At the Royal International Air Tattoo today, Defence Minister Stuart Andrew has made a series of air power announcements.
-- A new team of US and UK defence personnel, named Team ARTEMIS, have signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to undertake research into the military uses of small satellites.
-- The RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office has announced the award of three contracts to develop a technology demonstrator, named ‘Mosquito’, to explore the addition of unmanned capabilities onto fast jets.
-- The Red Arrows are due to depart to North America on August 5, on a tour to promote trade, business and defence interests.
"The RAF is not only equipped to tackle the challenges of today, but also that we are investing to face down the threats of the future.”
Speaking at the air show, Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “It’s a privilege to come to Royal International Air Tattoo and see first-hand the cutting-edge air power at our disposal, and meet the brightest and best of the defence world.
“From fast-tracking our next-generation intelligence aircraft onto the frontline to investing in small satellite technology, these announcements show the RAF is not only equipped to tackle the challenges of today, but also that we are investing to face down the threats of the future.”
Following Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt’s announcement yesterday that the MOD is investing £30m to fast-track the launch of a small satellite demonstrator, a new transatlantic team of defence government and industry personnel, named Team ARTEMIS, have signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to deliver this commitment.
The demonstrator will be designed to understand the military utility of small satellites and provide information to combat aircraft more quickly than ever, while developing the skills and knowledge base the UK will need in the future across a range of space mission areas.
The programme is being led by RAF Air Staff, supported by Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Team ARTEMIS partners at the signing today included the US Government, Airbus, Raytheon, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited and Virgin Orbit.
At the launch of the Combat Air Strategy last year, the Ministry of Defence revealed the concept future fighter jet Tempest. The vision of the jet featured advanced flexible power and propulsion systems, a virtual cockpit, swarming weapons and laser directed energy weapons. Operated either manned or unmanned, it would be rapidly upgradeable and cyber resilient.
Following on from last year’s announcement, a new project to develop a novel unmanned combat aircraft has been announced by the RAF and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
The RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office has announced the award of three contracts to develop a technology demonstrator, named ‘Mosquito’, under the Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA) programme.
The contracts were awarded in April 2019 to three teams led by Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd, Boeing Defence UK Ltd, and Callen-Lenz (Team BLACKDAWN partnered with Bombardier Belfast and Northrop Grumman UK Ltd).
The LANCA programme aims to explore the utility and feasibility of unmanned capabilities which can be added to existing and future Fast Jet aircraft, specifically those that offer substantial reductions in programme costs and development timelines.
RED ARROWS TOUR
Defence Minister Mark Lancaster visited the Red Arrows ahead of their tour to Canada and the United States, expecting to depart the United Kingdom on 5 August.
More than 25 cities will be visited by the team across the 11-week deployment, which will promote the best of British and support trade, business and defence interests.
Minister for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster, said: “The United Kingdom shares a deep and enduring defence relationship with both Canada and the US.
“Sending our world-famous RAF Red Arrows demonstrates the UK’s global ambitions and will provide a unique opportunity to strengthen our partnerships with two of our closest allies.”
P-8 MARITIME PATROL AIRCRAFT
Defence Minister Mark Lancaster also visited the US P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft at the Air Show, paying tribute to the 19 RAF personnel currently in the USA working with US Navy.
The UK has ordered a total of nine of the cutting-edge aircraft, due to arrive into RAF Lossiemouth in early 2020.
TEAM TEMPEST TEST AIRCRAFT
The RAF have announced that they have awarded a contract to Leonardo to provide a large-body test aircraft as part of the Team Tempest initiative.
Team Tempest is a co-funded partnership between the RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office and UK Industry (BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce).
The demonstrator will take the form of a modified Boeing 757 which will be used to conduct airborne technology testing of sensor and system integration for future. It is expected to come into service in early 2020s.
The aircraft will be used both to enable more rapid development of future capabilities, but also provide support for currently in-service combat aircraft such as the world-beating F-35 Lightning jets and the upgraded Typhoon.