Eurofighter CEO Volker Paltzo confirmed that Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH has jointly submitted with Airbus Defence & Space their response to the German Government for the replacement of their Tornado fleet, arguing that Eurofighter is the perfect choice for Germany.

Volker Paltzo said:

“I am confident that Eurofighter Typhoon can provide a cost effective and attractive solution for Germany, which will deliver every capability and perform every mission the German Air Force needs. 

Eurofighter Typhoon is the logical choice for Germany: As well as providing all the capabilities the German Air Force needs, it also guarantees German sovereignty across many aspects, such as mission and maintenance data (there are no black boxes on Typhoon).  It is also the least risk solution: Germany knows, uses and understands our aircraft.”

Looking to the future, the Eurofighter CEO also positioned Eurofighter as the natural bridge for any future European fighter programme.

“Eurofighter will remain the dominant fighter aircraft in Europe for the next thirty to forty years.  The technologies we are developing for Eurofighter today will go hand in hand with those technologies we expect to see on a future European fighter programme – manned or unmanned.

Eurofighter provides the best route to develop the technologies that will be incorporated onto a future European combat air system, and will be the natural partner to such an asset in the decades to follow its entry into service.”

Volker Paltzo also confirmed the consortium’s confidence in securing additional sales of the Eurofighter at home and abroad:

“Looking to the future, Eurofighter partner companies and their national governments are actively involved in campaigns across Europe involving in excess of 300 more potential aircraft. I want to underscore that every Euro spent on Eurofighter within Europe stays in Europe. It is reinvested in the European economy, in European jobs, and in European communities. So, if Europe wants a strong defence and a strong industry to deliver it, then Eurofighter is the best choice for Europe.”

In conclusion, Paltzo said:

“Eurofighter is the right choice for Germany, the right choice for Europe, and the natural partner for – and stepping stone to – a European FCAS programme.  We can be proud of what Europe has, can and will achieve in the future.”

Recently Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space, has warned the German government against the purchase of the F-35.

“As soon as Germany becomes an F-35 member nation, cooperation on all combat aircraft issues with France will die,” Hoke said in an interview with Welt Am Sonntag which can be found here.

The local news site says that the Bundeswehr is looking for a successor model for the Tornado fighter-bomber. One candidate is the F-35 but “that does not suit the CEO of the Airbus armaments division”.

Airbus manager Hoke sees a historic opportunity in the competition with France on the fighter jet. “Europe needs to define its sovereignty more clearly, and to clearly state that we need to maintain independence in defence and space” he said.

The German Air Force recently issued a formal request for information about the F-35, as well as three other jets with the F-35 being their ‘preference’. The other jets are the F-15 and F/A-18E/F.

Germany is replacing its 85 Tornado jets, which will go out of service around 2030.

The F-35 is the “preferred” choice the list of aircraft the Luftwaffe is looking at according to a “senior service official” speaking anonymously under the Chatham House Rule, who told Jane’s 360:

“The Tornado replacement needs to be fifth-generation aircraft that can be detected as late as possible, if at all. It must be able to identify targets from a long way off and to target them as soon as possible.

The German Ministry of Defence is looking at several aircraft today, including the F-35 – it is commercially available already, has been ordered by many nations and is being introduced into service today, and has most of the capabilities required.”

125 COMMENTS

  1. Typhoon is the only sensible solution for Germany, nothing else makes any sense whatsoever.

    As for a Franco German 5th Gen fighter, don’t make me laugh …. Do they realise it can’t be paid with buttons!

    Without the UK participating, no chance it will ever be more than a paper airplane.

    • Why is the Typhoon more sensible than the F-35?

      The F-35 is designed to attack the most sophisticated air defence systems. Which is the Tornado replacement requirement. Not to go dog fighting with Migs at 50 thousand feet.

      • The Typhoon can do everything the Tornado could do AND dogfight Migs at 50 thousand feet.

        ..and the Typhoon is a better fighter than the F35.

        • I have to say that looking at the specs of each should the F35 ever lose its stealth advantage and that is a real possibility over next 15 years or so with radar developments it would be a generally far less impressive aircraft than the Typhoon especially the B version. Its complex electronics would be the only thing ahead of the Typoon in that scenario even in the attack role.

  2. Germany has committed to the NATO nuclear weapons sharing project, whereby they have the capability to deliver American nuclear weapons, currently by Tornado bombers. To maintain this commitment, any replacement aircraft will need to be nuclear capable, which without a lot of extra development work the Typhoon is not.

        • Thx. I didn’t know that was integrated onto Tornado. Interesting politics at play. The Germans can either default from the US weapons sharing program or upset the French.

          • In a sense our Tornado GR4s are still Nuclear capable as the wiring is still in place for the weapon arming control unit etc.

