Typhoon is to remain at the forefront of combat air capability in Europe for decades to come, according to Air Commodore Linc Taylor.

The RAF is set to deliver the capabilities of the Tornado onto the Eurofighter by December this year under a programme called Project Centurion.

Project Centurion integrates additional state of the art complex weapons onto the platform; the operationally proven deep strike cruise missile, Storm Shadow; Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile, Meteor; and the unique low-collateral, precision attack missile, Brimstone.

Air Cdre Taylor, speaking to media recently, said that one of the key lessons of the Project Centurion programme will be how future capability upgrades are built into the aircraft in the years and decades ahead.

“The future is an uncertain place and one of our challenges is how do we get more and more spiral development (incrementally building on existing capabilities) because we will need to be more agile and flexible. In the future we will be bringing in next generation precision strike stand-off missiles like Spear Cap 3, Expendable Active Decoys, a new E Scan radar and a new helmet.

But we are going to bring them in differently. We are going to integrate them in a much more agile way. It’s important because we have to maintain combat advantage and to do that we have to be faster than our adversaries. The big thing is pace. This is the approach of our Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI) which is spiralling in new capability.

When you have the best in the world already, like you have with Typhoon, why would you start again? So, we are learning and delivering new technologies in concert with Typhoon. And if we develop a capability within the FCAS TI programme we can spin it back into Typhoon.”

The Air Cdre added that Typhoon’s ability to share information and work with other assets will also be key in the future. He said:

“It is about ensuring the right information is in the right place at the right time. The sensors on the aircraft are so good it’s a question of how we use that information and how we get it to other fast jets and ground allies.”

This comes not long after Eurofighter CEO, Volker Paltzo, confirmed that an enhanced Eurofighter Typhoon would form a core part of any European future combat air system, working hand in hand with any future European fighter programme – manned or unmanned.

Speaking during Farnborough International Air Show, Volker Paltzo said:

“Eurofighter Typhoon is the benchmark for European collaboration – now and in the future. Eurofighter will be a central pillar of any European FCAS, and has a key role to play in this future system, operating alongside any existing or new European assets that may come into play in the future battlespace – across all mission scenarios.”

Talking about the technologies that will form part of a European FCAS, Paltzo added:

“I firmly believe that Eurofighter Typhoon is the best platform to carry, demonstrate and certify a whole host of technologies and deliver them as a mature capability for Europe.”

Eurofighter Typhoon in the Future Battlespace.jpg

Paltzo also confirmed that a need for greater connectivity, sensor and data fusion in the future battlespace would see a refresh of technology in the cockpit, including a high resolution large area display, and up to 15% more power to the aircraft’s EJ-200 engines, as part of the aircraft’s long term evolution plans.

“We are in ongoing dialogue with our partners regarding these emerging requirements”, he stated.

Clemens Linden, Eurojet TURBO GmbH CEO, speaking on behalf of the Eurofighter engine consortium during Farnborough International Air Show, said:

“Eurofighter, with the EJ-200 engine, already has the best engine in its class in the world today. But we can make it even better, delivering a 15% increase in thrust, to ensure that Eurofighter Typhoon can maintain its combat edge in the future.”

Volker Paltzo also confirmed the ongoing importance of Eurofighter to European defence, stating

Eurofighter is the biggest and most successful defence collaboration project ever undertaken in Europe. It is the backbone of NATO’s European air defence and will continue to be developed to defend against all future threats for decades to come. It is what Eurofighter was built to do.”

108 COMMENTS

    • I’m actually curious to see how long they can keep their production line open. They did well to secure a second order from Qatar but their deal with India was a complete farce. I think India would have cancelled it altogether but they wan’t to save face rather than admit the Typhoon offer was better value once industrial work share was moved to India. They would have been better ordering additional SU-30Is if they where only going to order 36 Rafale.

          • To much for them . Lol living in dream world is something you are good at. Also I wonder why the typhoon lost every single fight against the rafale . Example 7:1. Also Switzerland air force rated rafale way above the typhoon.

        • They use or at least used British Harriers on ex British Aircraft Carrier so it can’t be too bad, so I don’t think its that much of a deal, maybe to some, as with everything someone has a grudge but I don’t think they care.
          I could be wrong, please correct me if I am, maybe there was controversy about them buying Hermes I don’t know but I haven’t heard anything.
          Also they Still wear British Uniforms, and use British ways in there training, tactics and traditions.

