Typhoon fighter jets will be fitted with what the Royal Air Force has called “the world’s most advanced radar” as part of a £2.35 billion investment announced at the Royal International Air Tattoo today.

The state-of-the-art European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk 2 radar will further transform the Eurofighter Typhoon’s capabilities, bringing a “world-leading electronic warfare capability which will allow the aircraft to simultaneously detect, identify and track multiple targets in the air and on the ground”.

The system will have the ability to suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming and engage targets whilst beyond the reach of threats.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, was quoted as saying:

“It’s vital the UK remains at the forefront of military capabilities to be able to deter and defend. These technological enhancements will maintain the cutting-edge capabilities of Eurofighter Typhoon and help underpin the development path towards the Future Combat Air System.”

According to a statement:

“The work also ensures the aircraft can integrate additional capabilities and weapons later in the decade to counter emerging threats until 2040 and beyond. This sees Typhoon enhanced with the latest mission computer and cockpit interface, as well as an improved navigation system and signal jamming technology.

ECRS Mk2 will be delivered into service towards the end of the decade and today’s announcement ensures that the advanced technical skills and expertise needed to develop, integrate and deliver these complex projects remain in the UK and are available to support the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme. The radar is a prime example of the UK’s world-leading onshore technology, being developed by Leonardo UK in Edinburgh and Luton and integrated by BAE Systems in Warton.”

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, was quoted as saying:

“The ECRS Mk2 radar is a transformational upgrade for our Typhoon aircraft, and a step change in capability. It will ensure Typhoon is ready and able to protect our skies into the future, in the face of fast-evolving threats to the UK and our allies.”

DE&S CEO, Sir Simon Bollom, was quoted as saying:

“The integration of ECRS Mk2 on Typhoon offers the RAF unparalleled radar capability for the next decade. It is an excellent example of DE&S working collaboratively to procure battle-winning technology that allows our Armed Forces to keep one step ahead of their enemy.”

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 days ago

The reference to the FCAS / Tempest program is noteable I think as it strongly suggests that the program still has Ministerial support and the incremental development and early adaption of new technology will go along way to derisking the FCAS program.

This remains true even if the FCAS / Tempest uses a new radar, for example, as the ECRS Mk2 clearly marks a stepping stone forward to whatever goes into Tempest.

This is encouraging news.

Cheers CR

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Still a bit of, ‘Yes, we know’ on this particular subject. EScan has been in the offing for a very long time and introduction is still quoted end of decade.
However, I must acknowledge that Typhoon overall has matured, and continues to mature, into an excellent all round platform. Just needs F35s to follow suit for a very rosy UK outlook.

Jon
Jon
3 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

They slip stuff past you while you are thinking that. In this case the timescale has been put back. When Typhoon was still being pitched for to Finland the radar was expected to be in the air this year and IOC was 2025. When Finland went F-35 that “led to a slowdown in the ECRS Mk2 program to meet UK funding timescales,” according to reports from Farnborough earlier this week. So now it should be in the air by next year and IOC by 2030. According to the same article, IOC date “is still subject to ministerial approval as part… Read more »

Last edited 3 days ago by Jon
Steve
Steve
3 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

We are about to have a new PM which will mean full new cabinet including defence and as it stands its highly unlikely the conservatives can win the next election although early days. As such it’s a coin toss on any long term project.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Agreed, such are the vagaries of democracy…

Hopefully, if the Japanese come on board before any change of government, along with Italy and Sweden, it will be harder, politically, for the UK to back out. Multi-national projects have bad cost and timescale records, but they have good records when it comes to actually getting into service.

Cheers CR

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
3 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

If you heard those standing for Prime Minister on TV today. They all, bar Sunak, said they would lift defence spending above 3% as an immediate need. Truss even mentioned 4% and said we have overlooked defence in the past 30 years. This has only encouraged Russia and China.

I suppose it’s a case of watch this space!