            On the face of it the Typhoon would be the safer option with the less risks involved as it would be a Tranche 3 development which is already in existence and with Project Centurion progressing will deliver all that Tornado can deliver anyway.
            However, the F35 is primarily a strike aircraft that can fly in contested airspace whereas the Typhoon is not. In The RAF the F35 will be carrying out reconnaissance, priority strikes, suppression of enemy defences and leaving the mud moving to the Typhoon once its safe. The Luftwaffe will be looking for the same capability; hence why I believe they will eventually go for a small batch of F35s.

        • Project Centurion is a UK programme transferring the RAF’s weapons suite from Tornado to Typhoon. It will in no way do the same for the Luftwaffe. From a military perspective the logical Tornado replacement for Germany would be the F-35C. Politically, that’s unlikely.

    • That’s all very cold war era. Realistically the Tornado and Typhoon is so far down the pecking order in terms of potential carriers the world will have been whipped out by the time the subs, B52’s, B2’s and any land based systems have run out of their arsenals.

  3. This would give Eurofighter about twelve years to develop a next generation, multi role, airframe, whilst still continuing its tranche programmes.

  4. If the Germans want to deliver B61 nuclear weapons then they will need to either go F35 or procure a stealth bomber type aircraft.
    For all other missions the most sensible choice for the Germans is to go Eurofighter typhoon. Nothing else is politically palatable. It even has the right name EUROfighter
    The UK spec of Eurofighter typhoon is far above and beyond the air superiority aircraft initially envisaged and is surely the best multi-role aircraft in the world currently. Soon to be improved further with Meteor, storm shadow, brimstone and AESA radar

        • As soon as Brimstone is enabled it will leap frog Rafale in terms air to ground capability. For air to air, is has superior engines, range, radar (based on Captor E) it can carry more ordnance, objectively don’t see where Rafale will be superior.

          • Plus Typhoon is reputed to have the ability to super-cruise, which reduces vulnerability to hostile ground & air-defences; it also has better supersonic agility than Rafale, giving it the means to change direction quickly – with a better chance of evading a hostile radar-lock.

      • I don’t think there is a cigarette paper between them. Rafale has an edge I think in some but not all dogfighting scenarios and had an early range advantage in offensive roles I think, albeit with French weapons. But Typhoon has more than caught up in offensive roles and has significant development potential and will have a larger diameter aesa radar than Rafale, Storm Shadow (Scalp), Brimstone, Spear 3 on the horizon. BAE also seems to have made significant strides in reducing maintenance costs. Long range tanks will give Typhoon equal or better strike range than Rafale and the EJ200 engine has lots of development potential. The Germans have also tested leading edge strakes which enhance manoeurability. So overall Eurofighter is tortoise to Rafales hare and looks the better bet.

        • It depends on the role you’re talking about. Rafale is marginally better in the AG role, mainly because it has a slightly longer range with its bigger drop tanks. In the AA sphere Typhoon is supreme, with it’s higher T/W ratio, lower wing loading, bigger and better radar, Striker 2, superior “short-range” AAMs, two way datalink for Meteor, supersonic agility etc., etc., etc.

          • I thought Rafale had a kind of Klingon cloaking device that was pretty good. An alternatve to DASS

    • Germany wouldn’t need a stealth bomber to deliver tactical nuclear weapons, against massed russian ground forces, which the b61 can be configured as.

      • I can’t see the benefit of either having the F15 of F18 over Typhoon. Sure the F15 can carry more but it is a “3rd” generation airframe with 4th/5th gen avionics and is unstealthy as hell (lots of 90 degree reflective surfaces). The F18 isn’t much better and has the similar flight characteristic as the Typhoon.
        As Germany doesn’t seem to put money in to their military I would say the Typhoon would be their preferred low cost item. Yes the F15 will be dirt cheap but all the spares and training will substantially raise the cost. Whereas the Typhoon is already costed with the spares and training already in place.
        Still think they’ll buy a batch of F35s though!

        • Agree. Makes no sense militarily. Just saying I would not put it past the US to give F-15 away to sustain ‘America first’ jobs and keep Germany on the F-35 prospects list.

        • F-18 “has similar flight characteristics to Typhoon”? Seriously? That’s like saying the Hellcat had similar characteristics to the Spitfire. Ludicrous.

          • That’s not strictly true the F18 E/F has a slight advantage in low speed manoeuvres, especially for landing on carriers. Whereas the Typhoon is designed primarily for trans and supersonic manoeuvring hence the close coupled canard and delta wing. It has been designed to get to the target as quickly as possible, fire then get out of there ready for the next target.
            In a real interception role the F18 would generally be on the losing side as seen from numerous Red Flag engagements. The main advantage the US Navy has with the F18 is that it is teamed up with a E2D Hawkeye and the F18`s Amraams can be controlled by it.
            One of the many advantages Typhoon has over the F18 is its IRST and that it has a substantially lower frontal RCS. So in 1 v 1 scenario with no active radar. The Typoon will see the F18 a long time before it sees the Typhoon. With active radar the standard Captor should see the F18 before the APG79 aesa radar even though the APG is a better radar (not by much though!).

