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Leonardo demonstrates radar warning receivers for future Tempest fighter

An artist's rendering of the Tempest aircraft. Photo: Royal Air Force

Leonardo UK, part of the industrial team developing the Tempest 6th-generation fighter jet, has demonstrated the performance of new radar receiver/warner technology as part of its on-going development work for for the program.

Incorporating stealth technology, laser weapons and drone swarm deployment capabilities, the Tempest project will see the UK, Italy and Sweden working closely together.

In a laboratory demonstration for the UK defense ministry and other team Tempest partners, the new sensor demonstrated a direction finding performance of four times what is possible with a typical radar warning receiver while being just 1/10th the size of a standard system, according to Leonardo.

Leonardo UK is one of the four founding members of Team Tempest. Other members include BAE Systems, MBDA and Rolls-Royce. Since the team was contracted to begin development work in 2018, Italy and Sweden have announced their intent to work with the UK on this project. The initial phase of the project is supported by £2 billion of UK defense ministry investment.

Leonardo’s UK role in the team is to develop Tempest’s sensor package and integrate these sensors into the platform’s mission system.

As explained by Leonardo, the Tempest could have a number of multi-purpose sensors spread around the aircraft, simultaneously sensing and tracking enemy aircraft, incoming missiles and other threats from all directions, while being fully integrated with a forward-facing radar.

Tempest is expected to join the RAF fleet from 2035, replacing the Typhoon’s capabilities.