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
2 days ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

They all apart from Sunak also want to cut taxes, a lot of fairytale politics going on I think. If we don’t get a handle on inflation quickly every departments gonna be screaming for more money and the pots gonna get smaller.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 day ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

You only get a handle on inflation, by cutting the price or taxes on items that have gone up the most, e.g fuel duty.

johan
johan
2 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Multi Nation projects have bad timescales if you include the French and Germans. they are allways miles apart

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Yes I deed, defence is one of those areas we should have more of a cross part approach, so policy does not chop and change with the bright ideas of the government at the time but is instead a steady agreed cross party approach that changes with the evidence, tec base and risk assessment..not because of personally or dogma.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Given Labour stance on. Defence hopefully they will back up with deeds as well as words and adequately fund the MoD. An increase to 2.5% is a good start but 3% would be better.
Regrettable the one big lesson from Ukraine is that the price of peace is expensive but the price of war is unaffordable. The peace dividend was a myth!!

johan
johan
3 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

What do you cut to fund this increase. stop funding Scotland

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 days ago
Reply to  johan

Then we don’t get the radar 😇

johan
johan
2 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

its ok they only make the plastic housing in Scotland, any chimp can do that. and if they follow there leaders desire to go independent. they will be making Buckets and Spades for the Tourists to make sand castles on there lovely beaches

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 day ago
Reply to  johan

They don’t only make the plastic housing in Edinburgh. It’s the main radar centre. The build, develop and test at the site.
It’s at warton they fit it to the aircraft and do the testing on a development aircraft. The article states the work is undertaken in Edinburgh and warton.
Can we please stop the Scottish bashing please. That also goes for any other region of the U.K. bashing

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 day ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

From leonardo website about Edinburgh site: Leonardo’s Edinburgh site employs approximately 1,800 employees who specialise in the provision of multi-role surveillance radars and countermeasure systems. Originally built in 1943, the site has a rich heritage of innovation, and today it produces world leading technology, including lasers for the US Army’s Apache helicopter, CAPTOR radar for the Typhoon, the Osprey radar for Norway’s all-weather search and rescue helicopters (NAWSARH), the Seaspray Radar for the US Coast Guard, and the Raven radar for Saab’s Gripen Fighter aircraft. In partnership with Northrop Grumman, the Edinburgh site has also produced some of the most… Read more »

Mike
Mike
2 days ago
Reply to  johan

Welfare / housing benefit

johan
johan
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve

If he Torys put anyone in charge that actually back stabbed in order to get a position the public never voted them in. they are in for a huge shock at the next local and national election.

Torys have a passed in removing there PMs, yet a total fraud north of the border survives her failures.

politics is utter Bollocks

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 days ago
Reply to  johan

Very pleasant combative attitude towards Scotland .

johan
johan
2 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I am Bored of they divide the SNP is trying to force. it has Scot attacking Scot. and frankly its boring and its financial suicide if we learnt Nothing from Brexit. if you want Independence and split the Union then let the Union have a Vote. see how weeeee Jimie feels when she is kicked out. SHE will want a recount. and begging to not be kicked out

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
2 days ago
Reply to  johan

Firstly this is a website about defence matters not politics.
Secondly you are preaching to the choir, my opinion is and always will be, no matter how dire the government in Westminster is, Scotland is far better off in the union !!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago
Reply to  johan

The SNP have the usual statements against west minister rule. Scotland voted to stay in the EU but was taken out. Not many people in Scotland vote conservative but they are in power. Then the constant scandals that come from Westminster just add on top. Best thing a new leader could do at Westminster is avoid more scandals. The MPs aswell need to behave as it’s more ammunition for the independence folks. If you took a section of 650 people from anywhere in the country I doubt they would be doing as many bad things as the current MPs have… Read more »

Steve
Steve
3 days ago
Reply to  johan

All the candidates are backstabbing each other, so that is guaranteed no matter who wins. I wouldn’t bet on them not winning the next election, they have way more money than the other parties and a track record of knowing how to win. They have also massively increased tax over the last 10 years, so watch a significnat tax cut just before the election to win voters over. Big question mark though is how the covid enquiry goes, as most of the population still think the conservatives did a good job, which the stats prove isn’t really true, even before… Read more »

Steve
Steve
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve

But from a defence point of view it’s a coin toss. Reality is for any threat to reach us they would have to go through Europe first and so there isn’t a need to rebuilt the miltiary and therefore no party will invest heavily in it. The question is who will cut the least I suspect, and I haven’t got a clue on that one.

Bob.
Bob.
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Only if you are talking land forces.
Aircraft approaching from the north have only Norway to circumvent ( with possible assistance from Icelandic based aircraft).

Naval forces would have to get past NATO forces, but SSGNs could be pre-postioned for an opening strike.

Steve
Steve
3 days ago
Reply to  Bob.

No one is going to attack with just an air force, what’s the point and operating at that range gives plenty of prior notice for the RAF to deal with them.