    • That’s going to set the cat amongst the pigeons!
      A Wakeup call for HMG. Time to stop giving billions away maybe?

    • (Chris H) Andrew R – As I commented on the F-35 Thread what has really hacked me off about this is the French just keep on doing what they always do – they shafted us on Typhoon, the Carriers and now the work on UCAV, Taranis, MAGMA etc.

      While the Franco German Airbus are peddling a false flag about the Typhoon / F-35 for Germany they are cosying up to the French owned Dassault for an EU fighter, drones and other systems. Mr Juncker will be delighted especially as they seem to have waited until MAGMA was shared.

      We should never ever trust the French. In some ways I admire their self centred approach and I wish we were the same but on just the UCAV project alone we have invested hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers money and 8 years of graft and now the French will take it all for their benefit.

      And they may ask BAE to join ‘at a later date’. How kind of them. But they can jog on as far as I am concerned. For a start we need compensating for all the cash we have put in.

      Forgive me but I did say they would a year ago ….

    • I was still at Airbus when this was announced internally. I don’t give it much hope. There’s no real money behind it. Not for the time being anyway… As for Rafale vs Typhoon the former is better in some areas simply because it’s ahead in the development curve. Typhoon is behind, but it’s the bigger more powerful aircraft (11T vs 10T class) so as development progresses and catches up, it will emerge as the superior aircraft. Doesn’t mean the Rafale is no good! USAF General Jumper (ex CAS) flew both Typhoon and F22 and declared them to be as good as each other in everything except stealth where obviously F22 wins hands down.

  5. I don’t understand why Germany would replace a latter 3rd generation jet with a latter 3rd generation jet (f15), albeit massively advanced. Where will f15 be in 30 years’ time?

  6. Can the Germans an French develop a manned 5th Gen fighter … Yes … Can they afford to … No

    They will end up with a European F35 lookalike, that will be horrendously expensive.

    Only with UK participation will it be possible, I for one hope we keep out of it and continue to foster our aerospace links with the US, Japan and Turkey among others.

    Jointly working towards a 6th Gen fighter. I would encourage France and Germany to drop the little Europe mindset and get involved too.

    Regarding the B61, it would be way cheaper for Germany to fund the Typhoon software drop for this weapon than to procure and support a totally new aircraft.

  7. As it’s a replacement for the tornado they should really go with the F 35a, the last paragraph says it all really, the Luftwaffe obviously want the F 35a.

    In regards to the Rafale/Typhoon replacement, I’m a bit disappointed we are not in that Franco/German project, A European joint fighter program in my eyes represents our best chance at still building fighters in the UK looking at the future.

    It says looking to replace Rafale/Typhoon in 2035-2040, so it’s only 20 years away so you can expect that being finalised in the the next 5 years, where would our Typhoon replacement come from? It would be a real shame if we had to buy an off the shelf Franco/German fighter.

    • What I’d like to see is a joint 6th generation aircraft (in whatever design is finalized) collaboration between the U.S. and our closest allies – Britain, Japan, Oz, the Canucks,and possibly Singapore, Norway and Israel to ensure total interoperability and lower costs.

      Same for Frigate and other smaller warship development – It’s only a matter of time til it’s us vs the world in both economic and military terms IMHO…

      Cheers!

    • I don’t believe the US would give us the same work-share opportunity as a European project. European combat air development needs us far more than american. I say we join if we can

      • Probably right Julian but I believe we need to get past petty protectionism and focus on more important issues – such as national and cultural survival… We really need to learn to collaborate nicely and build on the strengths each nation possesses.

        Arguably British weapons systems and sensor design is world beating while American aircraft engineering such as Lockheed’s Skunk Works are the best at what they do as well as a nod to the Israeli’s for software and Japan for excellent manufacturing, automation, and engineering in their own right. We need to facilitate assigning the lead roles in development of these systems to the best player in that category and then equally and fairly dividing award for manufacture among all involved.

        For example – to assist Oz in developing her military industrial complex the consortium could final assemble aircraft component designed by American lead engineers but built in all participating countries, install weapons systems designed in Britain and Canada using software developed in Israel to fire weaponry designed in Japan but built in Singapore.

        Just an off-the-cuff example but you get the idea. Pipe Dream? probably. Pity.

        Cheers!

