The UK boasts a number of leading high-tech military aircraft. These serve not only to boost the UK’s defensive capabilities, but to support British industry as well. Frequently, they are built partly or fully by UK companies, using materials sourced from British steel suppliers and titanium suppliers. Others are built in cooperation with allied countries such as the USA and Spain, cementing the UK’s relationships with foreign powers.
The Typhoon is one of the UK’s most well-known and best loved military aircraft. The high-tech might of the Typhoons took a long time to develop, even with the combined efforts of Britain, Italy, Germany and Spain. The contract for production of the first batch was signed ten years later, with deliveries of RAF aircraft starting in 2003. Since their introduction, the Typhoons have continued to be upgraded and are expected to remain in service for some time yet.
Even now the next generation of high-tech aircraft is being lined up, there is talk of a future, updated Typhoon model being used alongside them.
The Typhoon is designed to fill multiple roles, from policing to defence. Initially, the planes only filled air-to-air roles, but air-to-ground capability was added. The Typhoon can fly at a little under twice the speed of sound and boasts some of the most advanced weapon capabilities. Current weapons and planned upgrades include Meteor Air-to-Air Missiles, Small Diameter Bomb and Storm Shadow.
The F-35 is an aircraft currently being developed in the US and is the most advanced military aircraft in existence. Although the majority of its manufacture is taking place in the US, Britain is playing a significant role in the process, with the F-35 intended for use by the RAF for defending UK airspace. Britain is the only Level 1 Partner in the plane’s development apart from the US, and 15% of each plane will be built in the UK. Rolls Royce, BAE Systems and around 130 other British companies will contribute. For this reason, steel suppliers and titanium suppliers such as Dynamic Metals are likely to also be called upon to provide materials.
Here’s a video of the F-35. Warning: It’s Noisey!
The F-35 is noted for its extremely high-tech features. These include a helmet, perfectly fitted to each pilot’s head, which allows for 360-degree views. This means the pilot can effectively see through the floor and walls of the plane, and view an image of what is outside in real-time. The F-35 is heavily automated, making it easier and less demanding for pilots to fly.
|F35 Pilot Helmet|
Airbus A400M Atlas
The Airbus A400M is an advanced transport aircraft. It is built in Spain, but was designed and developed through the cooperation of British and Spanish engineers. It is currently in use by eight nations for defending their borders, and naturally this includes the UK. The wings are largely made of plastic reinforced by carbon fibre, resulting in a strong yet lightweight aircraft. Half of the craft’s eight-bladed propellers turn in the opposite direction from the other half, giving greater stability. This is achieved through an innovative gearbox system.
The A400M can be used to transport troops or cargo. It is also capable of conducting surveillance and airborne refuelling. It features an advanced fly-by-wire system, allowing computers to perform functions such as stabilising without the pilot’s help.