Tempest and the
Future of Combat Air

Prosperity and Industrial Capability

Image of Tempest at the ASK facility
Maintaining access to a dynamic and innovative UK industrial base will determine the UK’s ability to choose how it delivers its future requirements. Tempest will enable the UK to reap the economic, international and strategic benefits of a major role in a future Combat Air acquisition programme.

Sovereign skills and operational advantage

The link between military advantage and economic prosperity cannot be overestimated.  In order to maintain operational advantage and freedom of action, we need to generate our own intellectual property and develop our people and their skills - thereby securing our national prosperity and the UK’s position as a defence exporter.
The Combat Air Strategy highlights the criticality of cutting-edge UK technologies and intellectual property, including how this is generated, sustained and exploited.
The UK’s combat air sector is a proven success story, contributing to many areas of the economy, particularly manufacturing and technology. The freedom to choose how we deliver our future requirements is dependent on maintaining access to a dynamic and innovative UK industrial base. The ability to design and build combat aircraft in the UK makes a major contribution to our industrial base, providing a highly skilled and productive workforce, which generates significant exports for the country.
Preserving this sovereign capability is vital to ensure we as a nation retain independent military ‘freedom of action’ and our national security, and at the same time make a positive economic difference to the UK.

Return on investment

Combat Air delivers on average £6bn of revenue to the UK every year and is responsible for 85% of defence exports from the UK.  Every major programme has returned significantly more money to the UK Government than originally invested. Programmes including Hawk and Typhoon have delivered impressive economic return for the UK:
  • The initial £800m the Government invested in Hawk led to the most successful trainer aircraft in history with over 1,000 platforms sold, the vast majority exported, delivering a return of more than £16bn to the UK economy.
  • On Eurofighter Typhoon, the UK Government has invested £12bn, but from export sales has seen double that revenue return to the UK economy, with the potential of more to come.
The principles and objectives for the Tempest programme, focused on delivering a capable, flexible and affordable product will ensure that this track record continues.

UK Combat Air Sector

Annual turnover
Highly skilled jobs
UK supply chain companies

National Value

The UK Combat Air Strategy recognises the contribution industry plays in helping the UK to remain at the forefront in this critical sector; continuing to deliver economic, industrial capability and skills benefits, as well as supporting international partnering and delivering value through exports.
BAE Systems sustains high quality engineering and manufacturing jobs in clusters around the UK, both in the defence aerospace sector and adjacent sectors.  It delivers advanced skills in the industrial base that have proven wider application and benefit in other sectors. 
  • Across the Team Tempest partners there are more than 1,800 employed on Tempest, set to increase to more than 2,500 people by next year.
  • More than 1,000 apprentices and graduates have been recruited in just two years.
  • Continued collaboration with key universities and direct investment in training capabilities
  • The four core partners have already engaged with more than 600 suppliers, SMEs and academic institutions across the UK as part of that mission
Tempest is a once in a generation opportunity for the next generation of highly skilled engineering, technologies and thinkers to make their mark on history.
Contribution to the North
The Combat Air Sector has a footprint that reaches many areas of the UK including the north of England and Scotland; driving prosperity across our country, directly supporting 46,000 jobs.
Image showing Samlesbury site aerial view
With 12 sites across the region, we employ 21,000 people - more than half our UK workforce. 
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Image showing the Factory of the future
Tempest is leveraging and developing the very best technology in existence, working in partnership with academia and high-tech SMEs across the UK.
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