Jon
Jon
2 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Reality isn’t paratroopers dressed as nuns and amphibious craft sailing up the Thames. Have you checked out prices in the shops recently? A military threat doesn’t need to “reach us” for the effects to hit home. If China invades Taiwan, the current chip shortage would become a famine, and prices would go through the roof.

Then there’s cyber war and long range missile strikes and tourists visiting Salisbury cathedral.

Last edited 2 days ago by Jon
Steve
Steve
2 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Taiwan would stand alone, just like ukraine does. No one would be stupid enough to get involved. Anyone that really thinks the west would get involved is fouling themselves. Me persoanally I think we should increase our defence budget, because we get involved in proxy wars and our troops need the gear and numbers to make a difference but I’m talking general public here. Day 1 of Ukraine war and the news papers were talking about need to increase defence budget and how our miltary was cut to the bone, 3 months later and news is back to focusing on… Read more »

johan
johan
2 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Chip shortage, if there was a system or design to replace the need for chips in every switch in a car, ohhhh hang on there were 0 chips in cars in the 90s. so maybe reinventing the wiring loom of a car to carry power around the car. ????

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
3 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Should just say – as predicted – the Franco-German FCAS is dead in the water. Dassault say they can’t deliver the aircraft before 2050. Another reminder of why you shouldn’t engage with French industry

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 day ago

Hi Levi, Do you have a link for that, please? The articles I have found don’t give an actual revised timescale, still quoting the original 2040 ISD, with demonstrator to fly in 2030 (ish). They do describe how Dassault and Airbus are arguing over access to the flight control software for the manned fighter demonstrator which will be derived from the Dassault’s Falcon. The impass has been going on for nearly a year with no end in sight, so much so that Dassault have redeployed their FCAS team onto other projects! So I could well believe a delay to 2050… Read more »

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 day ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I do – but I can’t post it because it’ll need to be approved by an admin.

I can give you a statement from Dassault’s CEO from the 7th June 2022:

““[The target of] 2040 is already missed, because we already stall, and the discussions of the next phase will surely also be long,” the CEO said. “So we rather aim for the 2050s”

I’m sure if you copy that into google you can find some articles!

Jon
Jon
1 day ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Italy were in negotiations with Japan regarding co-operation with F-X program in the Spring, so I’m sure they aren’t being blindsided. I don’t know if Sweden was ever going to produce the main fighter. The press had them wanting some of the underlying tech to adapt and ancilary craft, like the swarmers. I don’t think they’ve decided on the Gripen successor yet.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith
3 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Mentioning FCAS is a mind trick for the gullible. Makes the current cost sound more reasonable by showing a route to the future, and provides a rosy picture of the FCAS project without actually spending or committing more money to it. Typhoon needs AESA capability, regardless of FCAS.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 days ago
Reply to  Greg Smith

Yeah only been in development for over 20 years through no fault of the technology just the commitment to fund it. I did love the fact that when it was finally resurrected in the last decade so much of the originally proposed electronics was so dated it had to be more or less completely re-designed and of further upgrades to spec entered the equation, thus the further delays to the programme. Going to be great when it finally arrives mind. Hey if the Italians wanted an Italian name for their combined business they could have stuck to Ferranti, always loved… Read more »

Last edited 3 days ago by Spyinthesky
Jon
Jon
2 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

We could have Fairey Boxers.

Nick C
Nick C
3 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

There is an interesting article in todays Times, business section, stating that there will be an announcement at Farnborough on Monday to the effect that the Tempest programme and the Japanese equivalent are being merged. This would indicate that with four countries now involved, each wanting a piece of the action, the full programme will go ahead. Once signed and sealed it will be very difficult for a new government to cancel it.
However, Knowing the competence of our politicians it’s not not impossible!!

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
2 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Looks like the FCAS/Tempest will be a joint development with Japan. Which is great news

Steve R
Steve R
3 days ago

Does this also include the T1s or are they still being scrapped by 2025?

Steve
Steve
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

From what I read it’s only the newer generation, so not the T1 or 2 and maybe not 3.

Steve R
Steve R
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve

To be honest I wonder if that money wouldn’t be better spent purchasing 40 or so additional Typhoon Tranche 3s.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Typhoon, fully equipped, is £100m each give or take.

So that budget buys you 24 or thereabouts.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 days ago

This radar will pretty much make a Typhoon seems like about 3 of todays I suspect it’s capabilities are so enhanced.