        • Good example and a model to work for. The problem with the “petty protectionist” argument is that it works if other countries are as broad minded and open. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case, particularly with the mid-westerners and senior GOP embedded as Execs in America’s aircraft manufacturing industry. US manufacturing companies are happy to collaborate 1. as long as they lead and dominate 2. all build US based 3. they lead exporty 4. no US capability is left underdeveloped or left behind as a result of some other country having a better idea 5. even if they do, the US can call it their own. Failing that, they stick to their own.

          I can think of countless examples….MRTT, Goshawk, Harrier 2….countless more

          • You’re right Julian, not to mention that any good ideas we would bring to the party would have an ITAR classification slapped on it meaning we couldn’t then use it or offer it to any third party without US agreement!

    • As much as I would like to see it happen I agree with Julian, the US don’t need to make any consessions when it comes to fighter programs, they have a bunch of countries to sell to so would want it built in the US, we could possibly build parts of it like the F 35 but just 15% of an aircraft is not the same as completed one off the production line.

      BAE systems are the third largest defence company in the world, so we have the workforce, manufacturing capacity and technology to have a fighter built in the UK, whatever option keeps that then I’m in, and that mostly looks like it’s a European one.

      • Hi S.S.,

        You both make good and rationale points. I’m actually thinking of a time – say – 20 or 30 years along when the rifts we see in the international system have become yawning and unbridgeable chasms with a multipolar world with not just 2 power centers as in the old days but numerous ones each built upon a large anchoring country. An Asian bloc centered on China, a Euro Bloc centered on Germany and Russia (with France as an associate power), A South and Central American bloc centered on Brazil, Argentina, and Chile etc. Most of Sub Saharan Africa will be dominated by China IMO.

        The United States will be the center of the English speaking bloc and of other nations who don’t play well with their neighbors. Canada obviously, “Britain is not Europe” is the statement always heard and proven, the same holds for Japan and mainland Asia, Oz and it’s neighborhood ex- the Kiwis, Singapore vs Malaysia, Israel vs – EVERYONE – etc – you get the idea…

        Luckily, this bloc would include a large number of the most developed nations and largest economies with an outstanding defense base. We’ll need it in my opinion because if you think the old Cold War was bad just wait until you have 9-10 billion people with nuclear (or worse) armed governments vying for ever dwindling resources…

        This is why I believe we should be putting aside our parochial protectionism and politics and be far sighted enough to look ahead, see the the train wreck coming, and act together to get ahead of the power curve. We’d all be ever so much better off for it IMHO.

        Apologies for any typos I’m trying to get some yard work done…

        Rant Off. 😀

        Cheers!

  8. Why are we not taking typhoon and creating a “super hornet” version? some additional stealth related features, improved sensor fusion which along with meteor, dass, improved electronic warfare and pirate and “stealth on the missile” will still make it relevant for decades ?

    Bang for buck and capability now and on tap.

    Seems insane to develop a 5th gen fighter, focus on Taranis and the above.

    • its true. when you see the americans continue to develop and sell 70s era jet such as f15, f16 and then f/a18, why couldn’t we do this with typhoon? This is why I hope Germany orders it to replace Tornado. Tornado was never developed due to lack of export orders. Typhoon has been more successful so has a much better chance.

    • Typhoon development is well planned and lot of future capabilities have been investigated and penciled in. Some of these future enhancements have already been mentioned such as the CAPTOR-E, EJ200X, conformal fuel tanks, 3D vectoring exhaust nozzles and LERX. Other airframe developments will look to increase its stealth by lowering its frontal RCS, such as replacing the canards and tail fin. There is still a lot of untapped potential and it will be interesting to see if the RAF will go down this route (funds permitting) as I believe if they do the other operators will surely follow!

      • I certainly think the LERX MOD is a good idea, requiring limited investment and giving improved high alpha, low speed maneuvering.

        I am sceptical regarding thrust vectoring though, to get such a system out of the test bay and into the air would require massive investment.

        I’m among the school of thought that TV leaves you effectively a floundering sitting duck, especially against next gen AAM.

        As for frontal RCS, its already very small, features such as the off set dish resting position help and extremely well structurally masked engines.

        I believe even F22 pilots find Typhoon a bit of a nasty shock in AA exercises.

        • Totally true. A common mistake of F22 pilots is forgetting that the Typhoon has an awesome IRST that can detect them when they believe they are safe. It is so good as it can guarantee a missile shot – score one for the Typhoon. Still baffles me why the F22 doesn’t still have a IRST!

  9. I think Typhoon is a done deal. The UK side of the deal is Boxer, Rheinmetal for the Chally 2 upgrade and Heckler and Koch for the army rifles. The German half is Typhoon orders, which conveniently ticks the european box for Airbus and future european 5th gen. This is all about jobs in Germany and the UK.

