Britain unveils new Tempest fighter aircraft to replace Typhoon | UK news

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Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has unveiled plans for a new RAF fighter, the Tempest, which will replace the Eurofighter Typhoon.

At the Farnborough Airshow, Williamson unveiled a model of the sixth-generation fighter aircraft that the Department of Defense (MD) expects from its new fighter-plane strategy to maintain Britain's status as a so-called "Tier 1" military power after Brexit.

"This is a strategy to maintain air control both domestically and abroad to remain a global leader in the sector," Williamson said.

He said he wanted to fly the Tempest alongside the existing fleet of typhoons and US-made F-35s to 2035.

The government announced that it would spend two billion pounds on the development of the aircraft by 2025, using funds provided for future combat flight techniques in 2015.

The jet may be able to operate unmanned according to plans published by the Department of Defense, and will feature next-generation technology designed for modern threats.

These include "swarm" technology, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to hit targets, as well as directional energy weapons (DEW) that use concentrated laser beams, microwave or particle beam energy to cause damage.

Tempest is built by a consortium of British defense company BAE Systems, engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, Italian aerospace company Lombardo and pan-European rocket manufacturer MBDA.

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But there is no affirmation of the suppliers' phalanx needed to build the jet by 2025, and its operational capability will follow a decade later.

Williamson said the government's battle-air strategy would help ensure that Britain is a world leader in the combat air sector supporting 18,000 UK jobs.

"The UK defense industry is making a huge contribution to British prosperity, creating thousands of jobs in a thriving, advanced manufacturing sector and creating a sovereign British capability that is the best in the world," he said.

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