UK next gen fighter

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 17:00

The UK hasn't built a fighter by itself since the 1960s.


The odds of the south Korea, north Korea, and japan all joining to build a fighter are higher than the UK building it's own fighter all by itself
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talkitron

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 17:26

Here is a long background article on the UK's upcoming strategy decision on whether and how to develop a sixth generation aircraft. Here is a quote from the section on potential partners.

UK mulls sixth generation fighter project

Meanwhile, defence analyst and commentator Howard Wheeldon has this view on potential partners: “My preference for a sixth-generation combat aircraft (or system) development would be for a collaboration on manned aircraft development based on relatively small numbers of aircraft being required and that would involve France, Britain, Germany and Italy. Alongside this, however, I would like to see the UK alone invest more into unmanned combat air capability development on its own or with a chosen partner. My second option would be for the UK to come together with Sweden and maybe some other Nordic states to develop next generation manned and unmanned combat aircraft capability. UK Typhoon export customers may well wish to have some involvement in this and it has not escaped my notice that the UK/Turkey TF-X manned combat aircraft capability development might also play into this idea.”

Wheeldon also cautions that, given the disparity between the US defence budget and rest of the world, “from a potential development cost and affordability basis, further collaborative partnerships with the US would seem to be unlikely” for a piloted sixth-generation combat aircraft.

The UK going it alone, however, says Hayward is: “impossible to contemplate” as an “independent development is far too expensive.” Barrie concurs: “Going it alone for a full blown programme doesn’t strike me as feasible. Given that it took near a decade (1975-1985) for the shape of the previous European combat aircraft developments to shake out, I suspect it may take some time for partnership structures to emerge, including on the Franco-German effort and on wherever the UK goes. A mix and match of traditional and new partners is an option, with perhaps some at the systems level only rather than on any whole project.”




https://www.aerosociety.com/news/uk-mul ... r-project/
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 17:37

I love how many people throw around the "6th Gen" phrase before it's been defined and without having any "5th Gen" experience.
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talkitron

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 18:17

The article is correct that to have a fighter ready in 2040 (on a European budget) you have to start spending money now. So you have to guess at what a sixth generation fighter will be now. We will see if the UK release more specifics with the upcoming combat aircraft industrial strategy document.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 20:58

Saying "sixth generation fighter" means that you plan on having something that will differentiate from the current Gen in a significant way. Claiming that your new fighter will somehow be significantly better than something that you yourself did not develop & have no experience in building is what I find funny. You can't skip a Gen just by saying so.
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Unread post04 Jul 2018, 14:07

It is increasingly clear that even if a country has the expertise (doubtful), they lack the $ necessary to fund a 5th generation fighter's development and deployment. Thus far it's a small club with the expertise (U.S. and presumably, China). The cost is astronomical, and there's no guarantee of success either. Very possible a country or partner countries could spend billions and at the end of the day, not have a viable product.

How then they propose to build a 6th gen is beyond me. At some point you have to put national pride aside and deal with reality IMO
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Unread post04 Jul 2018, 16:22

We are talking about a fighter entering service in 2040. The UK (perhaps with some partners like Sweden) could build a F-35 clone with a few twists by 2040. Would it be better than new production F-35s in 2040? That is unclear; probably not given that a new build Typhoon (like for Kuwait) is probably slightly better in air-to-air and moderately worse in air-to-ground than a new build F-15E (like the F-15SA for Saudi Arabia).

The UK itself is fielding F-35s so the UK realizes it must do better than the F-35 in some dimensions in order to have a viable commercial product in 2040. Hence the need to speculate about what comes next: unmanned, manned control of unmanned wingmen, energy weapons, hypersonic speed, etc.

The higher speed engines might be good for Rolls-Royce's commercial business as well.

Here is a more news release-based article on this topic.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/bae-awa ... stem-work/

BAE awarded contract for Future Combat Air System work

A key aspect of this procurement’s single source justification is MOD cumulative investment (over a number of decades) into BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd, as the UK’s lead Air systems integrator.

During this time BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd have built up a unique level of credible and capable technical expertise and Suitably Qualified Experienced Personnel (SQEP), and is necessary for the integrated delivery of concepts, associated requirements and the application of technology.

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talkitron

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Unread post05 Jul 2018, 16:37

There are going to be a lot of these UK next gen fighter articles leading up to the release of the combat air strategy, even though that document will be light on details. Here is an article on the UK possibly partnering with Sweden.

https://www.ft.com/content/818c6b98-7fc ... 1a0846c475

UK in talks with Sweden over next-generation fighter jet

The statement is expected to set out the criteria for international collaboration, stressing that the UK intends to play a leading design role in any partnership to develop a fighter to replace the Typhoon jet from 2040. Sweden — whose defence flagship, Saab, makes the Gripen combat aircraft — has indicated its potential interest and would be a natural partner, according to several sources.