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

It’s initially the 40 tranche 3s being upgraded but the RAF aspires to get the 67 t2’s upgraded as well, highly unlikely UK will buy anymore typhoons and t1’s are still scheduled for retirement by 2025.

Louis
Louis
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve

But we only have tranche 1-3, unless this means we are getting tranche 4.

Steve
Steve
3 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Weren’t some of ours being upgraded to t4, not sure to be honest just read somewhere that it was only a fraction getting the radar.

Steve
Steve
3 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Found an article stating it will be all tranche 3, but if they can find the budget then they will also ugprade the 2s.

Nick C
Nick C
2 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Another quote in todays, Saturday’s, Times from the CAS, who stated that his aspiration is to get all 67 of tranche 2 with the radar fit as well. If all the Tories are aiming to up spending on defence it might just happen!

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

He said all T3 are funded, 67 T2 are an ‘aspiration’, no plans for T1 and physically incompatible anyway.

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

T1 could not take the AESA radar, but Spain & Italy, have given their T1 a simple, cheap update, to keep them flying to 2030 & beyond. The 24 RAF T1 ought to get the same simple upgrade, as we will have too few combat jets for the likely tasks otherwise.

johan
johan
3 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Simple Upgrade doesn’t allow the T1s to carry the same weapons and needs a separate munition suite. the lack of onboard power has reached its peak. and cannot be upgraded.

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 days ago
Reply to  johan

That’s not the point. Use T2 & 3 for complex tasks, such as foreign deployment with a wide range of weapons. T1 is kept in UK for QRA. Does not need to be all dancing. Just needs to keep the numbers up. Austria is upgrading its T1 navigation to modern standards for 175000 euros per plane. Not expensive.

johan
johan
2 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

T1s need Amraam to be effective on QRA, as it cannot fire Meteor. T1s also need a AWACS as they cannot track and fight more than 1 aircraft at a time. UK no longer uses AMRAAM, its why the T1s were being retired any upgrade is a complete rebuild of the airframe to Trance 2-3 level. No AWACS currently is why the T1s Hawks and the Typhoons are being retired. main issue is the lack of usable munitions as the contract restricts other types.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago
Reply to  johan

The F35 uses AMRAAM also. I don’t think we will see meteor on them until 2030 at the earliest. The U.K. bought a load of latest AMRAAMs for the F35 and I’m presume they are the ones used of the T1 typhoons.

Bob.
Bob.
3 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Agreed. Give ten to the Reds and keep the rest as a single air defence squadron dedicated to UK air defence.

johan
johan
2 days ago
Reply to  Bob.

Same issue as T 2 Hawks, Tranche 1 Typhoons have a anti collision system. cannot fly in close formation like a T 1 Hawk. great idea. just cannot work.

johan
johan
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

T1s are at the end of the life span, due to their on board power limitations, and to upgrade is a full rebuild to the bare airframe. nearly the same cost to build New.

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 days ago
Reply to  johan

Austria, Italy & Spain, do not agree with you.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

To get the T1 airframe to a T3 standard requires loads of work. It would be cheaper buying new aircraft. Now smaller upgrades are possible

John Hartley
John Hartley
2 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I never said update a T1 up to T3. I just said copy the simple cheap upgrades, Austria, Spain & Italy have done to keep their T1 flying beyond 2030.

johan
johan
2 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Austria / Italy and Spains Typhonns dont not opperate as per the FGR4S of the RAF. Very different Breed. with different FGR4s are more a swish army knife.

TS
TS
3 days ago

Whilst the new radar is an exciting upgrade, is this not yet another example of why we get so little from our defence budget? Spain are to purchase 20 plus new typhoons with the mk1 radar 2 for about 2.5 billion if I remember correctly. I believe we are only upgrading around 40 of our fleet, so that means £50 plus million per plane??!! Please tell me my maths or numbers are wrong. If this is the case, surely we would be best just buying new planes with the new radar when they come in at around £100 million, and… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
3 days ago
Reply to  TS

With glacial pace of F-35 upgrade until (if) block4 ever get released we need to rely on Phoons, get the 78 f-35’s which gives enough to put 24on each QE and buy 40 new Phoons with all bells an whistles. the removal of the T1’s would only increase total by 1 Sqn worth but with better overall capabilities

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

People talk about the slow pace of F35 upgrades. But Typhoon had been in service for over 13 years with the RAF before project Centurion was launched in 2018 to integrate StormShadow, Brimstone and Meteor.

