RAF’s new unmanned fighter aircraft dubbed the ‘loyal wingman’ gets £30million injection from MoD
The Tempest programme is a UK partnership made up of BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Leonardo and MBDA. Employing around 2,500 people the programme aims to have fighter aircraft in service by the 2040s.
The air combat system is expected to include a mix of crewed aircraft, drones and so-called ‘optionally manned’ planes, that can be controlled from a ground-based control station, another aircraft or have a pilot onboard.
The MoD plans to start manufacturing the first aircraft by 2025.
By supporting the UK aerospace industry the MoD hopes to retain sovereignty over military equipment and not to have to rely on US defence companies for major programmes such as fighter jets.
Trevor Taylor, of the Royal United Services Institute, says the Tempest programme “represents a national…