Defence giant BAE set to hire 1,000 engineers for UK’s next-generation supersonic combat aircraft

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks at a Typhoon fighter jet at RAF Lossiemouth, Moray. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Defence giant BAE Systems is set to embark on a major recruitment drive, aiming to hire 1,000 engineers to help build Britain’s ‘supersonic’ Tempest fighter jet.

BAE wants to recruit 1,000 highly-skilled engineers over the next year, with the bulk of them based at its Lancashire sites, as it gears up for a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape the UK’s future of combat air.

The aerospace defence giants says it aims to build the Tempest fighter jet by hiring engineers, manufacturers and software specialists with the bulk of these new recruits being at their facilities in Lancashire, East Yorkshire and South Ayrshire.

The new staff will work on the sixth generation fighter as well as the Typhoon and other future programmes.

Team Tempest comprises the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, Rolls-Royce and MBDA UK.

BAE technology director Dave Holmes said:

“There has never been a more exciting and rewarding time to be involved in this industry because what we are doing is redesigning the way the world’s air forces will operate for generations.”

Tempest is the UK MoD’s endeavour to develop next-generation combat aircraft, which is expected to come into service by 2035. Credit: BAE Systems

Launched in 2018, Tempest is intended to play a crucial role in providing long-term defence and security for the UK, while delivering significant economic benefits to the nation and securing high-value skills and careers.

The initiative aims to combine advanced technical capabilities such as artificial intelligence (AI) to create opportunities, including the ability to use uncrewed aircraft and swarming technology for controlling drones.

Currently under the assessment phase, the programme is expected to achieve initial operating capability (IOC) by 2035.

Engineers at BAE Systems across the North of England are leading the design, test, evaluation and build process, bringing together new digital engineering technologies such as synthetic modelling and model-based systems engineering. These design and engineering methods are helping to demonstrate how they will significantly reduce the time it takes to design, deliver and upgrade complex combat aircraft.

The demonstrator will provide evidence for the critical technologies, methods and tools, which will be used on the core platform.

Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems chief executive, said:

“The demonstrator is an exciting once-in-a-generation opportunity providing experienced and young engineers alike a chance to contribute to an endeavour which really matters to our national defence and security.”

There have been a series of advances across UK industry supporting the programme, some of which were showcased at Farnborough Airshow last month.

  • Rolls-Royce Defence has delivered a new gas turbine demonstrator engine, known as Orpheus, designed, built and tested in under two years to prove innovative technology developments for FCAS
  • BAE Systems has used digital transformation to design and build a representative military fast jet fuselage, demonstrating how innovative technologies like robotics can transform the design and manufacturing capability for Tempest
  • Leonardo UK and Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric have agreed the concept for a radar technology demonstrator called JAGUAR, first unveiled in February, following the completion of joint concept work and feasibility studies earlier this year
  • Leonardo has revealed ongoing bilateral work to support the future electronics on-board the FCAS programme. Leonardo in the UK and in Italy are working together on a number of projects with Elettronica in Italy including joint assessment of potential architecture of a common Integrated Sensing and Non-Kinetic Effects (ISANKE) and Integrated Communications System. The work is complementary to ongoing collaboration with Japan on 6th generation sensor capabilities, an area in which Italy will soon be involved.
  • MBDA unveiled its concept for a weapon effects management system, to aid the coordination of all available weapons in the battle space using artificial intelligence and machine learning enhanced software.
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Photo licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.

Source: BAE / MOD

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