Tempest aircraft flying over London's River Thames CGI image 200720 CREDIT MOD

Tempest: Fighter Project Tipped To Offer 'Significant Economic Benefits' To UK

Preliminary data on the UK’s future combat air programme suggests the fighters could support 20,000 jobs each year.

Tempest aircraft flying over London's River Thames CGI image 200720 CREDIT MOD

New data predicts that the Tempest project could generate billions for the UK economy and sustain 20,000 jobs each year.

The research, commissioned by BAE and conducted as an independent analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), looks at the economic contribution of the multi-decade programme from 2026 up until the year 2050.

The sixth-generation fighter jet is being delivered by Team Tempest, a partnership formed of BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA, Rolls-Royce and the Royal Air Force.

The UK has already agreed to work with Italy and Sweden on the programme.

Preliminary findings suggest the Tempest project will contribute at least £25 billion to the British ecomony in the first 30 years.

The findings also predict that for every 100 workers employed directly by the Tempest programme partners, it will lead to a further 270 jobs created across the economy.

Currently, Tempest is a series of concepts, rather than a specific design or aircraft.

Pilots of the fighter jet may fly a central aircraft, flanked by smaller, less costly, less capable planes known at this stage as Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA), which could act as decoys.

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The LANCA could also allow the unmanned aircraft to feed information and tactical options to mission commanders and operational pilots.

"Tempest is an exciting and ambitious multi-decade programme that will help to preserve our national security whilst at the same time driving significant economic benefits for the UK," Michael Christie, director of the Combat Air Acquisition Programme at BAE Systems said.

"The initial analysis revealed today demonstrates that Tempest is critical to ensuring the UK can sustain its world-leading Combat Air Sector, preserving the sovereign capability that is essential to retaining military freedom of action for the UK."

Tempest currently employs 1,800 people across UK industry and the Ministry of Defence, a number that is set to increase to 2,500 next year.

BAE Systems, on behalf of Team Tempest partners, commissioned PwC to carry out an independent analysis of the economic impact of the Tempest programme. 

The full report is due for publication before the end of the year.

The jet is due to replace the Typhoon, and is expected to be operationally capable and in use by 2035.

Cover image: MOD.