A report from the Combat Air Power 2021: Competing Visions for the Future conference, which focused on the key next-generation combat air approaches.
Evolving peer threats, new budgetary pressures and national industrial imperatives are fuelling fierce competition among combat aircraft developers. The Combat Air Power 2021: Competing Visions for the Future conference, held online on 24 March 2021, examined the key next-generation combat air approaches, including the Anglo-Italian Tempest, the Franco-German-Spanish Future Combat Air System/Système de Combat Aérien du Futur (FCAS/SCAF) and the US Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) programme.
These three different programmes all outline an intent to eventually field a family of air vehicles which will work as an integrated system of systems to deliver future air power effects. Exactly what form this system of systems will take remains unclear in each case, although throughout the conference there were hints as to how these ideas are slowly becoming clearer in each programme.
Professor Justin Bronk
Senior Research Fellow, Airpower & Technology