Steve M
Steve M
3 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

agreed but then we had Tonkers and Gr9’s in service in carrying ground attack role an phoons doing air defence, we’ve turned phoons into good mrca aircraft that do most of the ground roles but now have nearly half the number of aircraft doing 2 roles and the replacement capability is nearly a decade away 🙁

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Yes, but look at the operational output of the Typhoon fleet. One Typhoon can do the job of 2 GR4’s and a F3. F35 is a quantum leap over Harrier and Tornado in every way, as well as we have gained a 2nd aircraft type with a very capable air to air capability that we didn’t have with Tornado or Harrier GR9.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Indeed and it undoubtedly had an effect on further sales as it wasn’t till recently an effective ground attack platform certainly compared to some other cheaper options.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
3 days ago
Reply to  TS

Radar Mk2 offers another level of capability over Mk1. Mk1 doesn’t have electronic attack modes for example. This money also covers the new wide area cockpit display, plus upgrades to the defensive aids system, navigation and mission computer. RAF Typhoons are also getting the new digital Striker 2 Helmet mounted display. The traditional HUD will also be removed like in the F35 cockpit. All in all, we will have by far the most capable Typhoons in service.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

And a few other bits that it might be best not mentioned here! It is a massive upgrade and really a massive leap in capability. Almost a totally new level of plane TBH. The T1 is, by comparison, pretty useless….. If we do get the budget uplift that is likely if PM become PM then I would expect to see another small buy of T4’s. I agree you cannot compare what we are buying to the Spanish purchase it is a totally different plane that does not have all the ‘bits and features’ that the RAF versions do. Not to… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 days ago

It would be good to see a Moderate purchase of T4s, as the loss of air frames from deleting the T1s should be mitigated in some way. It will also help keep the production line open ( especially with the other orders) which gives the MOD options in the future if the security situation deteriorates even further or the RAR suffer unexpected attrition in the airframe numbers ( it can happen).

Pmichael
Pmichael
3 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Of course MK1 has electronic attack modes as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzYnxMxtJuk

We basically returned to the 80s when the UK thought that adding ALARM missiles on planes would be enough to provide SEAD capacities while other countries within NATO like USA, Germany or Italy developed dedicated aircraft for that role.

In this case Germany will have dedicated EA planes to cover the full spectrum of capacities.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 days ago
Reply to  Pmichael

That is not the same level of electronic attack modes Radar 2 will offer.

Pmichael
Pmichael
3 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Goalpost moving

Sean
Sean
3 days ago
Reply to  TS

Looks like only the Tranche 3 (40 aircraft) initially, though Tranche 2 could be upgraded too – at extra cost.

Cravendale
Cravendale
3 days ago
Reply to  Sean

You say that but a £317 million deal was announced a couple of years ago to upgrade the tranche 3’s but this deal is worth significantly more.

Steve R
Steve R
3 days ago
Reply to  Sean

£2.35 billion to upgrade 40 aircraft… that sounds downright insanity!

Much better to buy 40 new T3s to grow the fleet.

Sean
Sean
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

I’d imagine that £2.35 billion is part development cost, which is fixed regardless of how many aircraft get the upgrades, and part is the cost of upgrading each of the 40 aircraft.
Note that the radar is only part of the upgrade programme.

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

The development of this radar will no doubt feed in heavily to tempest (if it goes ahead).

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

You would not get 40 new aircraft for 2.35 billion.

johan
johan
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

have you worked out how much 40 new will cost and their delivery dates? and to what spec.

RobW
RobW
2 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

40 new Typhoons with all the bells and whistles would cost around £5.6bn. The difference being more than the cost of the P8 fleet.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
3 days ago
Reply to  TS

TS, if you read the article £2.35BN pays for Radar/Cockpit/ECM upgrades not just radar.

Graham
Graham
3 days ago
Reply to  TS

But that includes development costs so putting them on the 67 tranche 2 rather than just the 40 tranche 3 makes more sense. If you buy new you still have the radar development costs and less aircraft with ECR.2

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham

I think the t2’s need a bit more work to upgrade as though they don’t have the necessary cooling plumbing built in as the t3’s do.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
3 days ago

So how many will get the upgrade?

