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UK invites India to co-develop 6th-gen fighter aircraft Tempest


The U.K. Ministry of Defense has unveiled new plans for a new stealth fighter jet called "Tempest" at the biennial Farnborough Airshow, referring to the legandary Hawker Tempest of Word War 2. After having rejected Moscow’s proposal to jointly develop a fifth-generation fighter aircraft, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be invited this month to co-develop the Tempest.


UK invites India to co develop 6th Gen Fighter Aircraft Tempest Some features of the future 6th-generation stealth fighter jet "Tempest" (Picture source: BAe Systems)


Business Standard learns that a UK delegation, including Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials and executives from British defence giant BAE Systems, who will arrive on February 18 for the Aero India 2019 exhibition in Bengaluru, will brief Indian MoD and IAF officials and gauge the potential for collaboration.

The U.K.-headquartered firm will lead “Team Tempest,” which also includes engine-maker Rolls-Royce, Italian defense contractor Leonardo, and the European missile consortium MBDA. The aircraft will have two engines hidden away deep inside the airframe to help keep its radar and infrared signatures as low as possible. Rolls-Royce says they are working on an engine design that will leverage composite materials and advanced manufacturing processes to be lightweight, have better thermal management, and still keep costs low. The powerplants will have digital controls for more precise power management and to readily provide maintenance personnel with information about whether components need replacement and other aspects of the system’s “health.”

The Tempest will have a wide array of sensors, including advanced radars and multi-spectral cameras, as well as unspecified data links and communications equipment. As with other advanced fighter jet designs such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the goal is to provide the pilot with as complete a picture of the battlespace as possible, allow the jet to share that information with other friendly forces, and let the pilot pull additional data from other assets in the air, on the ground, and even potentially in space.