BAE Systems is to test artificial intelligence technology to aid pilots, from its base in Lancashire.
It forms part of a global Tempest partnership between BAE, Rolls-Royce, MBDA and Leonardo, to develop the next generation of fighter jets.
At the Farnborough Air Show, BAE Systems said it was already working on the project at its Warton base, with test flights expected by 2027.
“I am delighted that the UK, alongside Italy, Japan and Sweden are working on the same combat air journey together,” stated Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.
“Our work with Japan and Italy on cutting-edge technologies like this, shows the benefit of our alliances across the world.
“The design and development of the demonstrator aircraft represents an important milestone, showcasing the success and talent of our engineers, programmers and software developers. This programme will go on to attract opportunities for many more great minds and talent from across the UK.”
The AI tools would be used to help pilots through sensors in the helmet, which monitor medical data and brain signals. MBDA is also working on concepts for a weapon effects management system, to aid the coordination of all available weapons via Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning-enhanced software.
The Ministry Of Defence has announced a new Tempest Academy to support its Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme. It said it hoped to attract “opportunities for many more great minds and talent from across the UK.”
“FCAS is an exciting, dynamic and inclusive programme, needing a diversity of people, ideas and skills working together. We are recruiting fresh talent who will lead FCAS, delivering one of the world’s most important Defence programmes,” added Richard Berthon, UK Director Future Combat Air.
Today BAE has also confirmed the appointment of Cressida Hogg as Non-Executive Director and Chair designate. Hogg is currently Chairman of the board of Land Securities Group PLC (Landsec), which has a majority ownership of MediaCityUK.
“It is an honour to join the Board and be asked to succeed Sir Roger as Chair next year. BAE Systems plays a key role in defence and security both in the UK and internationally. I very much look forward to working with Charles and the other Board members through the next phase of the Company’s development,” she said.
Hogg, who is also a Non-Executive Director of London Stock Exchange Group plc, is expected to succeed Sir Roger Carr as Chair after the AGM in May 2023.
Landsec confirmed that she will retire from its board next year.
“I am delighted that Cressida Hogg has agreed to join the Board of BAE Systems in November and take over as Chair in May next year. I very much look forward to working with her to continue to take the Company forward. It has been a pleasure working with Sir Roger, who will be leaving a strong legacy of good governance and commitment to delivering for all stakeholders,” added Charles Woodburn, Group Chief Executive.
BAE Systems has also released its half year results, showing sales increased 2.8% to £10.6bn, with profits up to £1.1bn.