Team Tempest: Ensuring the Future of UK Aerospace

Leonardo has been actively involved with the UK Government on various activities to assess the importance of the UK defence sector to UK prosperity and its role in projecting the UK's influence around the world. As part of this activity, Leonardo has supported governmental work to highlight the importance of the aerospace sector to the UK, with a particular emphasis on retention of skills, knowledge and expertise.

Under the Government’s Combat Air Strategy, the UK will ensure that it maintains the technological competence necessary to retain military freedom of action. Since its inception in 2018, Team Tempest has drawn on best-of-British capabilities, skills and experience to mature a broad range of technology areas and concepts relevant to future combat air systems.

Working alongside the UK Ministry of Defence, the four core partners are leading UK technology development in the following areas:

  • Leonardo – Integrated Sensing and Non-Kinetic Effects (ISANKE) and Integrated Communications Systems
  • BAE Systems – advanced combat air systems and integration
  • Rolls-Royce – advanced power and propulsion systems
  • MBDA – weapons systems

Under GCAP, the UK partners will work with their counterparts in Italy and Japan to deliver the relevant capability domains. 

Leonardo's contribution to Team Tempest

Click to view full size infographic featuring all the main components of the Tempest systemLeonardo will mature the critical technologies to deliver next generation sensing and communications alongside the advanced open-system architectures that will provide a step-change in how the sensors are employed within an operational system. It will mature the requisite technologies through a systematic approach to feasibility studies, lab tests and rig tests.

Key capabilities planned to be demonstrated include: integrated sensing and defensive aids architectures and information fusion; advanced Electro-Optic/Infra-Red sensor technologies; advanced Multi-Function Radar Frequency sensor technologies; all-aspect broadband Electronic Warfare capabilities; and robust high bandwidth communications. These activities will culminate in the integration of hardware, software and enabling architectures onto a flying test-bed aircraft, facilitating further development tests on the path to a next generation system.

Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP)

The next major phase of development will be under the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), which was announced in December 2022. Under this major new initiative, the UK’s sovereign industry partners – through Team Tempest – will support the significant endeavour of the UK, Japan and Italy building a truly international programme, with a shared ambition to develop a next generation fighter aircraft.

Future Horizons: The Tempest Podcast

Team Tempest (UK MOD, BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls-Royce) has released a podcast series, in which you can listen to some of the fascinating thoughts, insights and predictions from the innovators, engineers and thinkers behind Team Tempest.

Future Horizons: The Tempest Podcast

Building cyber resilience across Tempest

In addition to Leonardo's role on the Tempest programme developing world-leading sensor and communications systems technology, the company is implementing cyber resilience across the Tempest ecosystem, ensuring the system’s ‘digital backbone’ is secure-by-design.

Future Combat Air Career Opportunities

We're looking to attract and develop the next generation of world-leading suitably qualified and experienced personnel for our business to work on the Tempest programme and help deliver the UK’s Future Combat Air System capability.

Future Combat Air Career Opportunities

Generation Tempest

Generation Tempest

As part of Generation Tempest, the Royal Air Force and its industry partners are committed to promoting the future opportunities available to young people by embracing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.