    • media have always been the ruin of some of the best’kit’ on the planet.if the typhoon was stealthy we wouldn’t need the f 35

  1. It will probably be the last ‘fighter’ aircraft, as we know them, that the UK purchases. I think there will be need for a ‘fast air’ platform in the immediate future though I see it more as a capability to get something somewhere else very fast more than be the actual combatant itself. It is a stunning piece of equipment. It is just a shame that it wasn’t built here in its entirety, and a shame that its timeline and that of the maritime fast air capability didn’t intersect. A British built FA18-esque aircraft would have been wonderful. We are we are though…

  2. And more of them thank you HMG, don’t waste anymore of the taxpayers money on the F35.

    Question,

    Could we not clip the tail fin on the Typhoon to reduce its signature making it more stealthy and have two instead when we integrate the new engines? Expert opinions welcome!

    “The Meteor missile does not fit the F-35B internal weapons bay since its tail fins are too large to fit and therefore requires some adjustments. To get the missile inside the weapon bay MBDA plans to equip the Meteor missiles destined for the F-35 with clipped tail fins that will be clipped in height and lengthened, to retain the wing area and thus maintain the weapon’s kinematic performance.”

    https://defense-update.com/20170421_f35_meteor.html

      • Correct! By 2025 the Typhoon will be better able to match any advantage that it has to offer if it is combat ready by then? Read the links to my endless posts about the almost 1000 faults that are still to be fixed.

        Here is one link in relation to the Typhoon posted by me some days ago in another thread.

        “BAE Systems is studying a series of concepts designed to improve the cockpit of the Eurofighter Typhoon, in preparation for the installation of new sensors. The company is looking at equipping the cockpit with wide-area displays and exploring the potential of augmented reality, using its Striker 2 advanced helmet to display the increased levels of data expected to emanate from new electronically scanned radar and a new generation of targeting pods that can deliver higher-fidelity …”
        https://www.janes.com/article/73995/dsei-2017-bae-systems-touts-large-area-display-for-typhoon

        • And another, the list is endless!

          F35, still a work in progress.

          The GAO report broke down the shortfalls into two categories: Category 1 deficiencies are defined as “those that could jeopardize safety, security, or another critical requirement,” while Category 2 deficiencies “are those that could impede or constrain successful mission accomplishment.” The report cited 111 Category 1 and 855 Category 2 deficiencies.

          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-05/key-f-35-defects-must-be-fixed-before-full-production-gao-says

          • show me a major combat aircraft development that didn’t have problems early in development… cause most of them did…

            and tbh comparing the f35 and typhoon isn’t really a useful comparison….. compare it to the harrier which is what its meant to replace and its far superior

          • fearlesstunafish, The F35A first flew on the 15 December 2006 and the F35B on the 11, June, 2008. Not going to be combat operational until at least 2025.

          • @Nigel Collins.

            The Typhoon is also had lots of snags and unfinished capabilities for quite some time after it went operational. The F35 is combat ready right now as has been seen in Israel.

            I think you are being lead down the garden path my the media reporting around the F35. It is an excellent aircraft that will massively increase the capability of our forces. It even helps the Typhoon become even more capable!

            Also no you can’t simply chop the tail off the Typhoon and make it more stealthy. For a start the canards are a major issue even with the typhoons ability to run them at particular angles to make them less of a problem.

            Redesigning the entire tail it a major design change and would be expensive. It would also only improve one aspect of the design. Advanced Stealth requires more than simply putting twin fins on at angles…

    • On the vertical stabiliser, yes could be trimmed this would reduce AoA so to compensate thrust vectoring nozzles could be added. TVN has been developed for the Typhoon but I believe (happy to be corrected) that some redesign of the rear fuselage and vertical stabiliser is require. If this is the case it may be preferable to adopt twin canted stabilisers similar to the F35 in the redesign. TVN could also allow for the aircraft cruise with a reduced RCS, by using the TVNs to trim the jet an leaving control surfaces in there most stealthy configuration.

      There are things that could be done to reduce RCS. Boeing have done work on the F18E/F and F15SE to reduce RCS. Same lessons could be applied to the Typhoon. But it all costs and will never match the F35s built in stealth.

      The F35 will be the first day of war aircraft, once you reduce or remove enemy air defences the Typhoon will be used. The F35 and Typhoon used together could be formidable duo.

      Improving infrared tracking would be good for the Typhoon, reducing its RCS has limited gains but being able to sense a stealthy aircraft at range beyond the opponents radar, even if just to avoid it would be good.

      • Many thanks Expat for your informed opinion. Twin canted stabilisers similar to the F35 in the redesign was my in fact my point but badly worded!!! Typhoon and Magma is by far the better option in my humble opinion to deliver long range stand off weapons and defeat advances in enemy radar.

      • the F35B is definitely not an aircraft for taking on any modern combat aircraft. It isnt built for one on one air to air combat It has low radar returns on the frontal aspect of the aircraft, from the side/back is it easier to spot, and its engine runs very hot, so easy to find using thermal sensors. It is designed for supporting troops on the battlefield,C.A.S.
        and light bomber, but personally I think they have made it too expensive to be shot at, and too complex for that role. AN updated A-10 would have been ideal. It wont be combat ready for some time yet.

