Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets have been launched in response to two Russian aircraft flying in NATO airspace.

Launching from their Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base at the weekend, the Typhoons responded to a Russian AN-26 and then a Be-12 heading over the Black Sea according to the Ministry of Defence. It’s the third time this week that RAF jets, on NATO’s Air Policing mission, have been scrambled to deter provocative Russian aircraft and reassure Romania and NATO allies.

Flight Lieutenant Ben, a Typhoon pilot on 1 (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 135 Expeditionary Air Wing, was conducting Quick Reaction Alert duty when the scramble was called. He said:

“We launched both QRA aircraft to counter an incursion into the Romanian airspace from the East over the Black Sea by a suspected Russian aircraft. We were able to intercept and identify it as a Russian An-26 CURL and escorted it clear of the Romanian airspace.”

Describing the separate and second incursion by the Be-12, he added:

“The first response was immediately followed by another suspected Russian aircraft over the Black Sea. Both Typhoons escorted it clear of Romanian airspace, the whole event was conducted safely and professionally on both sides.”

Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, is deployed to Romania as part of the NATO ‘Enhanced Air Policing’ mission, where assistance is provided to the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of fast-jet aircraft.

“This is exactly what 1(Fighter) Squadron have been brought to Romania to do in support of 135 EAW and the Enhanced NATO air policing mission and it felt great to have been able to contribute towards the NATO mission to help support the Romanians police their airspace.”

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Nigel Collins

The cost of Typhoon has dropped to £87 Million and we have 48-51 Tranche 1 aircraft in the fleet.
Replacing these with Tranche three £4.2 Billion less what we sell the Tranche 1 for would be a very worthwhile investment I would have thought?

I found this article on the power plant for Tempest which some people on here might find interesting also.


Such a move would allow the Warton production line to run for several more years?

Nigel Collins

Indeed Maurice 10, and with the proposed upgrades see us safely into the 2030’s!


Nigel Collins, I don’t understand your comment about selling the Tranche 1. We are not selling our T1 aircraft and even if we did they would be virtual give-away prices. What did you mean?

Nigel Collins

Having an increased number of multirole Typhoons rather than simply retaining an air to air superiority fighter makes far more sense to me Julian1 as we exit the EU and keep production levels up at Warton as stated above by Maurice 10. “While a final decision has yet to be reached, operations with the Tranche 1 aircraft are likely to be dedicated to air-to-air duties, such as flying quick reaction alert sorties, while they also could support training activities, acting in an aggressor role. The UK currently has no funding allocated to enable the early production-standard aircraft to carry Meteor… Read more »

Nigel Collins

There is a lot more still to come with Typhoon, currently 2nd only as an air to air superiority fighter to the F22. One hell of a multirole aircraft!

Paul T

Nigel – I’m all for ordering another batch of Typhoon’s too,luckily due to the Qatar and potential additional Saudi orders theres a few years grace as to making a decision.But also I’m in the camp that thinks that an order for the full 138 F35 wont happen,if there is such a commitment that to me would certainly rule out any further Typhoon orders – I just cannot see the possibility of having both.Maybe a compromise will be reached where the F35 order is reduced to maybe 90 to fill the Carriers and maybe 40-50 moer Typhoons will be bought instead.

Nigel Collins

My major concern is, how useful will the F35 be in the next five to ten years after spending Billions of pounds on it when it could be used for further upgrading the Typhoon fleet and investing in Tempest/Magma? “1- Low frequency radars: This is the simplest solution, and the fastest to implement. Radars that operate in the VHF and UHF bands, with a wavelength between 10 and 80 cm (ie a frequency, between 300 MHz and 1 GHz), benefit from a very sensitive resonance phenomenon on certain parts of the stealth aircraft, like fins and fins. The accuracy of… Read more »


A number of (if not all) the Eurofighter partner nations have attempted to sell on their Tranche 1 Typhoon and have found no takers even at give away prices! Those nations that are interested in buying second hand jets are far more interested in the F-16 over the Typhoon. It is cheaper to operate and with its huge international fleet there are plenty of spares to be had and upgrade options. Frankly it is a no brainer vs Tranch 1 Typhoon. If anything it is easier to upgrade an early Block F-16 vs the Tranche 1 Typhoon with more than… Read more »


I would try to sell the tranche 1 aircraft to the US as aggressor aircraft. Thus releasing the f16 they use currently for frontline service.