Cravendale
Cravendale
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Well at £2.35bn I’d expect the whole fleet. What confuses me is that a couple of years ago, a £317 million deal to upgrade the 40 tranche 3’s.

Mark franks
Mark franks
3 days ago
Reply to  Cravendale

Cravendale that is why I asked the question. I would have thought the whole fleet as well or has inflation gone up that much. We will see.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

The £2.35bn is only putting the radar into the 40 T3, 67 T2 remains ‘an aspiration’.

Cravendale
Cravendale
3 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

What about the £317 million deal to fit the new radar into 40 tranche 3 typhoons, where has the extra £2bn come from?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 days ago
Reply to  Cravendale

This is full mid life refurb including the radar. I think the £317m was just R&D, prototyping and integration of the radar into the aircraft.

Taking it from paper and tech demonstrator to a complete product.

Last edited 3 days ago by Watcherzero
johan
johan
3 days ago
Reply to  Cravendale

its not just bolt a new radar in the Nose, now its a whole host of upgrades within the cockpit and pilot helmet. which killed the older specs as they dont have the on-board power supply to operate this kit.

Mark franks
Mark franks
3 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

That is an awful lot of money. How much for a brand spanking new Typhoon with all the bells and whistles?

johan
johan
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark franks

To Gr4 standard is £140m a pop

Jon
Jon
3 days ago

I’m surprised we still have Eurofighters with European Common Radar Systems. Sure there’s a rebranding to be politically spun. We are investing in Britfighter Typhoons with world-leading Uniquely British Radars A Bit Italian But We Don’t Like To Mention That.

No, still not quite right.

Last edited 3 days ago by Jon
Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 days ago
Reply to  Jon

If there was one social phenomena that really made me bury my head in my hands it was “Freedom Fries”.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

It’s being going on for ever…cue ….Alsatian wolf dog….

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Isn’t that uniquely Scottish radars?

damnn
damnn
3 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Design, prototype, and testing all gets done at Luton. Edinburgh is the production facility. Some real smart cookies at both sites. So uniquely UK radars i think you will find.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Mind you they always were a bit Italian considering who designed them. 😈

AlexS
AlexS
3 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Hehe, RAF Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston said: “Last September, the Ministry of Defence announced our continued investment in the final design stages of the ECRS Mk2 program; in addition, the Integrated Review committed to the full integration of this world-leading capability onto Typhoon. I am delighted that Italian colleagues will now join Leonardo’s Edinburgh and Luton teams, bringing together our collective skills to deliver this essential capability at pace, both to benefit Typhoon and to underpin the technology growth into the Future Combat Air System.” Note that Italy Leonardo is the developer of… Read more »

Chipper
Chipper
21 hours ago
Reply to  AlexS

The Gripen PS-05 AESA radar was developed from the Sea Vixen radar in the Sea Harrier by the then GEC Marconi

Andrew
Andrew
3 days ago

If Liz Truss wins the leadership contest then we could see quite sizeable annual increases in defence, assuming her pledge to spend 3% of GDP by 2030 materialises. No doubt the RAF will be keen on a few more fast jets. Brand new Typhoons, F35A/B or just pocket the money and save up for Tempest?

Ian
Ian
3 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Hi Andrew
We saved up the money and bought AJAX…….. that worked well

Andrew
Andrew
3 days ago
Reply to  Ian

I doubt the RAF put a single penny into Ajax.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

I bet they did, they just did not realise it ( after all its all part of the MOD budget).

Jon
Jon
2 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

They are still paying. The Army got a large uplift in the ten year equipment plan to dig them out of their mess. Both Combat Air and Air Support got cut.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Good on liz truss. Promising a rise after an election has been🙄. How about delivering now.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 days ago

Recently I made a formal request to the RAF, enquiring how many Typhoons were airworthy on a specific day in June 2022, but without specifying which tranche. I also enquired how many pilots were certified on Typhoons on that day and how many were undergoing training. I receved a reply this week “I can confirm that the information that you request is available in this department but I am unable to provide you with this data in the interests of national security” I doubt that Wigston or Quin know how many Typhoons are actually airworthy, but earlier this year using… Read more »

johan
johan
3 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Ask them how many F35s Pilots there are active, is a better one. as they will tell you we have 25.5 F35s active. will avoid telling you at all costs that there are 14 F35 rated pilots on the Uk active list.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
3 days ago
Reply to  johan

We have 17sqn OEU, 207 sqn OCU, 617 sqn frontline and 809 sqn will stand up next year. I’d take an educated guess, and say we have more than 14 F35 pilots. Unless you have concrete evidence to back up your claim. I’d be happy to be proven wrong.