        • Agreed JohnF,

          F35A a few hundred rounds,the A-10 Warthog carries more than 1,000 shells for its 30mm cannon. Impressive!

      • Photonic radar may make stealth redundant in only a decade or so. So a faster, more agile platform for excellent range and superb EW could provide a suitable alternative.

        • Stealth is not one single technology. Photonic Radar is just another radar tech. Current Stealth aircraft will still be harder to see with it than non stealth aircraft and on top of that new stealth technologies will appear to combat it.

    • What you’re not mentioning is that its a very minor change to make Meteor fit. It’s just a change of fins that are bolted on when the missile is taken out of its storage container.

      It’s not a big deal.

        • It takes time to integrate missiles with their aircraft. All sorts of systems have to be developed, tested and certified. The additional issue with the F35 is that the meteor needs to be redesigned. The fins and air intakes need to be changed in order for it to fit in the weapons bay. This means more development, more testing etc. MBDA will also need at least one F35 in order to run all the tests etc so this work will not start for a while as there are other priorities at the moment. Remember that the meteor was delayed originally as there were no typhoons available to use as test rigs…

          The meteor took from 2005 to 2015 to be ready to fire from an aircraft. It is still not fully signed off for Typhoon. Typhoon is still unable to fire Brimstones despite them being operational on Tornadoes since 2005! These things take time…

    • Hear what you say David but they are different aircraft. The Typhoon was originally designed as an agile Air superiority fighter and has acquired a ground attack role since. The F35B is a multi role airplane with a STOVL capability-virtually unique in todays world and of course the only aircraft suitable for the QE’s. It trades off payload and range for the advantages offered by STOVL not to mention saving a bucket load of dollars for the massive expense and delay cats and traps would have involved. Also, if the hype is to be believed it could handle its more agile competitors way way out of visual range so the wonderful aerobatic performance of the Typhoon would not come in to the picture.

      • Geoff, the F35B will not be combat ready until 2025 or able to carry Meteor internally until at least 2024. Its range is little more than a joke (worst of the three variants) as is its ability to carry stores and any advantage it has will be gone by 2030.

        We will not receive our full complement of 48 F35B until 2025 without further problems being found and given the shear amount of problems still to be fixed, what’s the point?

        cats and traps will be installed at some point anyway on the QE2’s.

        Israel Prefers Old F-15s to F-35s
        The Israeli Air Force needs long-range aircraft that can carry a lot of fuel and weapons, because of Iran.

        Typhoon: The CFTs, which can be fitted to any Tranche 2/3 aircraft, can carry 1,500 litres each to increase the Typhoon’s combat radius by a factor of 25% to 1,500 nautical miles (2,778 km).

        https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a22605757/israel-f-15s-f-35s/

        • So when we are up to “full compliment” they will already be ready for Meteor. That’s a good thing surely?
          As for the range issue, what is the range of HMS QE? 10,000 nautical miles. The F-35B? 469 nautical miles. Just as a guide and purely academic exercise, this would enable F-35B’s to operate over Northern Iraq, launching from HMS QE in the Med (not that they would need to as they could take off fully-laden from RAF Akrotiri). It would also allow strikes on such places as Moscow from the Baltic Sea (excluding any defences, purely academic again).

          • It’s the defences come 2030 that’s the problem Steve M and the USA has already recognised this and are asking industry for a solution to it.

            There solution so far is the hybrid F22/F35, a very expensive project that may not even happen without further huge investment.

            Russian and Chinese radar will most probably be able to detect the F35 by then if not to some degree even now.

        • It might surprise you to know that without either carrying external fuel tanks, the F-35B has a larger radius of action than a Typhoon.

          The Typhoon can only exceed by adding external fuel tanks which limit its speed and maneuverability as well as making it an even larger radar target.

          The Typhoon is a very fine aircraft, there really isn’t any need to denigrate another to make your points.

          • All depends on the loadout/speed/altitude Ron5 and don’t forget the new engines will give it even better fuel consumption 7% plus conformal fuel tanks to further extend its range.

            “The Typhoon is a very fine aircraft, there really isn’t any need to denigrate another to make your points.”

            My point is, do we end up spending billions of pounds of taxpayers money (138 f35’s) on an aircraft that will not be ready for combat until 2025 and one that the US is looking to replace simply because they know its advantages will be compromised by 2030.

            The DOT&E for example criticise the F35 programme along with many other US sources i’ve linked to. Whether this is fair very much depends on the facts they’ve chosen to print. I’m simply pointing out this catalogue of faults and delays to the forum to comment on as they see fit and what I personally believe will be in our national interest come 2030 that’s all!

