This Is What the Future of Military Fast Jets Support Looks Like

RAF and BAE Systems are working on VR headsets and autonomous robots for fighter jet maintanance 9 photos
Photo: Royal Air Force
Electric Ground Power Unit Powering a Typhoon JetAircraft Digital Twin TechnologyVR HeadseatTempest Fighter Jet ProgramTempest Fighter Jet ProgramTempest Fighter Jet ProgramTempest Fighter Jet ProgramTempest Fighter Jet Program
Over the last few years, we’ve been getting a glimpse into what military operations are supposed to look like in the future. Advanced fighter jets are an important part of that, so it’s only natural that support services for them should evolve at the same pace. The Royal Air Force in UK (RAF) is working on that, together with BAE Systems.
Defense personnel, but also students at local schools and colleges, and members of the academia, recently took a closer look at what RAF intends to implement for upgrading its fast jet support program. Several new technologies were demonstrated at the Technology Roadshow, focusing on smart, digital solutions and sustainability.

Maintenance teams and aircrew are expected to soon work hand-in-hand with autonomous robots. Similar to those operating in warehouses and other industrial sectors, these free-standing robots would give a helping hand with regular maintenance tasks. Maintenance teams will also use exoskeletons to handle heavier loads as safely as possible.

Just as future pilots can use augmented reality tech when training, support personnel can use a similar technique for maintenance. Using AR headsets, they can access technical publications faster and more effectively. Also, it will allow them to work with an aircraft’s digital twin and instantly check its maintenance history.

In terms of sustainability, one step is to replace the conventional diesel-powered units that are used for powering an aircraft’s onboard electrical equipment while on the ground with electrical ones. In the photo gallery attached to this article, you can see what this battery-powered Electric Ground Power Unit looks like.

These futuristic solutions are meant to raise up to the standards of the upcoming Tempest, UK’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS). This is not just about an ultra-capable fighter jet but about a complex interconnected system where this jet would act as the “central commander.” Just like Tempest, RAF’s fast jet support will be based on connectivity, autonomy, and immersive VR.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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