LONDON, (BM) – The Royal Air Force of Great Britain showed on Twitter a promo video of the “next” (sixth) generation fighter, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. In the caption to the video, it is noted that in addition to the previously announced seven new companies will participate in the development of the aircraft, dubbed Tempest [The Tempest].
In July 2018, the French company Dassault Aviation posted a video on its YouTube channel depicting a fifth-generation European fighter jet. It is assumed that the aircraft will replace the fourth generation fighters Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon.
Work on Tempest started in 2018. The fighter should be ready in 2035. The cost of development is estimated at two billion pounds sterling (2.54 billion dollars).
Britain’s BAE Systems announced the development of the Tempest fighter in 2018, which is expected to provide a replacement for the Eurofighter Typhoon and a portion of the F-35B fleet from the early-mid 2030s.
The extremely ambitious program is one of many next generation fighter programs currently underway, with the American F-X, Air Dominance Fighter and Penetrating Counter Air Fighter all expected to enter service before it and see their first flights before 2030.
Britain has sought to gain support for the Tempest program by partially merging it with the Japanese F-3 program, although Tokyo has since come under considerable American pressure to partner with an American firm for its sixth generation fighter program rather than with BAE Systems.
The new European fighter will have a Rolls-Royce engine
As we reported on January 13 this year, Britain’s Rolls Royce, world’s second largest manufacturer of aircraft engines, announced that it has begun development of engines for the country’s Tempest sixth generation fighter program.
Rolls Royce has previously manufactured engines for a number of British fighters, including the Eurojet EJ200 powering the Eurofighter and the Spey used on F-4K Phantoms.
Rolls Royce has had some experience developing high performance engines for fifth generation fighters with the F136 program, pursued jointly with America’s General Electric, although this program was cancelled in favour of the Pratt and Whitney F135.
Britain’s ability to develop engines to a sixth generation standard remains highly questionable, with its Eurojet EJ200 which entered service in 2003 considered several decades behind – and with the U.S. and Soviet Union both having developed similarly capable engines decades prior during the Cold War.
Italy could also become part of the European project
Last year, according to the Italian media outlet La Stampa, Italy announced that could join the UK Tempest program.
British sources revealed the scoop to the Italian media following the bilateral meeting between Italian Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta and her British counterpart Ben Wallace, which was held in Helsinki on September 5.
Italy is looking to the advanced fighter jet to replace the Eurofighter fleet of the Italian Air Force.
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