      • Well; could be my imagination of course but starting with Poseidon P-8 and continuing I am seeing a pattern of more MOD HMG decisiveness in defence procurement. Decisions seem to be taken faster and pragmatic ‘good enough’ solutions seem to be the order of the day provided the price is right and there are UK defence jobs in the deal. I think the message to US companies like Boeing and LM and to German companies is the same; you are welcome in the UK if you create jobs. I think reduction in reliance on BAE is part of this trend as is sole reliance of Anglo French projects to share expensive developments – where we always seem to come off worst. Meteor seeker cooperation with Japan is another indication of working with multiple partners.

    • Paul I think you’re right. It won’t be the Luftwaffe making the decision anyway… In terms of training, infrastructure and logistics it makes more sense to go Typhoon anyway. To set up a F35 footprint in Germany would be very expensive for a small aircraft order. Buying the airframes would be the cheapest part… (Germans won’t share Italian or U.K. infrastructure). Quite frankly don’t know how Norway is affording it. It’ll take up a large proportion of their procurement budget for years to come…

      • Ursula von der Leyen met with Gavin Williamson within days of becoming German Defence Minister. I immediately thought there were strategic agreements already in the works whose continuity needed to be confirmed.

    • But announcing the collaboration with Dassault, Mr Hoke said that in the near term decisions had to be made “whether to include or exclude the UK in certain projects depending on how Brexit will progress. If it’s a hard Brexit, it will be a very difficult decision”.

      The USA and Japan are not in the EU. The UK has or is looking to have collaborative projects with these nations. Turkey is not in the EU and is involved in F35 support.

      Brexit is being used as a stick to beat the UK with.

      A hard Brexit should make no difference whatsoever to allies joining to create military equipment.

      Who needs enemies with friends like these.

  10. I would not join. The Franco-Germanic effort but would like to see the UK look towards partnering Japan or Korea for its6th gen aircraft.
    France has a history of pulling out of defence development projects that is why they operate the Rafale. They took the technology transfer from being involved in Eurofighter and then went away and built their own. Stealing some international sales from Eurofighter.
    Germany was involved in Eurofighter but when the aircraft was ready for batch production droped it’s orders substantially.
    Neither are reliable partners I would argue.
    They will not get a 6th gen or even 5th gen operational aircraft out of this programme. No political will to spend tens of billions of Euros on defence rather than their own. Infrastructure.

  11. Morning all
    This will be a fight between politics and military requirements, it will be interesting to see who wins. Eurofighter are putting most of their eggs in the “buy Europe” basket.
    The black box arguement, although sounding great, is myth. All F-35 operators will have sovereign control of their aircraft.
    With regards to the future U.K. market, SoleSurvivor is quite right – we have the 3rd largest weapons manifacturer in the world and they build some good stuff.
    U.K. FJ timelines are looking something like this:
    A2A – Typhoon at least for the next 25 years. That means replacement studies should and have started now. That answer is not Taranis – this will be manned.
    A2G – Typhoon at least for next 25 years. This is a Taranis potential replacement (expect it to move to the right)
    A2G – F-35B at least for next 25 years. This is the next big joint programme either with the US or the Europeans. This could be supplemented with F-35A.
    Carrier CAP – F-35B for the next 30 years plus. This replacement will be manned
    Carrier Strike – F-35B for the next 30 years. This could be suplemented with UCAV

    The next market place is A2A, BAES have Taranis already so A2G is already underway. They should go it alone, never trust the French – they are in it for themselves (as they should be).

  12. Agreed Lee, spot on. BAE Systems are already helping the Turks design and build a capable 5th Gen fighter.

    Back when Typhoon was developed, Germany seriously invested in Defence, today they barely spend 1%, so seriously, how would they pay for a new fighter??

    The French, I am sure are quite capable of doing this, but they need serious foreign investment, perhaps they have financial support agreed from one or more Gulf States.

    As for the UK frozen out, don’t be ridiculous… Its the French and Germans frozen out of the huge multi national F35 project.

    A real thing, not an unfunded imaginary airplane….

  13. Its hard to read the intentions of the German Govenrment but whether they go down the Typhoon route or choose the F35 both of these would be of great benefit to us in the UK.Its very important that the Typhoon manufacturing capability is maintained for as long as possible- this gives us the obvious ability to order future Aircraft if necessary – the F35b looks very promising at the moment but should there be any problems and pitfalls we should at least have the option to increase our capability buy other means.

    • Can someone tell me what the Typhoon can and cannot carry vs the Tornado – hate to see the Tonka go but it’s time – aside from Storm Shadow which I know is being fitted now?

      Thanks!

