From TEMPEST to Global Combat Air Program

by Arda Mevlütoğlu

Date: Issue 121 - April 2023

On July 16, 2018, United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defense announced its Combat Air Strategy. The document outlines the framework, strategy and necessary steps to be taken by the UK for air dominance in the coming decades. Among the key elements of the strategy are the improvement of the Typhoon fighter, development of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) Technology Initiative, establishment of new international partnership programs to meet future requirements and challenges. The strategy document focused on the air component, describing it as "...an aircraft, manned or unmanned, whose prime function is to conduct air-to-air and/or air-to-surface combat operations in a hostile and/or contested environment, whilst having the ability to concurrently conduct surveillance, reconnaissance, electronic warfare and command and control tasks."

On the same day of the announcement of the Combat Air Strategy, at the Farnborough Air Show, the Tempest program was unveiled by the BAE Systems.