How to engage with Team Tempest

ADS’ Simon Levy summarises a recent team Tempest industry briefing.

Delivering world-class, next-generation combat air capabilities was a talking point at the first major industry briefing from


ADS’ Simon Levy summarises a recent team Tempest industry briefing.

Delivering world-class, next-generation combat air capabilities was a talking point at the first major industry briefing from Team Tempest to ADS members, held last month.

The Tempest future acquisition programme launched at the 2018 Farnborough International Air Show, and this recent event was a springboard for a series of discussions to develop the right capabilities and technologies to meet the demands of the programme.

Members heard from Government, the military and the Team Tempest partners and, not surprisingly, it was a full house. The briefing confirmed that Team Tempest is actively engaging with UK industry across sectors right now and is particularly interested in companies focused on delivering excellence in the technological supply chain.

In this blog, we summarise the relevant capabilities required for engaging with Team Tempest, as highlighted in the industry briefing. The full presentation from the event can be viewed by ADS members in the Business Development Centre.

Programme delivery through collaboration

Tempest is a partnered, co-funded element of the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI). Launched by the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) and UK industry partners, it has the remit of maximising technology exploitation and export opportunities through industry collaboration across four key areas:

  • Advanced Combat Air Systems and integration
  • Advanced power and propulsion systems
  • Advanced sensors, electronics and avionics
  • Advanced weapon system integration

With a budget £2 billion+ over nine years, Team Tempest is looking to position the UK for a next-gen acquisition programme portfolio of activities jointly funded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and industry.

How to get involved

With world-leading capabilities, the UK is one of the very few countries internationally with the expertise and knowledge to deliver against the ambitions of the UK defence strategy. There will be international partners, but the UK is no stranger to partnering – take examples such as Jaguar, Tornado and Typhoon.

Timelines for the programme are already in place with an outline business case to be delivered in December 2020, a full business case in 2025 and initial operating capability in 2035.

The Team Tempest Procurement Group is inviting companies with the relevant capabilities to register their interest in one or more of the following four workstreams, led as follows:

  • Joint next-gen concepting and integrated design activities – led by Royal Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office and all fout partner companies
  • NextGen air vehicle technical activities – led by BAE Systems and MDBA
  • NextGen power and thermal – led by Rolls-Royce
  • Advanced sensors and communications – led by Leonardo

To be considered, members must commit to:

  • Invest in the programme
  • Work collaboratively
  • Rapidly deploy UK IP (intellectual property)
  • Have affordability and upgradeability as key tenets of all solutions
  • Be committed to winning in export markets

Defence digitalisation

The increasing importance of digitalisation was highlighted in the briefing. Air Commodore Linc Taylor noted that future air combat will be in an increasingly complex and contested space, and succeeding in this environment will require ‘rapid capabilities’ and ‘agile and adaptable software’.

Air Marshall Mike Wigston also added that speed and smarter, synergistic use of data will be critical for decision-making and success on the battlefield. Therefore, organisations with leading digital capabilities in any sector are of particular interest to the Tempest procurement Team.

ADS’ Business Development Centre is a central resource for programmes such as the Tempest programme. Information is updated regularly and members are notified via the ADS LinkedIn Members Group and the ADS Members Bulletin.

ADS members who fulfil the requirements outlined above and wish to be considered for the Tempest programme or want to find out more about ADS, email Simon.

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