MBDA UK along with BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Leonardo UK form part of Team Tempest, a collaborative industrial partnership launched in 2018 between the UK Government and UK industry and the collaboration is centred around the development of technologies and skills needed to develop the next generation of combat air capability.
MBDA UK’s ROLE IN the TEAM
MBDA UK is the weapon effects domain lead for Team Tempest. Our mission is to transform the way weapons and weapons systems integrate onto the fighter jet, and optimise how a pilot can best utilize them to enable battle-winning performance.
The truly transformative partnership that Team Tempest set out in 2018 has, for the first time in the development of a combat aircraft, has involved a weapons and weapon systems manufacturer like MBDA UK from the very beginning. This has meant that MBDA UK’s expertise in this area of Combat Air ensures that their integration is quicker and easier than previous platforms. This has the added benefit of making this integration cheaper, whilst future proofing the platform to enable rapid and frequent upgrades to continually unlock the full performance of the weapons systems.
Being involved in a platform development in this way also helps ensure that there is full interconnectivity between the cutting-edge core platform and its mission systems, its state-of-the-art sensing and protection capabilities, any system of adjuncts, so that altogether the overall effectiveness is an improvement on what has gone before.
To assist this, MBDA UK is working closely with its Partners in the programme, to deliver software – utilising the assistance of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) – to provide the best threat response, deployable at the most opportune moment, therefore maximising the overall mission effectiveness. A Weapon Effects Management System that can reduce the cognitive burden on a pilot in the battlespace and facilitate the coordination of all available complex weapons in a battle space. Networked weapons – like SPEAR – are already emerging. Helping them cooperating in packs, or even swarms, will provide an operational advantage in the future battlespace. The Tempest core platform will also have the information advantage in that same space. Coupling the two, the vision for MBDA’s Weapon Effects Management System is to enable true optimisation and make complex weapons simple.
Tempest forms part of a next-generation combat air system, operating at the leading edge of technological innovation, strengthening the UK’s position as a global leader in combat air. Tempest will be a crewed aircraft at the heart of the UK’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS) from 2035.
FUTURE COMBAT AIR SYSTEM
Tempest sits at the heart of the UK’s Future Combat Air System. The combat air system of systems is designed around the Tempest platform, creating a step-change in capability through networked and collaborative communications systems, across multiple platforms advanced weapons (effectors) and uncrewed adjuncts.
Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP)
In December 2022, the governments of the UK, Italy and Japan announced a new international coalition to develop the next generation of combat aircraft. Centred around the core platform, the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) is a new partnership and ambitious endeavour between the countries combining the expertise of their respective defence industries, to deliver a step=change in sovereign air power and defence capability. The programme is expected to create highly-skilled jobs in the UK and in partner countries over the next decade and beyond.
An illustrative concept image of the aircraft being delivered by the Global Combat Air Programme. The aircraft design is not yet final.
© BAE Systems
Tempest and the UK’s Future Combat Air System is one of the largest ever science, technology and engineering endeavours.
To ensure the development the technologies needed for the next generation of combat air, MBDA UK, as part of Team Tempest, is attracting top UK talent and is delivering sustainable growth in skills and experience to the UK’s industrial workforce.
Team Tempest employs around 2,000 people across UK industry and the MOD, a number that is set to increase over the coming years.
Find out what Tempest and Future Combat Air System roles are available at MBDA UK here.
Tempest is a truly once-in-a-generation opportunity to work on developing groundbreaking, game-changing technology. To make it a success, we need the engineers, the manufacturers, the innovators, and the business minds of tomorrow. They are ‘Generation Tempest’. The very best UK STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) has to offer. They will bring new thinking and new ways of working
With MBDA UK at the forefront of this exciting and challenging programme – designing and delivering Tempest and a Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS) for the RAF and international partners in record time – there are opportunities to be at the heart of this once in a generation, transformational initiative. To find out how to start your career with MBDA UK visit our UK careers page.
A playlist of Team Tempest videos from all the partners is available on the RAF YouTube channel here.
FUTURE HORIZONS: THE TEMPEST PODCAST
This special six part series and special episodes introduces Team Tempest partners and explores the capability, economic impact and skills advancement being offered as part of this new programme. Hear form a range of interesting guests, including Team Tempest members, Defence Analysts and the next generation of engineers.
You can listen to or download the podcast at Future Horizons: The Tempest Podcast website here, or listen via many of the usual podcast outlets or find it via the Team Tempest Twitter and Instagram social media accounts.