      • In offensive roles the issue is more about Typhoon catching up with Tornado capability so the latter can leave service viz. Paveway ( was not really there for Libya), Storm Shadow and Brimstone. SS and Brimstone will join Paveway already in service on Typhoon later this year I believe. Both carry Asraam and the Litening targeting pod. Typhoon can carry Amraam and now Meteor. Spear 3 will be fitted to Typhoon ( a mini cruise missile with a range of about 8o miles – kind of a longer range powered networkable SDB) – not sure on the timing for this. Also sure what is going on with respect to reconnaisance pods. Tornado used to carry a Goodrich one. Maybe these are going to drones.

  14. From the Eurofighter web site.
    Volker Palzo. “I cannot disclose the full configuration standard for confidentiality reasons, however, we will see modifications in a number of areas. These include: the sensors (like the E-Scan radar), the DASS, in the targeting and recce pods and on the HMI side (one option could be the Striker 2 helmet). We will see modifications to the basic aircraft in the aerodynamic area, fuel capacity, RCS and IR reduction, propulsion enhancements and general systems. On the weapons side we will see the integration of enhanced guided bomb units, stand-off weapons, small diameter precision bombs and other German-specific requirements. With the comms we will see enhancement of the MIDS and the Beyond Line Of Sight capability. There are some new requirements among these, but many have already been discussed — though not yet under contract — under the P4E Enhancements”

  15. US Senate announce Bill to prevent Turkey receiving F35s it it work also cancel the maintenance contract.
    They have decided to produce the Bill due to Turkey buying S400 as well as the human rights, political interference and fighting against the Kurds in Syria. Obviously the US is jumpy about them checking the stealth capabilities against the S400 system and passing the information back to Russia.
    So if the contract for maintenance is cancelled who will get it instead, hopefully us as the Primary partner?

        • I wonder if we can’t ramp up RAF St Athen has the European F35 maintenance hub? Come on HMG there’s a golden opportunity here.

          • (Chris H) – I was pretty dumbfounded and annoyed when I saw that Turkey had won the P & W maintenance contract. I mean what jet engine skills do they have? None. They are looking to the Uk for the Typhoon engine for their own new aircraft. Sorry to upset the Europhiles but the Typhoon’s RJ200 may have the ‘eurojet’ label but its a Rolls Royce engine built in Germany. Rolls Royce even owns the MTU engine German partner.

            The contract should have come to the UK for very simple reasons:
            * The UK is the only Tier One Partner in the F-35
            * The UK is the premier jet engine developer, manufacturer and maintainer of jet engines in Europe and delivers on a global basis
            * The UK will be the biggest operator of F-35s in Europe and second only to the USA worldwide

            Some might also point out we brought jet engines into operational use and gave the technology to the Yanks so they owe us. I couldn’t possibly comment.

            But of course the UK is the home of Rolls Royce who are beating the pants off Pratt & Whitney in civilian jet engine sales and even developed a better engine for the F-35 itself (the F136). So domestic strings were clearly pulled to avoid P & W engines being maintained in the back yard of their dominant competitor. Better to give it to the Turks in USA logic ….

    • I have sent a letter to our SOS Defends. Suggesting furthermore the possibilities of snapping up the maintenance contract and basing it St.Athan. Got the standard auto reply so let’s see what happens?

      • Bloomin spell check on my Kindle is doing my head in.
        Should read: Secretary of State for Defense should investigate the possibilities…..

  16. (Chris H) – I added this to the twin Thread about German F-35 vs Typhoon:

    Not sure what the future is for a Typhoon replacement other than BAE creating a ‘Typhoon II’ from the good parts of what we already have (Canards, brilliant wing, CAPTOR -E radar, HUD, Sensor suite, magnificent engines) and adding something similar to the rear end of the twin tail of the F-35 that BAE designed and developed. Add in an RR limited vectored thrust system as we have that technology nailed in the F-35B and then build it ourselves. Conformal fuel tanks would add range and increase the already exceptional pylon availability for weapons and pods for jamming and targeting

    We can neither afford, or have the internal market for, a whole new aircraft and I suspect we do not actually need one. We just update and use already proven designs and systems in a newer more efficient shape. Learn from what the Yanks did with the F-18 Hornet to create later versions. I am not totally sold on the benefits of ‘stealth’ at all especially as once you add pylons the F-35 is no better than a Typhoon and it can’t even Supercruise. In my view the F-35B is a modern Harrier and we should use it accordingly. That it also brings ‘stealth’ and advanced sensor suites are added bonuses not ‘les raisons d’etre’. So for me anyway we just need a better ‘4.5 gen’ fighter and multi – role airframe, with added naval capability as an option for QE’s first refit in 2042, to take us past 2035. I know the current Tiffy is good until 2040 but we will need to have something in the air long before that.

    And if that means buying out the Typhoon licences from Airbus and Leonardo at the end of the current sales orders so be it. It shouldn’t be an issue given Airbus are now partnered with Dassault for a Rafale / Typhoon replacement. And I for one will not want us to be a humble customer of that setup thank you. We are better than that. They clearly do not want British involvement despite us being a very capable and leading Typhoon partner so we really should be thinking about what we as a country can do for ourselves. It doesn’t stop us co-operating with countries like the USA on programmes like the F-35 indeed it adds to our skill set and makes us a better partner.

