Will London be able to keep a pilot aboard its Tempest stealth fighter?

In his latest research paper from July 2020, the air power researcher of the prestigious Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Justin Bronk, made several recommendations which would make it possible, given the budgetary constraints weighing on British defense, to maintain a credible roadmap for aviation of British combat and thus support the industrial and strategic capacities of the country. Among its recommendations is in particular the idea according to which, it would be preferable to avoid the human presence on board the future sixth generation fighter Tempest and to “dronize” the latter: the gains both economic and also operational would not be. than tenfold.

London's stated air strategy goals are ambitious. The Air Combat Strategy (ACS) of 2018 - a reference document that defines the British military air strategy by 2040 - is based on four pillars: (1) the upgrading and technological modernization of the Typhoon; (2) the continued construction and maturation of the Royal Navy / Royal Air Force F-35 joint force; (3) the development of the future Tempest combat fighter; (4) and maintaining the competitiveness of the domestic combat aviation industry.

The modernization of the Typhoon is a critical issue for British industry: the Janus project, which will succeed the Centurion project, will include the modernization of data links, sensors, weaponry and avionics. These are the technological building blocks that are essential for the proper development of the Tempest program, but also and above all for maintaining the United Kingdom in the very closed club of combat aircraft producers.

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