The U.K. Royal Air Force (RAF) today revealed the 3D model of its 'Tempest' future fighter jet and details of its LANCA unmanned aircraft on its website.
Since Team Tempest was launched in 2018, we have been working to create the future of combat air. "Today, we are launching our new interactive 3D model where you can explore our vision for the future," the team tweeted today.
Tempest is the RAF's next generation combat aircraft, coming into service from 2035 to replace the Typhoon. Tempest will constantly mine and coordinate data from multiple sources, such as other aircraft, to provide information that can in turn be shared with other aircraft in a ‘combat cloud.'
The website allows visitors to zoom in, zoom out, expand and study the airframe, power source, cockpit, manufacturing process, sensors and effectors of the Tempest jet. In the interactive 3D model, dots observed on different parts of the aircraft details features of the same when clicked.
There are over 1,800 people working as part of Team Tempest. That is expected to grow to more than 2,500 by 2021. Team Tempest is made up of a group of industry partners: BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Leonardo and MBDA.
Directorate General for Armament (DGA) and the Defense Innovation Agency
Tempest will bring a ‘plug and play’ approach, where software and hardware can be easily changed in and out depending on the capability and functions needed for a mission. That could be different kinds of weapons, sensors, or fuel tanks.
Tempest will provide several modes of operation, combining manned, unmanned and optionally-manned platforms, with onboard and offboard data processing and a range of pilot decisions aids when manned flight is being conducted. This is called scalable autonomy.
The jet will use advanced composite materials and additive manufacturing to produce lightweight, power dense configurations capable of operating at higher temperatures. “We're also developing world-leading electrical generation technology and intelligent integrated power management to power Tempest's advanced sensors and effects, particularly those which are laser-based. They will need much more electrical power than previous generations of aircraft,” RAF says.
“The Tempest operator will be able to think and act two to three steps ahead of their adversary because of the advanced and highly-integrated sensors, non-kinetic effects, and communications systems. All of these systems will be highly-integrated, and designed to work seamlessly together, unlike current fighter jets that tend to be separate pieces of equipment, such as separate radar and electro-optics,” the Air Force said.
On July 16, BAE Systems said it is teaming up with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) to explore how battery management and cooling technologies from the motorsport industry could be exploited to deliver efficiency and performance gains in the design of future combat aircraft.
LANCA Unmanned Combat Air Adjunct System:
According to the RAF, the Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA) concept looks to offer increased capability, protection, survivability and information when deployed alongside combat aircraft. It could even provide an unmanned combat air ‘fleet’ in the future.
The concept also aims to deliver dramatic reductions in traditional cost and development timelines for combat air systems.