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.

Team Tempest

The company has been working with the UK Ministry of Defence on the FCAS programme since 2012, and on its predecessor FOAS, developing concepts for the next generation of Sensor and Communications technology. As part of the UK Combat Air Strategy, it will ensure that the UK maintains the technological competence necessary to retain military freedom of action. Team Tempest will mature a broad range of technology areas and concepts relevant to a Future Combat Air System; including open mission systems architecture; sensor systems and effectors, power and propulsion and airframe technologies.

Developing world-unique capabilities, establishing mutually beneficial partnerships in targeted technical areas and lowering barriers to collaboration will allow the UK to be in a favourable position for a Next Generation Future Fighter acquisition programme. Aligned to the Combat Air Strategy work, UK Ministry of Defence Head Office will develop potential future acquisition partnerships. Team Tempest will also identify and support the initiation of targeted technical cooperation with governments and industries of these partners where this is of mutual benefit for the parties.

Leonardo is a core partner in Team Tempest unveiled at Farnborough Air Show 2018.

Working alongside the UK Ministry of Defence and the Royal Air Force's Rapid Capability Office, Leonardo, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and MBDA are developing the technologies for the UK's Future Combat Air Systems.

The four core partners are leading 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

In July 2020, seven additional companies (GEUK, GKN, Collins Aerospace, Martin Baker, QinetiQ, Bombardier and Thales UK) joined forces with the four core members to collaborate on established projects and development work.

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 deliver 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, providing a clear demonstration of UK leadership and facilitating further development tests on the path to a Next Generation system.

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.

Norman Bone, Chair and Managing Director, Leonardo in the UK

Norman Bone, Chair and Managing Director, Leonardo in the UK

"As Britain’s national champion for advanced defence electronics, we're proud to be a part of Team Tempest. Work conducted under research and development programmes such as FOAS and FCAS has significantly advanced our thinking regarding the complex electronics required for future air combat scenarios, and we stand ready to support the future needs of the RAF."

Tempest 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.

Tempest 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.