The strategy will aim to do just that and will be a “strong statement of national interest”, according to one person close to the subject. However, it will not mention the Franco-German accord and will deliberately leave the door open to other partners. As well as Sweden, Japan and South Korea could be potential partners, industry sources said.

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Unread post05 Jul 2018, 19:30

I would love for us to join the UK. I think both Sweden and UK would get bigger industrial benefits in such a program rather than if any of the two joined France and Germany.

Not sure about bringing in Japan, they are way to much in bed with US on such issues. I have a very hard time seeing them abandon that for a European project.

Not sure about South Korea, but they seem very eager to get their own project going without other major countries involved except for component supply. Similar to what we in Sweden have been doing I would say.
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Unread post10 Jul 2018, 18:59

This is a workshop related to UK industrial policy in the combat aircraft sector. Likely the title is more exciting than the content for many here. I put one nice quote below.

https://t.co/fuZdskhFyJ

UK Combat Air – The Next Generation

If you don’t control the concept design, you do not control the programme. The end design emerges from a proper process/dialogue of . Design and requirements co-evolve through exploring what you can afford through-life. This means ensuring adaptability is designed in from the beginning with features like modularity and adequate margins for future sub-systems and aircraft supporting systems (weight, power, etc.). Concept exploration should push the boundaries and constraints because it is often constraints that prevent maximising aspects like adaptability and minimising supportability and sustainability.

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talkitron

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Unread post12 Jul 2018, 00:22

This article about a new UK fighter has a few newsworthy paragraphs about the concept work and competition with the French and Germans.


Why an unmanned fighter fleet isn’t yet viable, in the words of Britain’s Air Force chief

Tempest ― an industry grouping comprising BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls-Royce ― has been doing conceptual work with the Royal Air Force rapid capability office since at least the turn of the year on the sort of capabilities any future fighter might need.

A second phase of work is now in discussion between the Tempest participants.

Whatever the combat air strategy looks like, Hillier has given notice that it will be different from a Franco-German offering.

“I don’t feel the U.K. role is to chase after France and Germany. We want to define what’s best for us and we will bring other nations with us. If in the future it includes France and Germany, that will be healthy as well,“ he said.

“What we are not going to do is just follow where other nations go. We have world-leading capabilities, we are going to define what we are going to do in the future and we are going to draw other nations towards us,” he added. “We have a leading role in the Typhoon [program] and a significant role on the F-35. This is what we are capable of, and from a U.K. perspective we intend to continue to have that position in [the] future.”


https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... rce-chief/
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Unread post12 Jul 2018, 01:50

Tempest always was an unexciting and uninspiring name to me. Names like Hurricane and Spitfire evoke emotion. Wyvern even elicits a fantasy concept that beckons knights in shining armor battling fire-breathing dragons. Tempest? Not so much. Sounds like a reference to one of Shakespeare's more underwhelming themes for a play, maybe even makes me think it was one of his flops. Even Mosquito would be a better namesake, especially for a performance twin-engine fighter void of as much metal as possible.
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Unread post13 Jul 2018, 00:37

I like the name Tempest. :D It fits in with Hurricane and Typhoon.

Here is the RAF Air Power 2018 magazine; 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the RAF. There are short articles by many of the top brass. There is not what I would call true news in this publication but many people might find summaries of some of what is going on with the RAF interesting.

https://issuu.com/globalmediapartners/d ... power_2018
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Unread post16 Jul 2018, 11:46

The UK Combat Air Strategy: An ambitious vision for the future is out. Happy reading! There will be many articles summarizing this over the next few days. There is also a mockup of a Tempest fighter at the UK air show going on right now.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... Lowres.pdf
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Unread post16 Jul 2018, 14:40

Here is the BAE news article on today’s announcements. It seems like the Tempest is being sold on flexibility more than absolute performance. It will be easier to upgrade and more modular in its payload than current combat aircraft. Here is a quote. The page also has an animated graphic.

Depending on the mission, ‘role fit’ additions such as low observable conformal fuel tanks, weapons dispensers, air launched UAV dispensers, large modular sensors, long range oblique photography systems for reconnaissance and Laser Directed Energy Weapons could be available.


The BAE article mentions some medium term additions to Typhoon:

1. Spear Cap 3 ground attack missile
2. Enhancement to Storm Shadow cruise missile
3. New helmet
4. Lightning V target pod
5. BriteCloud, more flares
6. AESA radar (E-Scan)

https://www.baesystems.com/en/feature/t ... gn=fia2018
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