UK unveils new Sixth-generation “Tempest” fighter jet model at Farnborough airshow

UK unveils new Sixth-generation "Tempest" fighter jet model at Farnborough airshow
A model of the Tempest jet fighter, unveiled by the defence secretary, Gavin Wiliamson, at the Farnborough airshow. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

According to Reuters Article Published on JULY 16, 2018. Britain’s Defense Minister Gavin Williamson unveiled a model of the country’s proposed new fighter jet named Tempest at the Farnborough Airshow on Monday, and said it would seek international partners to help develop the project.

The government said 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) had been earmarked to finance the project out to 2025 and that additional funding would be provided by its industrial partners on the project.

The UK’s Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said the jet could be used with either pilots or as a drone.

The Aircraft will eventually replace the existing Typhoon fighter jet. It will be developed and built by BAE Systems, engine maker Rolls-Royce, Italy’s Leonardo and missiles expert MBDA.

The hope is to see it flying by 2035.

Williamson was speaking at the Farnborough Airshow in front of a giant screen that was pulled away to reveal the sleek grey life-size version of Tempest, the cockpit window visible in its pointed nose, above a white underbelly.

Britain wants to find an international partner to help develop the jet, and Williamson appealed to the crowd packed with visiting military chiefs who were at the BAE Systems chalet to see the model.

“Our approach hinges on international collaboration,” he said.

“My question to potential partners in the room today is simple, how can you work with us, how can we work with you?”

Mr Williamson said the programme was aimed at ensuring the UK’s continued leadership in fighter technology and control of air space in future combat:

“We have been a world leader in the combat air sector for a century, with an enviable array of skills and technology, and this strategy makes clear that we are determined to make sure it stays that way.”

He added that the UK, currently excluded from the latest fighter programme underway between France and Germany, was not against forming a partnership with other nations: “It shows our allies that we are open to working together to protect the skies in an increasingly threatening future – and this concept model is just a glimpse into what the future could look like.”

Related Article: Airbus and Dassault join hands to build new Fighter jet that Will Replace Eurofighter Typhoon

UK unveils new Sixth-generation “Tempest” fighter jet model at Farnborough airshow

Aerospace giant Airbus embraced the move: “Airbus welcomes the UK’s commitment of funding for the future fighter project. We look forward to continuing collaborative discussions with all relevant European players.”

Earlier, the chief executive of BAE Systems, Charles Woodburn, told the BBC’s Today programme that the new jet would be some time in coming.

“We already have the Typhoon platform which forms the absolute bedrock of European air defence and that’ll be in service for decades to come,” he said.

He added that the inner workings of the new craft would start life within the Typhoon.

“The important thing about the new concept is that it will illustrate a direction of travel and many of those technologies that will be embodied in that will first see their service through the Typhoon.

“For example, upgrades on the avionics, upgrades in the weapons systems, upgrades in the radar will be deployed through the Typhoon and will be deployed there and then.”

Air Vice-Marshal Simon Rochelle from Britain’s Royal Air Force said Britain was having discussions with a number of potential partner countries, including Sweden and Japan.

Analysts have said Sweden is seen as the most likely partner, although countries such as South Korea, Japan and Turkey, or Gulf arms-buying nations like Saudi Arabia, are also possibilities.

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