Airborne
Airborne
3 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Agreed I have previously read a number mid 20s or so qualified and combat ready. Again I stand to be corrected mate.

johan
johan
2 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

You would hope so, last qualification took us to 14, and its a 3 year program. last 3 qualified pre pandemic. and all training stopped. RAF is currently only training 10 fast jet pilots each year. its another reason the delivery was slowed as 9 airframes sat empty. is shocking.

johan
johan
2 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

No its based on the deployments and active use of the F35s over the past 3 years. 14 is the active number who have passed there training at the last count. its now a 3 year training programme due to delays. and the last 3 passed out pre pandemic. NAO mentions the numbers of qualified F35 pilots in its report on the failings of the Pilot training programme. based on the 10 pilots that boarded the QE on her deployment and the 3 still in the USA under the joint training program. and you had 1 F35flying onto POW. gives… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 day ago
Reply to  johan

RAF/RN F35 pilots come straight from RAF Valley after the Hawk T2 syllabus we are not part of any joint training for new pilots. And that isn’t the reason why the Reds are down to 7. Current Red Arrows pilots are all ex Typhoon or GR4 pilots, or Hawk qualified weapons instructors

Airborne
Airborne
3 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

60-65 is quite a good number considering the ratio needed to ensure it! As I’m sure you are aware, during peacetime, servicing schedules, routine maintenance, deep maintenance and upgrades are all planned and figured into the availability rates well in advance! I’m pretty sure you could add another dozen or more if shit hit the fan and where the low level peacetime servicing and rules could be ignored for that period. After all why risk a multi million pound asset plus pilot if during peacetime training it isnt 100% safe and good to go. Cheers.

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

The CAS has access to the daily state sheet. This is a bit like a massive Excel spreadsheet. It is used for all RAF, Army and FAA aircraft, helicopters and drones. It will state what aircraft are serviceable, undergoing maintenance and what level or if it has a fault. It also gives modification states. It is primarily used be planners to maintain fleet average flying hours. But also to put aircraft with the correct or needed mid state on Operations or exercises.

It is quite right that it is kept from public knowledge.

Clueless Observer
Clueless Observer
3 days ago

Hopefully this will be the majority of the development cost for Tempests radar, huge cost for just 40 aircraft being upgraded otherwise. Really hope they see sense and keep Typhoon alongside F-35 and Tempest for at least a few years, not every tasking needs full on stealth capabilities. However I am sure they will reach peak capability and then be scrapped so we can afford an early version of Tempest with limited ability in its early years. Typhoon is a really capable platform, no idea where the money would come from but replacing the T1’s would reduce the workload on… Read more »

Ray McNicol-Brown
Ray McNicol-Brown
3 days ago

So we have the tranche 1’s finishing next year and the rest of this system fitted by 2030… Typhoon is going until 2035 apparently… As a regular aircraft photographer and ex aircraft engineer travelling around the UK it is obvious the aircraft is struggling now with its serviceability and the F35 programme is where the money is going… Don’t bother with all the Tempest nonsense that looks like Firefox and buy aircraft like the Gripen to continue bringing our air force forward….most bases these days are quiet and under resourced….stop buying the f35b and buy the A variant for the… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
3 days ago

Gripen would be a step backwards, great aircraft for what it’s designed to do, but not what the RAF needs. Typhoon availability is very high. Typhoon will be in service well past 2040 with the RAF.

johan
johan
2 days ago

F35a is a different Breed and would need an entirely different base and crew system. RAF have the Typhoon upgraded to 2040s. its only when the F35b were shooting Typhoons out the sky for fun did the RAF pay attention.

John
John
3 days ago

Any idea when this will be started and completed?

Jon
Jon
2 days ago
Reply to  John

Yet to be finalized. IOC towards the end of the decade, depending on funding. We should see reports next year of a test radar-equipped Typhoon in flight.

John
John
2 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Wow, that’s much longer than I expected. I was hoping the entire project would be completed within the next six years at the latest!

