Military Factory logo
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships

Tempest (Britain)

6th Generation Fighter Concept

Tempest (Britain)

6th Generation Fighter Concept


The Tempest was unveiled at Farnborough 2018 as a look into what a future British 6th Generation Fighter might look like.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United Kingdom
YEAR: 2035
STATUS: In-Development
MANUFACTURER(S): Local and Foreign Aero-Industry - UK
OPERATORS: United Kingdom (planned)

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Tempest (Britain) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 62.34 feet (19 meters)
WIDTH: 44.29 feet (13.5 meters)
HEIGHT: 16.40 feet (5 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 31,967 pounds (14,500 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 55,116 pounds (25,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Afterburning turbofan engines of unknown make, model, and output power.
SPEED (MAX): 1,553 miles-per-hour (2500 kilometers-per-hour; 1,350 knots)
RANGE: 1,988 miles (3,200 kilometers; 1,728 nautical miles)
CEILING: 50,853 feet (15,500 meters; 9.63 miles)


Assumed the usual supply of air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, precision / laser-guided munitions, and jettisonable fuel stores held in internal bays as well as external hardpoints. Also planned support for direct-energy, hypersonic, and swarm weapons and UAV-launching.

Series Model Variants
• Tempest - Base Project Name.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Tempest (Britain) 6th Generation Fighter Concept.  Entry last updated on 8/13/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
To keep up with the changing demands of aerial warfare, the British have announced a commitment to the development of an all-new 6th Generation Fighter as showcased by the unveiling of the "Tempest" air superiority fighter concept at Farnborough 2018. The aircraft is the embodiment of what the next frontline fighter of the Royal Air Force (RAF) could look like as the service will eventually be forced to seek a successor to its fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons in the next two decades. As it stands, the Tempest remains a concept form at its core.

The current air superiority standard remains the 4th Generation Fighter - proven, economical, and granted access to a plethora of weapon options across the globe. High-profile types (like the Russian Sukhoi "Flanker" series) have received various modernizations and upgrades to graduate to the 4.5th Generation Fighter status. The Lockheed F-22 Raptor, introduced in 2005, marked the beginning of the stealth-minded "5th Generation Fighter" trend which has since been mimicked to an extent by the powers of Russia and China. Other 5th Generation Fighter programs are only starting to take shape - namely in South Korea, Turkey, Japan, and India. Only a few select powers, like the United States and Russia, have already started to look to the far-future by delving into a 6th Generation Fighter concept.

As it stands, the Tempest design features a shape and lines similar to the F-22 before it. The fighter would carry a pair of engines in a typical side-by-side arrangement well-aft of the cockpit. The "new generation" engines, that is, of all-new design and construction, would provide the necessary power and performance as well as increases survivability of both pilot and aircraft over contested airspaces. A delta-wing shape is featured and the airframe carries the usual low-observable traits such as smooth contours, chined edges, and few protrusions. Vertical tailplanes are outward canted and engine intakes are slanted and of rectangular shape. A single-piece, specially-coated canopy sits over the cockpit which, in turn, sits over the radar-housing nose of the aircraft. A conventional tricycle undercarriage is used for ground-running.

It is assumed that a fighter like the Tempest would equipped with internal weapons bays to house its ordnance loads - as is the case with the F-22. The option for external loads would most likely remain in play as in the F-22. There is planned support for a new-generation of weaponry in the form of hypersonic missiles, direct-energy types, swarming ordnance, and even the carrying/launching of UAVs to supply the warfighter with a futuristic edge in any firefight.

Development of the fighter will be both of the private venture and governmental variety. Of course such a venture is set to be a very expensive one as showcased by the F-35 project in the United States, forcing the British to work with foreign players at the international level - candidates such as France or Germany or both. France and Germany have already agreed to a joint fighter development program all their own - the hope being that one fighter could be developed for most of the European powers to use, and something to compete directly with the F-22 and F-35 programs "across the pond". The main challenge to the British endeavor is settling on a program that will deliver key qualities to its Royal Air Force (RAF) which may generate requirements apart from what the French and Germans are seeking. It is notable too that the Franco-German program has announced a less-aggressive in-service target date of 2040. The British are also expecting to meet with the Americans to discuss their ongoing Next Generation Air Dominance and Penetrating Counter-Air program so little in regards to the Tempest has been settled.

Other possible national partners may include India, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia where smaller programs, pushed by British aero-industry, have either matured or just begun, giving these nations a taste - and critical experience - in the development and production of combat platforms.

The stated in-service date for the Tempest is 2035 at which point the British fleet of Lockheed F-35 Lightning II strike fighters would have had a considerable period to mature (deliveries of this platform are ramping up as of this writing, 2018). The RAF plans to procure some 138 examples of the F-35 - a grand financial commitment in itself - which leaves some doubt in the viability of the British commitment to a costly and complex future 6th Generation Fighter.

Specifications listed on this page are estimates on the part of the author and based largely on the American F-22 Raptor series.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 1600mph
Lo: 800mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (1,553mph).

    Graph average of 1200 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Tempest (Britain)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft external fuel tank
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.