Engineering and Manufacturing

Aerospace giant signs up to make next generation of RAF combat aircraft

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 03 August 2020 9:06

One of Gloucestershire biggest aerospace and defence firms has been revealed as one of the key firms joining a £1.9 billion project to make the next generation combat aircraft for the RAF.   

Cheltenham-based GE Aviation is among seven companies to join what is being billed as Team Tempest – a cross-industry code named the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) project. 

As well as the Bishops Cleeve-based sector giant other firms include GKN Aerospace, Bombardier Belfast, Martin Baker, Collins Aerospace QinetiQ, and Thales UK. 

The new additions will work alongside existing team members and household names including the Ministry of Defence, Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems.

Pictured: Concept image - courtesy of BAE Systems

According to the MOD the Gloucestershire business and its partners will bring new innovations and designs, enabling Team Tempest to carry on developing ground-breaking concepts and technologies that will guarantee combat dominance in the air. 

The alliance is quickly gaining recognition for its work and notched up a world first within two years of launching by designing a generator that delivers unprecedented levels of electrical power. 

Ben Wallace, UK Defence Secretary, said: “Just two years after Team Tempest was created they delivered a world first. It’s no surprise; when you attract the very best of British engineering and design, technological leaps like these are guaranteed. 

That’s why I’m delighted seven more companies have joined this mission to work in collaboration with the MOD, under the Team Tempest banner. They will bring the ambition, invention and expertise that will deliver the breakthroughs we will depend on for decades to come. 

These pioneers will strengthen our ability to develop a next generation aircraft and allow us to continue making vital contributions to UK, European and global security. 

Jeremy Quin, the UK Minister for Defence Procurement, said: “This is a highly innovative project based around cutting-edge technology and drawing on a skills base where the UK excels. 

“I am delighted that the success and strengths of Team Tempest are being enhanced through drawing on UK expertise; working with industrial partners and highly capable international team we are configured for future success.” 

Since its creation in 2018, Team Tempest has already employed more than 1,800 highly skilled engineers and programmers. 

Set to increase to 2,500 by next year, the programme is securing the UK’s position as a global leader in combat air.

First Published July 29.