If we are talking about selling Tranche 1 Typhoon to the US DOD for aggressor work the answer is ‘not a chance’! They on;y operate types in their own inventory inventory for the aggressor role except in very unique circumstances like captured Soviet types for evaluation during the Cold War. If we are talking about private companies like Draken International then the answer is highly unlikely. The Typhoon is just too expensive and complex to make it cost effective to operate in the role. They have just purchased a large number of Mirage F-1 which are far better suited to… Read more »


I am hoping the headline picture is not representative, considering it doesn’t appear to have any missiles.

Paul T

Steve – hard to tell due to shadows but looks to me the AMRAAMS are there,but certainly looks like ASRAAM’s on the outermost weapons stations.

BV Buster

Why not gift the T1s to the Baltic states? joint train with them over here on Air strip 1 then send them back to police their own airspace?


Paul T

BV-even as a gift the running costs and maintenance regime would put the Typhoon way out of reach for any of the Baltic states I would have thought,even something more modest like a Hawk or Gripen would be a massive challenge.

BV Buster

We could give them to the germans, they seem to be in a bad place with Tiffy at the moment. Too soon?


Mr Bell

I would not help the Germans one damn bit. They are hardly being supportive of the UK or wanting to do the decent thing and cone to a free trade deal with the UK post BREXIT. Instead we should deploy some small numbers of RAF aircraft that are fully working to Germany but then bill them through the roof for the costs. The mess the German armed forces are in is their own making. They prefer to control Europe through economic means and rely on us, the USA, Canadians and their pet dogs the French to defend them. Not exactly… Read more »

Nigel Collins

Well said Mr Bell!


I agree that the Germans problems with their armed forces are of their own making but what you are saying about Brexit is nonsense Mr.Bell.

The UK is leaving the EU not the EU leaving the UK! The EU is a rules based organisation, the rules relating to Article 50 are clear!

It is not in the EU’s interest to undermine the Single Market and the integrity of the Union just to give one country that is leaving an unfair advantage via a Free Trade Deal.


The RAF is to RTP(dismantling) 16 T1’s Typhoons (twin seat trainers), for spare parts to keep the other 30 tranche 1’s running until about 2030. There is no plan iñ budget to buy more Typhoons. The MoD needs the money to develope the Tempest and need to buy more F-35B’s for the air carriers.
Sorry to disappoint you.

Paul T

Meirion- sad news but if the T1’s need spares donors then it makes sense.I wonder if the condition and Airframe hours of the Trainers would have allowed them to form 1 Squadron of pure ‘bombtruck’ Typhoon’s,no expensive updates or modifications just a means to carry and deploy Paveways etc in lieu of the retirement of the Tornado’s.As interesting as the Tempest sounds I hope there is enough funds left to eek out some more Typhoon orders – obviously not likely but the fact is the RAF/FAA combat jet fleet will be sub 200 for a long while yet I think.


I believe Gripen is being marketed to the UK for the aggressor role, and they already operate them for fast jet training. But if the UK the was considering making a purchase I think it would make sense just to use the Tranche 1’s if it meant ordering additional Tranche 3’s. I think it would be better value than re-wiring the Tranche 1’s to accept the updated radars etc. I know production started on the Kuwait Typhoons back in December, does anyone know if any have been delivered yet? From what I’ve read it was the first production variant to… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Who operate Gripen for FJT BB?

Not the RAF. The ETPS at Boscombe operate 2 for Test Pilot Training I assume this is what you mean?

Agree just use older Typhoon in a single fleet if we can get more Tranche 3.

Personally I think all this talk of additional Typhoons is pie in the sky and the RAF will have to make do with what it has with MDP around the corner but we can all wish and speculate!