    • The UK has already left a lasting imprint on the F35B – its dimensions were dictated by the elevator size of the Invincible Class carriers… Even when it was known that they were being retired… Strange but true…

      Cheers!

    • Absolutely, Typhoon 2 could be awesome. Some of the very best kit seems to be those that are developed, tweaked and redesigned over time. Totally new designs may have some revolutionary capabilities but are too expensive and take years to get them to work properly i.e the F35.
      Typhoon 2 would give us a platform as capable as anything else on offer except true stealth. Include the sensor and situational awareness from the F35 into it. Would an F35 twin tail design work aerodynamically on the Typhoon?

      • TS – yes the Typhoon project has already had an interesting evolutionary path,we did after all build the EAP which apparently saved a lot of work and was of huge benefit to the development of the Typhoon ,we can surely do this again if needs be.

      • (Chris H) Ron5 – Actually officially they can’t. They can ‘dash’ @ Mach 1.2 for about 100 miles with a clean wing. Add pylons and it can’t. So technically that is ‘Supercruise’ but what use is it? The Typhoon has a huge Supercrusie range @ Mach 1.5 a speed only exceeded by the F-22 which has a lower range at that speed.

        The point I was trying to make was that the F-35 is no Typhoon in QRA / Fighter / A2A terms and why we need the Typhoon or a later version of. And to add to that comment the F-35 is also no Tornado (or a Typhoon in GA role) either. We bought the F-35B to be a supersonic Harrier with added stealth and suppression capability. It restores at very low cost carrier strike to the UK and adds 5th Gen capability to Typhoon strike operations. So it has value and a purpose. But it is no Supercruiser …

  17. The Typhoon mk2 idea is a very interesting hypothesis guys, will is there unfortunately. As for us taking any F35 maintenance contract, absolutely, we should demand it as as the only tier 1 partner.

    At an early stage, we should have insisted on a European assembly line as part of the contractual negotiations.

    With regards Turkey, its very concerning that Turkey appears to be tilting away from NATO towards Russia. The boarder between Greece and Turkey could well be the front line of the new Cold War if this carries on un-checked.

  18. The original Eurofighter was designed with v tail. I am not sure why they changed to the single fin? One possible reason is that the materials available to us at the time were not sufficient to lower the RCS compared to a single fin. Aerodynamically speaking the v tail gives better stability at supersonic speeds and more authority when flying at over 70° of bank angle.
    Both Japan and South Korea are developing a 5th gen fighter. I think Korea’s is more biased to grounds attack whilst Japan is air defence to replace their F15s. I’d much prefer it if we partnered with Japan in developing a Typhoon replacement.

  19. Agreed daveyb, a combination of Japan, South Korea, the UK and US could produce a superb fighter.

    We would be talking an initial combined run of at least 600 airframes.

    The spread development costs and the combined engineering skills, coupled with a decent initial production run and almost guaranteed access to export markets, would produce an affordable Gen 6 fighter that would absolutely wipe the floor with any opposition.

    With regard to the Franco German proposal, 30 years ago, the bench mark minimum order for embarking on a new fighter programme was 400 ish airframes.

    Assuming this holds true today, France “might” order 200, but Germany? No chance, to add to this the French will insist on handicapping the design by wanting a Carrier variant too.

    • (Chris H) John Clark – In your first paragraph you highlight precisely the difficulty I was trying to avoid with my UK only ‘Typhoon II’ idea. With 4 disparate countries, 4 different military requirements and political arguments over workshare this would create a very long winded ‘jack of all trades master of none’ that would of necessity be very expensive to bring to production. And how long do you think the design would take let alone development into a prototype. And who would build that prototype?

      You then throw in the ‘Gen 6’ unknown and I fear we would be a very long time seeing this aircraft with RAF roundels on it.

      The UK has a very clearly defined requirement and that is now being realised by Typhoon post Project Centurion. The F-35 adds nothing to that requirement other than as an enabling asset (amongst the other attributes it brings to Carrier Strike and the local battlefield CAP that the Harrier was so good at).

      So given the current Typhoons will be life expired by 2040 (some Tranche 1 by 2030) and will need replacing I believe we need to develop at the lowest cost possible an airframe that deploys all the capabilities we already have (and few other countries do), uses as much of the current Typhoon as possible but produced as a new aircraft with better high speed performance, longer range and better Supercruise and QRA power from new engines already developed. We already build everything that is needed for this aircraft now so development costs would be very small indeed. More prototyping than developing. Let the Yanks develop Gen 6 (if it exists). Not a lot wrong with Gen 4.5+ and we just need a bit more of what the Tiffy already does so well.

