem.
The Japanese have already given assurances around this to the UK and Italy. There obviously be sensible controls (i.e. the UK isn't going to allow sales to Argentina), but there will be nothing preventing exports in general.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Timmymagic wrote: 26 Sep 2023, 10:10
Spitfire9 wrote: 26 Sep 2023, 09:49 I am not sure that Japan's constitution prevents it exporting defence equipment - IIRC it has offered the C2 airlifter for export. If the constitution bans export of kit with lethal capabilities (eg a fighter aircraft) then GCAP faces a big problem.
The Japanese have already given assurances around this to the UK and Italy. There obviously be sensible controls (i.e. the UK isn't going to allow sales to Argentina), but there will be nothing preventing exports in general.
Fair enough. No problem there - flightglobal got it wrong.

By the way, apart from UK blocking exports to Argentina for military gear, do Italy or Japan have any export limitations? I don't know of any.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Spitfire9 wrote: 26 Sep 2023, 11:00
Timmymagic wrote: 26 Sep 2023, 10:10
Spitfire9 wrote: 26 Sep 2023, 09:49 I am not sure that Japan's constitution prevents it exporting defence equipment - IIRC it has offered the C2 airlifter for export. If the constitution bans export of kit with lethal capabilities (eg a fighter aircraft) then GCAP faces a big problem.
The Japanese have already given assurances around this to the UK and Italy. There obviously be sensible controls (i.e. the UK isn't going to allow sales to Argentina), but there will be nothing preventing exports in general.
Fair enough. No problem there - flightglobal got it wrong.

By the way, apart from UK blocking exports to Argentina for military gear, do Italy or Japan have any export limitations? I don't know of any.
In the negotiations that are happening right now, all three countries will be nominating their individual red lines, regarding exports countries.

It's the first agreement that has to reached in reality and added to the framework.

If Saudi Arabia want to get on board, they are going to have to move quickly or the train will have already left the station....

Re workshare, I am guessing 40/40/20% UK, Japan and Italy, based on 150 airframes each for Japan and the UK and about 60 for Italy.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Spitfire9 wrote: 26 Sep 2023, 09:49
Make no mistake: the outcome of GCAP really matters to each of the three nations involved, but so far there have been no forecasts released suggesting the potential scale of their combined future buys. This means that also selling the type on the international market will be a key contributor towards driving down costs.

With Japan today unable to export defence equipment as a result of the nation’s constitution, strong agreements around the ability of its partners to make future international sales of the jointly-developed fighter must be hammered out at this early stage.

The UK is currently unable to conclude a potential follow-on sale of Typhoons to Saudi Arabia due to political opposition from Eurofighter partner nation Germany, and such a situation cannot be allowed to happen again on a future collaborative product.
https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-int ... 33.article

I am not sure that Japan's constitution prevents it exporting defence equipment - IIRC it has offered the C2 airlifter for export. If the constitution bans export of kit with lethal capabilities (eg a fighter aircraft) then GCAP faces a big problem. It is one thing for governments to invest tens of billions in a project to equip their own air forces with prospects of extra orders from elsewhere. It is another thing with no such prospects. Establishing the position on exports is critical, I think, before reaching a decision on whether or not to proceed with the project. In essence if the cost is unacceptably high to UK or Italy without the mitigating factor of possible exports the project should not go ahead.
Many years ago, when we briefly lived in Japan, the top Japanese guy on the project assured my stepdad

"Article 9 of the Constitution means whatever the government of the day wants it to mean"
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Spitfire9 wrote: 26 Sep 2023, 11:00
Fair enough. No problem there - flightglobal got it wrong.

By the way, apart from UK blocking exports to Argentina for military gear, do Italy or Japan have any export limitations? I don't know of any.
None that stand out. Anyone Italy and Japan wouldn't export to the UK would agree with them on, and it would be the usual list...China, Iran etc. The only one I could think of would be a North African country where export could change the balance of power and security situation e.g. Morocco or Algeria. But neither would be a candidate for GCAP sales.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Spitfire9 »

Some speculation as to what sort of fighter could emerge from the GCAP programme and at what cost...