Your right Daniele, that’s what I was referring to. I think any further Typhoon order will be determined more by politics than anything else. If the Saudi’s place a follow on order and keep the production line running a few more years it will take pressure off the government to place an order to safe guard jobs and keep the production line running. I thought things would have progressed more on Taranis by now which would have allowed BAE to switch production at Warton to producing Taranis air frames as a future Tornado replacement but we still seem to be… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

I think it is the usual timidity and lack of confidence.
We have the design.
We have the know how.
We have the skills and capability.
We then stonewall, delay, then rather than producing and selling it ourselves jump into bed with France or another, sharing the tech which they then make a profit on!!

What EVER changes?

When will HMG ever commit to British tech?

Anyone more knowledgeable here please correct me but this is how it seems to me.

Nigel Collins

Agreed Daniele.


Hi Nigel, Yes and no. 1. The low band radar resonance phenomenon has been known since the sixties. It is basically a electromagnetic conductive material which has a physical length less than a 1/4 wavelength of the transmitting radars carrier wave. This can be countered as per the B2 method by using density changes in the material spec of the wing tips etc. This could also be countered on the F35 in a similar manner by either changing the material or fitting lengthened pods to the wing tips a bit like the Typhoons ESM/ECCM pods, thus making the length over… Read more »

Nigel Collins

Thank you for your comment Davy B, As I said my only concern is what advantage will the F35 offer us in five to 10yrs time given the speed that technology advances at. It is well documented that the F35 will not be declared fully operational until at least 2025. Potential peer enemies may have advanced their capabilities to detect the F35 by then if not already? Typhoon on the other hand gives us the advantage of not only being a very capable air superiority fighter, but also has the means to deliver a variety (day or night) long range… Read more »

Nigel Collins

Sorry, I forgot to add this point and link!
MARTE ER anti-ship capabilities will i’m sure be considered at some point by the RAF.

Nigel Collins

MARTE ER anti-ship missile. Notice how many can be carried including air to air missiles!

Daniele Mandelli

Fascinating post Davey.

John Clark

Absolutely Davey.

The much laundered Flanker, even in its Su35 guise, has a significant radar signature, plus its various electronic signals emitted ( both intentionally and otherwise) make the Flanker somewhat of a target …. Thrust vectoring … Makes it a large static target in my opinion.

If it’s up against Captor E Typhoon or F35, the first time a Flanker driver will realise he has a problem is when a mach 3 Meteor is already in its terminal phase and he has a few seconds left to react.

His chances of escape are vertually zero.


Uk is deep in debts….don t see any “investements” in toys soon….food is coming more expensive, health, insurance…air force is grounded…no money just those 4 birds in east eu playing games to divert attention from more important things…as it was said Ty is not fully integrated with all capabilities and Mid East is in crisis for last 2 years…no money for new toys.


Is it a good idea for NATO to be prodding the very large Bear with a stick, in his own backyard?
NATO seems intent on provoking a fight.

Nigel Collins

With what we have to offer currently and the state of play in Europe excluding the USA of course, NO! Which is what concerns me given the financial pressure Russia is currently under and the fact that we will be leaving the EU very soon. It’s reason I’ve been advocating on here for so many months now about holding onto every penny we have and not handing it out! By dramatically increasing our spending on defence European countries would be extremely foolish not to work out a senseable trade deal with us. If the bear comes looking it is they… Read more »


There’s still much that can be done with Typhoon development wise. It will be interesting to see if the Airforce are allowed (have the funding) to go down the route post CAPTOR-E and they won’t be constrained by the other partner nations. The upgrade to the engines and the addition of conformal fuel tanks seems a given. The LERX has been mentioned by BAE with perhaps 3D engine exhausts which Rolls Royce/Eurojet have demonstrated would be an easy win. I think the Airforce will look at what the F35 brings to the party, especially with its data networking. The 360… Read more »

Nigel Collins

More of this to come in P4E The UK has driven the integration timetable for air-to-ground weapons on the Typhoon, because the RAF is retiring its Tornado strike jet fleet in 2019. The other Eurofighter partners are retaining Tornados (Germany, Italy) or F-18s (Spain) for this role. The RAF will only have one squadron of F-35s by 2019, and they will not be carrying Brimstones, Meteors or Storm Shadows. A further enhancement package designated P4E is now being crafted. Depending on what the partner nations can be persuaded to approve, it could include additional weapons; enhancements to the avionics and… Read more »

David Taylor

I like flying boats. Sue me.