      • Evening Chris, I fully agree with your upgraded Typhoon assessment, an excellent and logical next step in a superb aircrafts development.

        My idea is for a next generation machine developed from the late 2020’s.

        This sort of word wide pivot is the only way ( in my opinion) that we can remain at the top table of combat aircraft development.

  20. Interestingly, on the QE documentary, one of our pilots comments regarding the F35 got me thinking. He was stating how amazing the aircrafts capabilities were. Now I have been reading many an article/ discussion feed on F35 vs other aircraft and there’s a lot of negative views towards F35 and it’s apparent lack of speed, range, weapons load and dogfighting ability.
    It strikes me as strange that the Americans would have spent the vast sums of money and length of time building an aircraft that seems behind many 4.5 gen fighters. Surely the F35’s actual abilities are secret and all these people spouting off negativity know nothing. I doubt Lockheed know what the plane is truly capable of yet. The figures stated are likely deliberately wrong to keep our enemies guessing do you not think?
    I just can’t believe we would be designing our carriers around a plane that might have some stealth and excellent sensors, but be crap in an actual fight. The noises from the pilots flying them seem to all mention how powerful it feels and how well the plane handles.

  21. When the Germans ( and the Belgians) order Typhoon to replace their Tornados and F-16s respectively I am looking forward to the BBC documentary, ‘ Eurofighter, from EAP to Typhoon – how British aerospace engineering became the backbone of Europe’s defence’.

    • (Chris H) Paul P – I sense sarcasm but if not you will be waiting a very long time for the Europhile BBC to give the UK any credit within any European based project despite leading most of them. Like Galileo that the EU have now decided quite arbitrarily shouldn’t include the UK despite us leading in all areas and providing most funding. None of which will be returned of course. Interesting Airbus have taken fright and said they need us!

      http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2018/04/26/the-airbus-case-sits-at-the-heart-of-the-brexit-industrial-equation/

      • Tongue in cheek indeed. I couldn’t resist it. The Airbus Eurofighter bid for the German Tornado replacement could be a turning point. The Germans will have to decide whether they want to be paymaster funding French aerospace leadership on the next generation or whether they want to build on the technology and relationships they have built with the UK. If they shut out the UK what happens to the RR-MTU relationship for example? France will want Snecma engines. And the radar? French or Leonardo? BAE contributed a lot to and must have learned a lot from their F-35 involvement. If the Germans choose Typhoon then a Tranche with B61 wiring, conformal tanks, Brimstone, Captor-E, LERX, reduced RCS and maybe a new tailplane would surely consolidate the UKs position in Airbus and Eurofighter GMBH in terms of technology and relationships.
        Would be a laugh if we produced a naval version to succeed Rafale.

        • (Chris H) Paul P – You are right about the complexities all this EU driven stuff is creating. the French just want to run it all with someone else funding it (ie the Germans). And your last bit just mirrors my thoughts expressed here and elsewhere on a ‘Typhoon II’ although I would see that as a UK only project, given the Airbus / Dassault deal now in place, to be sold to whoever but chiefly as a low cost but higher capability successor to the current Typhoon. Sad thing is we CAN do it but we have been driven into believing we CAN’T do it by the politicians for their own ends.

          As to Rolls Royce and MTU well basically as they own it all if the EU play it hard and we have hard borders and tariffs then RR could shut down the entire MTU operation in Germany and move it to the UK where they would face few if any tariffs to the rest of the world. Not what they prefer but they will need to protect their investments. British engineers can build those engines using the same machine tools as well as German engineers. And guess where MTU’s biggest railway engine market is right now?

  22. (Chris H) Part 2
    That the French are leading this removal of the UK from Galileo is something on which I could not possibly comment. But at least we intend to do our own GPS if necessary:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/brexit-galileo-uk-government-europe-eu-gps-satellite-navigation-a8322026.html#r3z-addoor

    So basically what we see is the Eu being arsewipes (again) and trying to damage a country that has been its second biggest contributor, is determined to honour all agreements and actually contributes the majority of Intell. and security advice for Europe. That we also provide more than anyone else in europe to NATO is also ‘put to one side’.

    Galileo, the French / German fighter project (they should call it ‘Phantom II’ as it will never be a reality) and the EU meddling in the Good Friday Agreement show the EU for what they are – politically motivated utter bastards ….

    • I think many would suggest that you are looking through the wrong end of your telescope. Who is leaving who, for a start? And it is totally laughable to suggest that the EU are meddling in the Good Friday Agreement when as any fule kno there is no viable solution to the NI issue despite what the loony Brexiteers want to believe. All that the Brexit-loving obsessives can do is object to any proposed solution they don’t like, without offering ANY credible solution of their own.

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