Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin praised the Typhoon during the recent Royal International Air Tatoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

“We see Typhoon as very much strengthening UK defence and the first quality I would highlight is its reliability; it has an engine that goes over 1,000 flying hours without needing unscheduled maintenance.

It’s versatile as well, simultaneously supporting air-to-air and air-to surface missions.  It gives Britain global coverage because, today, we know that our Typhoons are all over the world. 

They’ve been heavily involved in striking at the heart of DAESH in the Middle East, warding off the Russian threat in Eastern Europe, safeguarding the Falkland Islands 35 years after the invasion, and, of course, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year providing our quick reaction alert to defend British skies.”

The minister added: “Typhoon will form the spear point of the UK’s future combat air defence capability alongside the F-35 Lightning.  But what makes it truly special is that, supported by the ground-breaking support contract, TyTAN, it has the capacity to evolve.

In the past few years we’ve been upgrading Typhoon with leading edge weapons, Brimstone, Meteor and Storm Shadow, and most recently the Defence Secretary revealed we’re enhancing its Defence Aids Subsystem (DASS), which provides missile warners, chaff, and flare dispensers to adapt to the changing threats.

He has just announced a £9.5 million contract to train our Typhoon pilots to use the latest cockpit technology, preparing them for the frontline out to September 2020.”

The Minister was speaking at a special briefing on the aircraft. She said: “The second reason that we choose Typhoon is because it strengthens the UK’s skills base.  So, whenever I’ve had the pleasure of visiting BAE Systems’s factory in Warton in Lancashire I’ve seen the impressive state-of-the-art hangars and met the excellent engineers engaged on this programme.

We have some 5,000 people working directly on Typhoon with thousands more of our British brains busy in the supply chain in more than 300 companies from the north east to the south west. Together they’re not just manufacturing but they’re innovating, everything from smart skin to carbon fibre composites, and sophisticated polymers.

The third reason that we love Typhoon is we know this fabulous fighter will strengthen our prosperity. In an increasingly competitive and demanding international market it’s the only fighter jet on the market able to offer such wide-ranging capabilities.”

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All good upgrades but I’d like to hear some more definite news on CAPTAS-E. From what I’ve read that’s going to be a major enhancement if/when it happens.

Steven Jones

Do you mean Captor-E ? If not can you say a little about CAPTAS-E as i have never heard of it, thanks.


Sorry Steven – brain failure on my part. Yes, I meant Captor-E as in the AESA radar upgrade.


Don’t be such a Smart Alec!

Malcolm Featherstone

Buy some more!

Buy some every year and keep the thing evolving!

10~15 a year should do it!


Second best fighter in the world behind the F22.

A proper European defence integration success story.


I would caveat this by adding that the UK have lead the way forward on development of Typhoon, often with the other partners dragged kicking and screaming to where we are now.


Definitely Matt, it is us leading the way into developing the typhoon into one of the best multi role fighters on the planet, something to be proud of. But would we be in this position without the Joint European consortium that got it off the ground? I don’t think we would. I do think we should look at more multi nation projects for our kit, Tanks, possibly some ships. We already do it with our fighters and depending on the F35 it’s been a massive success. Imagine a joint British, German, French, Italian etc MBT? it would certainly be a… Read more »


Kieran – Nice idea but you know what they say about a camel? Its a horse designed by a committee. Regarding MBTs the Challenger is the only one with a rifled barrel and has the longest kill and the best defensive record because it uses Chobham / Dorchester armour. Would you be happy sharing that with the Europeans? We shared the early version of Chobham with the USA for their Abrams and got diddley back in return. Tanks are not a high volume market (we have some 220 in service / upgrade with 400 in warm storage) and therefore have… Read more »

Fergus Mason

“Regarding MBTs the Challenger is the only one with a rifled barrel ” The rifled barrel is a liability, not an asset; that’s why everyone else has abandoned it. Rifling is necessary for HESH (a secondary nature) but doesn’t work with fin, which is the main anti-tank round. This is why UK fin rounds need a complex and expensive system to decouple the round from the rifling as it travels up the barrel. To add insult to injury, nobody except India makes ammunition for rifled 120mm guns anymore. The L30 guns should be replaced with the L55 smoothbore ASAP; their… Read more »


well sharing chobam with the americans they do give us acsess to top military hardware that no one else gets, the UK was the only country invited into the f117 stealth fighter programme but we declined.