The video speculates that the fighter would

- be large
- carry 8 min munitions internally
- have a long range

- have a development cost of up tp $40 billion
- receive ca 300 orders from partners (initially)
- cost up to $200 million per airframe (reducing with increased production)

Big numbers but GCAP promises to offer a big leap in capability in a world whose security was rattled by Russian territorial ambitions last year and China may rattle further in coming years.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by SD67 »

I love Binkov- who produces these?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Spitfire9 »

SD67 wrote: 28 Sep 2023, 10:37 I love Binkov- who produces these?
What do you make of the video? Plausible? Implausible?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by mrclark303 »

Spitfire9 wrote: 28 Sep 2023, 11:11
SD67 wrote: 28 Sep 2023, 10:37 I love Binkov- who produces these?
What do you make of the video? Plausible? Implausible?
Certainly plausible, many of us have discussed the programme and come to the conclusion that £40 billion is a realistic programme budget, Airframe size, allowing the radius of action and internal weapons loadout, totally agree.

My only slight divergence would be in orders, I expect the UK and Japan to order 150 each and Italy to sign up for 60.

They will attempt to get launch orders up 400, certainly quite doable if Saudi Arabia also join.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by SD67 »

Really good and informative clip.

What I didn't realise is how close this is - aiming for production, in some form, to start in 2031, 2035 for IOC. It seems there has been much pre work underneath the radar on both Tempest and F-X

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Spitfire9 »

I hope it gets the go ahead and that the batches are all built to an agreed standard. No nonsense with pushing up costs and price by work duplication and overlap (eg slightly different radars for different partners).

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by mrclark303 »

SD67 wrote: 28 Sep 2023, 16:02 Really good and informative clip.

What I didn't realise is how close this is - aiming for production, in some form, to start in 2031, 2035 for IOC. It seems there has been much pre work underneath the radar on both Tempest and F-X
It's certainly interesting, if they manage to kick off in 2025, with production deliveries in 2035, then the prototype GCAP is going to be taking to the air in 2028/9, ironically only a year to 18 months in front of the Tempest technology demonstrator at Warton!

Any delays with getting the Tempest demonstrator into the air and it's likely to find itself eclipsed by the GCAP programme it's supposed to inform and educate!!
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by TheLoneRanger »

Timmymagic wrote: 26 Sep 2023, 10:10
Spitfire9 wrote: 26 Sep 2023, 09:49 I am not sure that Japan's constitution prevents it exporting defence equipment - IIRC it has offered the C2 airlifter for export. If the constitution bans export of kit with lethal capabilities (eg a fighter aircraft) then GCAP faces a big problem.
The Japanese have already given assurances around this to the UK and Italy. There obviously be sensible controls (i.e. the UK isn't going to allow sales to Argentina), but there will be nothing preventing exports in general.
Agree - and given the issues with Germany and Eurofighter currently - those assurances would be baked into legal text so that changes of goverments does not undermine the original programme goals and business case.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by TinyTonyStark »

Spitfire9 wrote: 28 Sep 2023, 10:33 Some speculation as to what sort of fighter could emerge from the GCAP programme and at what cost...


Interesting, based on the speculation the GCAP could end up being a real swiss army knife. Primary role as air superiority but its size, range and internal carriage could make it an effective, small, stealth bomber/strike aircraft. Also potential, based on the video could be a long term option for electronic warfare and battlespace management.

Of course history suggests that any aircraft that tries to do everything often doesn't at much but if it comes to fruition it could be interesting.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Timmymagic »

It's all moving in the right direction...

https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/air- ... ce-budget/
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Timmymagic »

TinyTonyStark wrote: 03 Oct 2023, 12:13 Of course history suggests that any aircraft that tries to do everything often doesn't at much but if it comes to fruition it could be interesting.
PGM's, podded recon and EW solutions and modern avionics completely changed that paradigm. A single platform can be a superb fighter, bomber, recon and EW platform now.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by SD67 »

Please stay away HM Treasury, nothing to see here....that? that's actually not a warplane it is a prototype thermal management system, part of the Net Zero pathway, uses synthetic fuel....
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Little J »

SD67 wrote: 20 Oct 2023, 17:58 Please stay away HM Treasury, nothing to see here....that? that's actually not a warplane it is a prototype thermal management system, part of the Net Zero pathway, uses synthetic fuel....
And it hugs lgbtqvxyz's... Yes, anyone with purple hair...

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Post by Spitfire9 »

From the Shephard article quoted
The Italian MoD will invest more than €7.7 billion ($8.1 billion) into the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) and Tempest sixth-generation fighter between 2029 and 2037, doubling the previously promised €3.8 billion – although the new figure also covers an extra year.
$8.1 billion, starting 2029... I guess for infrastructure, support and production aircraft - unless the Italian MOD contributes towards development post 2028

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