1 - Eurofighter Typhoon
2 - Training and Support
3 - Hawk®
4 - Sceptre™ Operational Mission Support
5 - De-Confliction Services
6 - Technology Development
› Cockpit Development
The Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) in current cockpits are largely dominated by the physical layout of displays and controls. As new capabilities such as sensors and weapons are added to the platform, the challenge has been to manage the additional information available within the cockpit and the complexity of the decisions that have to be made.
We are working on a wearable Virtual Reality (VR) cockpit concept for future combat aircraft with limited or no hardwired controls or displays and fully exploiting the use of flexible HMI technologies such as helmet based displays and flexible multimodal control technologies including: voice, gesture, touch and eye tracking, to provide a fully upgradable, adaptable and customisable interface.
Our engineers are using VR to visualise the evolution of cockpit technology from the present day into a VR cockpit concept that will meet customers’ requirements for affordable upgradable products that deliver operational advantage.
A new solar electric Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which has the potential to fly for up to a year before needing maintenance, has become a step closer to reality following a new agreement between two cutting-edge British companies; ourselves and Prismatic.
Engineers from both companies will collaborate on the development of the new solar powered High Altitude, Long Endurance (HALE) UAV known as PHASA-35™ (Persistent High Altitude Solar Aircraft). Work is already underway to prepare the first aircraft to be ready for flight tests in 2019. The technology would offer a year-round, low cost persistent service for a wide range of needs including surveillance and vital communications to remote areas, using only the sun to power the aircraft during the day and recharge the batteries for overnight operation.
Solar HALE vehicles offer a significantly cheaper alternative to conventional satellite technology, with PHASA-35 being a concept solar electric UAV that uses proven, long life battery technology and ultra-lightweight solar cells to potentially maintain flight for up to 12 months.
› Strategic University Partnerships
Through our research and technology activities we aim to influence and support product and investment decisions which will ensure our customers can maintain a military advantage in the future.
To support our ambitions in specific future technology areas, we have established strategic partnerships with a number of universities based on their capabilities and excellence which aim to be mutually beneficial, ensuring technology pull through and a collaborative approach to creating impactful research.
Areas of research currently being explored as part of our long-term collaborations with academia include advanced manufacturing, novel materials, artificial intelligence, data fusion, and flapless flight technologies.The MAGMA airframe is one example of technology development with academia. It has been designed and developed in collaboration with The University of Manchester in order to provide an affordable, adaptable vehicle on which we can test and demonstrate new technologies in flight. In particular, we are investigating novel technologies to control an aircraft without the need for moving surfaces such as flaps and rudders.
7 - Advanced Manufacturing
8 - U.S. Programmes
› U.S Programmes
By supporting programmes in the U.S. and around the world, we have established relationships with all the major U.S. prime contractors and have developed and supported aircraft such as the Harrier AV-8B , T-45 Goshawk and, most recently, the F-35 Lightning II. We continue to seek new opportunities to leverage our knowledge, experience and innovation in the support of the U.S. Armed Forces and those around the world who use U.S. products and services.
› F-35 QEC Carrier Integration
We play a leading role integrating the F-35B with the Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) aircraft carriers for the UK. Combining the biggest and most powerful surface warships ever made for the Royal Navy with the world’s first supersonic Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft, the UK will have a potent carrier strike capability when they enter service.
An integration simulator facility, established at our Warton site in Lancashire, has enabled engineers and pilots to experience operating the F-35 from the QEC carriers years in advance of entry into service. Our engineers will continue to provide support throughout the First of Class Flight Trials scheduled and will be part of the team on board the carrier later this year.
In the future our F-35 and QEC sustainment teams will work together to ensure the platforms are supported through life and continue to deliver an integrated world-class capability.
› F-35 Lightning II
The F-35 is the largest defence programme in the world led by the U.S. with eight international participating nations: UK, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Turkey and a growing number of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.
We are a Tier 1 partner on the programme, forming an integral part of the industry team with Lockheed Martin (the prime contractor) and Northrop Grumman to collaboratively develop and now manufacture the three F-35 variants:
A - Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL)
B - Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL)
C - Carrier Variant (CV)We are responsible for around 15% of every F-35 produced from the production of the rear fuselage through to essential systems such as the Electronic Warfare suite. The F-35 rear fuselage production line is located in Samlesbury, UK with other sub-assemblies and equipment manufactured by our colleagues in the U.S. and Australia.