Well Chris the Typhoon, F35, Tornado, Viking, Storm Shadow and Meteor are some set of camels 😉 Yeah the Challenger is great but when the time comes for a new MBT I would happily share chobham armor, infact tank technologies or the more so because we make so few of them and every war we have ever been in using tanks have been alongside allies using more tanks, we why not share the technology. “With the Europeans” Chris we are European ? We have already signed defence agreements with France and Germany well after Brexit for greater defence cooperation, I’m… Read more »


The best Defence Projects are those where you with a Bi-Lateral relationship as opposed to Multi-lateral. Too many Chefs leads to far to much politics and delays. I’d also be very wary of getting into partnerships with the Germans. They tend to inflate the number of units they want to buy at the beginning to get larger work share then drop the number dramatically during the programme and then whine constantly about cost over runs. See Typhoon or A400 for great examples of that. Best if we ignore the Germans for a while and leave them on the naughty step… Read more »

W. Makkit

Gripen is a great multirole aircraft as well. Not as widely deployed, hence less publicity


Best pound for pound aircraft of its type.
Maybe we should stop and take stock as to what is needed do we require; a few very expensive limited payload a/c or do we need quantity at a price that can be afforded and provides the defence against our perceived real threat


Just reading a script. Next week she’ll be equally expert on power stations, car factories, or foreign policy.




Times may have changed but the US fighter ‘mafia’ would say there’s no such thing as a multi role aircraft.


It’s really good? Oh no, better scrap it then.


John Hampson

The F35 is only stealthy when it is not carrying external weapons. It can only carry 4 internal weapons and as soon as pylons are attached to carry an external payload the low vis radar cross section is lost. Would it not be better to reduce the F35 order by say 24 and instead purchase 48 extended range uprated Typhoons to act a bomb trucks for F35 led strike packages. The minor upgrades proposed for a Typhoon 2020, such as conformal tanks and the leading edge wing extensions, could provide an aircraft that maximises the potential of the airframe, commits… Read more »


Typhoons cost more than F-35’s.


A F35 with external weapons is still exponentially stealthier than a clean 4th gen figher much less one with a weapons load. F35 has a low vis option with a weapons load while a 4th gen does not.


This is the biggest load of misleading nonsense I’ve read in a long time. Which 4 weapons were you referring to that it can only carry internally? What is an extended range Typhoon? Does such a thing exist? F-35 does support the UK manufacturing base! The specific weapons that will be carried internally of the UK F-35 will be the Spear 3 mini cruise missiles and Meteor BVRAAM missiles. The F-35B internal capacity is such that four Spear 3 and 1 Meteor can fit into each of it’s two internal bays. In relation to stealth, your comments show no basic… Read more »

[…] RAF has 143 active Eurofighter Typhoons – a plane recently rated as one of the world’s best […]

John Hampson

Ron5, “Typhoons cost more than F-35’s”. It is almost impossible to obtain an definitive unit cost for individual aircraft. Orders are split into batches or tranches and spread over years. Costs change and the development costs assigned by batch varies. The National Audit Office and the Parliaments Public Accounts Committee have estimated the final cost for the Typhoon project at £17.6 billion. For the 160 aircraft to be delivered this equates to a unit cost of £110 million but this includes ancillary project costs. BAE, with MOD agreement are now quoting a delivery unit cost for new Typhoon orders at… Read more »

John Hampson

Dogood. Typhoon RCS = 0.5 m2. F-35 = 0.005 m2. I am not aware of any data on a F-35 RCS with external weapons. The F-35 +F22 are commonly flown with Luneberg Reflectors. These are barely noticeable but increase the RCS hundreds of times. Their purpose is to allow civil ATC to track transit flights and to prevent data acquisition by hostile radars, such as in Syria. If such small reflectors have such big impact on the F-35’s RCS to allow civil radar to track them, then it is fair to assume that a couple of 2000 lbs JDAMS under… Read more »

John Hampson

Matt. I will stick to the points only. 1. The F-35 is considered to have 4 internal weapons stations that can accommodate 4 FULL size weapons. Typically 2 air to air missiles and 2 air to surface munitions. The A + C’s can carry 2 x 2000 lbs bombs. The F-35 B’s can accommodate 1000 lbs bombs only. 2. The advance Typhoon proposed is named Typhoon 2020. The main modifications are conformal fuel tanks and leading edge root extensions ( these have been tested and provided a 30% improvement in manoeuvrability). As well as upgraded sensors. 3. The UK /… Read more »