Data-powered radar and human-autonomy teaming bolster U.K.'s next-gen combat air systemNews
October 19, 2020
UNITED KINGDOM. The latest concepts under development for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) next generation combat air system have been revealed by British engineers on the program. Delivering the technology will be Team Tempest, a U.K. technology and defense partnership formed by BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA, Rolls-Royce, and the RAF, and also involving hundreds of high-tech companies and academia across the U.K.
Experts from the Team Tempest electronics lead, Leonardo UK, are developing new radar technology designed to be capable of providing over 10,000 times more data than existing systems. The new sensor, called the Multi-Function Radio Frequency System, will aim to collect and process unprecedented amounts of data on the battlespace – equivalent to the internet traffic of a large city such as Edinburgh, every second.
Separately, engineers at BAE Systems and MBDA UK have begun flight testing cutting-edge concepts for Tempest’s wearable cockpit technologies, designed to provide pilots in the cockpit or operators on the ground with split-second advantage. BAE Systems' advancements include Augmented and Virtual Reality displays projected directly inside the visor of a helmet. According to officials, concepts including human-autonomy teaming are also being developed, where a virtual co-pilot could take on some of the pilot’s responsibilities. Physical and cognitive analysis capabilities are also in development with BAE Systems.
Lastly, Rolls-Royce engineers have been developing advanced combustion system technology as part of the company’s power and propulsion work.