Involuntarily an interesting question arises, why London is spent on the development of its super-fighter, when he already acquires a machine that, as they boast in NATO, there is no equal in the world. The explanation can be only one: Lightning II does not meet the English ideas about the fighter, able to actually gain dominance in the sky.
The second point of aw&ST news concerns the money allocated by the British government for the development of Tempest. Somehow it is not serious to take the £2 billion promised to developers when the Americans spent about $ 350 billion on the creation of their F-35. However, other money is already going into the project, as aw&ST writes. So, Western investors have a reason to invest their capital, despite the competition from Lightning II.
Now it’s time to clarify the information about the source of the news — AW&ST. Can we trust this publication that the British program Tempest is gaining momentum at the expense of private capital? I guess so. To make it clear who and what emerges on the pages of Aviation Week, here are a few facts.
March 20, 1978 — ten years before his first and last flight of our “Buran” — in Aviation Week has published a detailed article about the Soviet program of reusable spacecraft. According to editor Craig KOVO, the secret information was provided by the then Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General David Jones, who, by the way, told about the CIA officer William Kampils, who leaked the leadership of the Soviet agents on the spy satellites KH-11.
November 1, 2013, Aviation Week declassified details about the supersonic drone SR-72, whose speed reaches 6 MAH. Interest in the article was so huge that it led to the fall of aw&ST servers.
December 9, 2013 edition AW&ST revealed details about the top-secret UAV RQ-180, developed by Northrop Grumman, which was put into operation by 2015. The published information, by the way, belonged to the top secrets of our defense Ministry.
However, back to the Tempest program, which interested major Western investors. Apparently, the British decided to return to their project BAE Systems Replica to develop a fighter of the 5th generation, which was frozen under pressure from Washington in the late 90-ies. The Americans then strongly “convinced” the British that they should cooperate with the Corporation Lockheed Martin program American Joint Strike Fighter — that is, to develop the F-35 Lightning II.
However, as the British write today, they are grateful for the cooperation, because they have already stated that they use the experience of working on the F-35 in their project Tempest. On the other hand, BAE Systems Replica from the very beginning was not something exotic or super expensive, such as the strike fighter invisible F -117 or b-2 Spirit bomber.
Recall, back in the 1990s, the British believed that it was impractical to build a completely invisible aircraft since the balance between stealth and classic characteristics of fighters is more important. Yes, BAE Systems Replica has reduced the level of infrared, acoustic or visual signatures, but without American fanaticism.
It is also known that in 2014, the Replica prototype was taken out of the warehouse, where it was stored for almost 15 years and returned to the BAE Systems laboratory. There is rumored to be modernized to reflect new advances in stealth technology and re-experienced on the bench. After that, in fact, began a leisurely study of the program Tempest, which intensified after the first deliveries of Lightning II.
If the program was implemented, the British air force by 2017 replaced all its Eurofighter Typhoon with new fighters. In any case, so say British experts, dissatisfied with the closure of the BAE Systems Replica program. Like, the Royal air force would have received a more advanced aircraft, which, however, did not have low visibility at the level of F-35. In fairness, the development of even the current “Eurofighter” faced huge difficulties. In London, recognize that without the participation of the Germans that project would not have taken place. So talk about unrealizable ambitions of the British, it is appropriate to reduce to the well-known saying “coulda woulda”. One thing is clear: the British are trying to jump into the last car of the departing train. Despite the fact that the promising fighter Tempest of the Royal air force is declared as an addition to the F-35, London hopes to make a machine that would surpass the Lightning II. Otherwise, the sheepskin is not worth the candle. And this, according to the logic of British strategists, means an indisputable superiority over other combat aircraft of the 5th generation — the Chinese J-20 and our su-57.
However, Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce, who was present at the Tempest presentation, unexpectedly stated about serious problems: “the UK’s Capabilities in the field of combat aircraft and engines are at a critical level, and this long-term commitment of the government will allow us to protect the knowledge and key skills that are vital to the preservation of sovereign potential.”
Here napisales oil painting. If you call a spade a spade, the Americans decided to remove from the world market of combat aircraft their loyal friends — the British, just as at the time did with friendly Israelis. At the same time, the F-35 fighter created by Lockheed Martin Corporation does not like the allies, despite the laudatory comments of the operators. On the other hand, the news of AW&ST is a landmark and says that more and more countries are working on the 5th generation fighters. Therefore, Russia should also make efforts to reduce the cost of the su-57 and put it into mass production. The American specialized edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology (simplified Aviation Week or AW&ST) reported that the program of the promising British fighter Tempest (“Storm”) suddenly attracted the attention of a number of powerful companies ready to invest in this combat aircraft. Meanwhile, it has only been nine months since British defense Secretary Gavin Williamson unveiled London’s view on the development of the Royal air force based on Tempest, which was to enter service in the late 2030s.
There are at least three points in the news from AW&ST that deserve separate explanations. First, Tempest somehow presented in the media as a machine of the 6th generation, although the British themselves write about the English fighter of the next generation. Here, the predecessor refers to a multi-purpose aircraft Eurofighter Typhoon 4th generation. So we are not talking about some supernatural leap in technology.
This confusion seems to be caused by not questioning the combat capability of the F-35 Lightning II. As you know, London intended to buy a total of 138 of these American aircraft, spending until 2021 for these purposes more than £12 billion, However, these volumes can be revised, if only because the start of the Tempest program suspiciously coincided with the beginning of the operation of the Kingdom’s first F-35 air force