9 December 2020

The Annual Aerospace Medicine Symposium

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7-8 December 2020

Air Power Conference

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22-23 October 2020

Urban Air Mobility Conference 2020

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3-4 November 2020

Climate Change Conference

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25-26 November 2020

President’s Conference – Digital technologies

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BAE Systems

The Future of
Combat Air


The UK Combat Air Strategy, launched in 2018 set out a bold vision for the future. This was embodied by an ambitious goal to create Tempest, a UK-led international future combat air system that will pioneer new technology, capable of exploiting and staying ahead of evolving threats, enabled by decades of expertise in a world leading industry.


Tempest is focused on delivering a capable, flexible and affordable system by the mid- 2030s, providing military, economic and industrial benefit to the UK and our international partners. Significant progress is being made – we are working in innovative ways with partners and suppliers; reaching beyond the defence sector to bring the very best in innovation from across the UK. In parallel we are maturing detailed discussions with international partners, continuing our track record of successful international partnerships.

We’re on track to deliver an ambitious military programme for the UK which is at the cutting edge of technology, whilst at the same time investing in people, early careers and infrastructure, supporting the economy and long term prosperity of our nation.

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Making our Tempest vision of the future a reality is a once in a lifetime opportunity. To make it happen, we need to inspire the next generation of highly-skilled engineers, manufacturers, technologists and thinkers. We need #GenerationTempest

In the past two years, the Team Tempest partners have:

  • Recruited more than 1,000 graduates and apprentices, including record numbers of apprentices joining BAE Systems in 2020
  • Continued to work closely with key universities
  • Made direct investment in training capabilities, including the BAE Systems’ Academy of Skills and Knowledge

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Team Tempest is the UK enterprise that brings together the very best of British industry including BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce, working in partnership with Government to generate the technologies, skills, tools, processes and experience required for the UK to lead the development of a next generation combat air system.

Since the launch of the UK Combat Air Strategy, the Combat Air Acquisition Programme and Team Tempest in 2018, we have created technologies and undertaken development work in a matter of weeks that would previously have taken years, through the transformation of our businesses, our transformative approach to partnerships and harnessing the capabilities that exist to ensure we retain the UK’s position as a world leader in combat air capability.

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To achieve our vision of the future, we are embracing transformative ways of working. This includes investing in advancing technology in our manufacturing processes to improve affordability and speed of delivery

Our Factory of the Future, at Warton, Lancashire, sees us working in partnership with the brightest minds across the supply chain, from university professors to blue chip companies and SMEs Drawing on Industry 4.0 technologies, the Factory is a connected hub of technologies, designed to increase pace and cost-effectiveness in production of our aircraft today and demonstrate how aircraft could be built in the future.

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Michael will present the keynote speech Transforming the Delivery of Air Power From Platforms to Systems – Challenges to the Combat Air Sector on day 1 of the RAeS Air Power Conference 2020

Michael Christie


After graduating with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from The University of Glasgow in 1984, Michael joined British Aerospace and progressed through a number of posts in the Aerodynamics area. Michael progressed to becoming an aircraft performance specialist and design signatory for a number of aircraft including Eurofighter, Tornado and Jaguar.

Building on this Engineering background, Michael has held a number of programme management roles, including on FOAS (the Future Offensive Air System), Astute Submarine, the UK element of F-35 as well as a long association with the Hawk business in various roles.

Over the last few years, Michael has been heavily involved in the development of the strategy for the Combat Air Sector, initially as Strategy Director for the Military Air business in BAE Systems and more recently as Director of Future Combat Air Systems.


Julia will be part of the panel discussion What Else and What Next Beyond Tempest on day 1 of the RAeS Air Power Conference 2020

Julia Sutcliffe


Julia is Chief Technologist for the Air Sector at BAE Systems. Working with a diverse range of customers, industrial partners and experts from across the business, she is responsible for the development and delivery of a technology strategy that underpins continued success and future growth in the Aerospace, Defence and Security sector.

Following a degree and PhD in Physics at Nottingham University, Julia joined British Aerospace and has held a number of roles including Chief Engineer for Training Services, Chief Avionics Engineer and Mission Systems Design Authority for the UK MoD Taranis UCAV demonstrator.

She has travelled extensively and spent 10 years working for BAE Systems in Australia in which she worked with the Royal Australian Air Force and the Australian Army to investigate next generation technologies in the field of unmanned systems and information advantage.