Airborne
Airborne
3 days ago

Good call, was in the pipeline for some time, seems quite expensive but (im no RAF ninja) I’m sure it’s more to do with a comprehensive upgrade of the associated systems and not just the radar? Some good info from the more knowledgeable posters on here will elaborate I’m sure. But, to me, even upgrading the T3 airframes is glass half full 👍

Airborne
Airborne
3 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Note: Some good info on Gabs twitter!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Essential reading, yes. For someone not even British, boy he knows his stuff.

dan
dan
3 days ago

I love it how every time a British company talks about a new system or weapon they say “world leading” or something similar. lol

Last edited 3 days ago by dan
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago
Reply to  dan

Yeah. Something can only be world leading if the rest of the world follows what you are doing and that takes time to see a pattern. Better radar than everybody else? Or world leading on cost😂😂😂😂

AlexS
AlexS
2 days ago
Reply to  dan

Yeah noticed that too, and also here in this site in comments and other British sites. Everything is always world leading or world best.

No other country does that, even the French.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 days ago

Great stuff. Sounds like all the expensive complicated bits are getting an upgrade. I think the first radar is fitted to a test aircraft. Can’t remember if it’s flown yet. So is 2030 when all of the T3 aircraft will be finished the upgrades? Quite a while away. When the T3 are finished maybe they can look at the T2 airframes and decide what to do with them. Some places I’ve read that the Japan FX and tempest are to merge. I’ve not actually looked into it from normal sources. Will need to see the details of how much of… Read more »

TS
TS
2 days ago

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/new-unmanned-combat-aircraft-designs-revealed-by-bae-systems

An interesting development from BAE that maybe under consideration.

JamesF
JamesF
2 days ago
Reply to  TS

Yes indeed. It seems that Mosquito was going to take too long to develop and given Ukraine RAF wants something sooner, so the low cost small BAe variant seems a more likely short-term option, with the larger vehicle perhaps aimed at the Tempest programme?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  TS

Thanks for posting this. Of great interest.

Tim uk
Tim uk
2 days ago

Could this electronically attack hypersonic missiles?

Jon
Jon
2 days ago
Reply to  Tim uk

There were originally reports that a plasma forming around hypersonic missiles blocked EW frequencies, but I recently read something about tests to guide hypersonic missiles that involved communications, so maybe they’ve found a way around that.

We are looking at some time in the future for the radar and the missiles, so watch this space.

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Plasma generation around an aircraft/missile is subject to a number of variables, such as air density, humidity, temperature, the aircraft shape and material composition. As it’s an ionized “gas” it’s is electrically charged. So poorly bonded surfaces that develop a static charge can also affect it. Plasma can be controlled via electromagnetism. It can be shaped, pushed and pulled. With the right design you can open windows in a plasma sheath/cloud. This is what they do in Tokamaks for fusion experiments. But implementing that kind of control on a hypersonic missile will be very difficult. What can be done though… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

https://starburstfound.org/electrograviticsblog/?p=1

I have heard of this stuff connected to the B2 programme, not just on the leading edge of the B2s flying wing.

I also read Cooks very interesting book “Hunt for Zero Point” concerning exotic propulsion and T Browns electrogravatic experiments from the 50s.

Any comments on this given your expertise in this field?

DaveyB
DaveyB
9 hours ago

I would be highly sceptical over those claims. My basis for this is based around MIT publishing their findings on ionized propulsion in 2018. As shown in the following Youtube video: Ion Propulsion – The Plane With No Moving Parts – YouTube They produced a relatively flimsy aircraft that looked similar to a glider but had no moving parts to provide propulsion. They used a number of Lithium Ion batteries whose voltages were ramped up to 48Kv to create the potential difference between the wires. The high voltage was need to strip off the electrons to make the air ionized.… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 hours ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Ah, I’m glad you replied. It’s all well over my head thus stuff.

Fascinating, thanks.

Bill
Bill
2 days ago

£2.35bn!! In 100+ aircraft?? Here we go again.

Ron
Ron
1 day ago

Maybe a bit of track but also worth thinking about. Apparantly the US have just approved a budget to train pilots from the Ukraine on the F15/F16. I am not quite sure on the standard of the US aircraft, if it will be the old block 1 or the lates versions. However as we are going to discarde the T1 Typhoons and as they are more analoge the digital would it not be better for the Ukrainian pilots to be trained on them. The T1s would be very much like the Mig 29s and or Su35s. What I will also… Read more »

Simon
Simon
59 seconds ago

Maybe be me being a bit cynical, but 5 years down the line we get the spiel that an upgrade T3 can do the work of 3 aircraft and that’s an excuse to chop the T2’s