            “The biggest idea captivating Air Force leaders is that “near peer” adversaries, meaning Russia and China, are catching up with U.S. warfighting technology and may soon surpass it. The service stated in its Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan that “the Air Force’s projected force structure in 2030 is not capable of fighting and winning” against the “array of potential adversary capabilities” it will likely face.”

            https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2018/07/19/how-the-air-force-could-become-the-biggest-threat-to-the-f-35-fighters-success/#124c9caf25dd

          • (Chris H) While it is understandable I am not sure people are talking about the same thing when they mention ‘range’. There is also ‘Ferry Range’ and ‘Combat Radius’

            Figures to hand show the F-35B with a ‘Range’ of 900 Nmi on 6,045 Kgs of fuel internal and the Typhoon with a ‘Range’ of 1,800 Nmi on 5,000 Kgs of fuel internal

            Combat Radius with external tanks: F-35B = 505 Nmi, Typhoon = 350 Nmi or 750 Nmi in two GA roles and 750 Nmi in Air Defence role

            I pass this on for information and no other reason

      • Nigel – operating 2 fleets does have an advantage. At times the entire fleet gets grounded so in this scenario you can still fly. Having the F35 and the Typhoon gives us a good blend on capabilities. Tempest or our next platform will fly along side the F35, the RAF will get the best out of whatever platforms they have and F35 development will not stand still.

      • (Chris H) Nigel – I share your concerns over F-35 development and full operational capability and it is deeply concerning. However for the UK and its determination to restore Carrier Strike Capability the F-35B was absolutely the right aircraft at the right time and it fitted into the work up, certification and IOC phases of the two new carriers.

        I have always been of the opinion that the F-35 (outside of its naval strike and CAP roles as per Harrier) is nothing more than a suppression and sensor asset that will enable the far more capable Typhoon to reach its full (and final) strike and Ground Attack potential. The F-35B already has that capability and so for the UK purposes its fine. The data linking of these two aircraft is world leading and gives the UK an exceptional set of inter operable assets. And Typhoon is still a world class QRA and Interceptor fighter.

        • Agreed Chris, We left ourselves with limited options after the U turn on Cats & traps. My main concern is that we do not waste any additional expense than what is necessary on an aircraft with limited advantages come 2030.

          Investing in Typhoon, Tempest and Magma is the smart way forward. Also keeping a close eye on what happens with Electromagnetic Launch System’s would be prudent.

          • (Chris H) Nigel – One of the advantages we have of buying F-35 in blocks over a period of time gives us a get out by NOT buying if it turns out as you suspect it will. As I say for the next 10 years I am perfectly happy with what it brings to the UK for a variety of reasons.

            Not sure we actually did a ‘U Turn’ on CATOBAR did we? The QEs were originally designed as STOVL for the UK (but CATOBAR for France) and it was reviewed in SDSR2010 but never changed given the costs and unproven state of the EMALS systems. Or rather the Converteam EMCATS system which was the UK system and was (in 2010) further advanced than GA’s EMALS. Probably why GE bought Converteam for $3.2 Bn

            Given when this was written in June 2009 it makes intriguing reading:

            https://www.theengineer.co.uk/issues/1-june-2009/could-electromagnetic-launch-systems-feature-on-future-carriers/

      • No, the USAF is most definitely not looking at a hybrid platform of an F-22 airframe carrying F-35 systems.

        It’s been studied enough, the costs of putting the F-22 back into production would be enormous, totally not worth it.

        The USAF is looking to develop a 6th gen fighter. A modicum of googling will reveal all that is publicly known.

  3. Lets get the first batch of F35b (48) all delivered, then I think discussions will be had. I believe we should have between 72-90 of them to fully compliment our carriers. After that, I would rather see an order of latest Tranche Typhoons rather than the last 48-60 F35b.
    I would like to then see us sell the earlier tranche typhoons at a low cost to poorer European countries such as Romania, thus giving them a huge increase in combat effectiveness to protect Europe’s flanks, but also tie them in to UK based training, servicing and upgrades. This could ultimately lead them to buy new typhoons down the line or Tempest if it actually happens.

  4. I am no expert but everything I have read about F35 says that it it is not an air superiority fighter but that in partnering a true air superiority fighter with an F35, we would have a formidable force. That is why we need a maritime Typhoon, I am seriously worried about our carriers with just F35Bs to protect them.

      • Agree the F35B will be capable of providing CAP andcarrier protection duties. Most air superiority or strike aircraft approaching our carriers will be detected by either Crowsnest or Sampson/ artisan and an F35B vectored onto them. The F35B aporoaching an inbound hostile will not be detected therefore they will have the jump on all but the very best aircraft with ESA radars.
        I would like to see a firm commitment to increase our defence budget to 3% and increase in Eurofighter typhoon numbers via a batch 4 order for 48 aircraft and at least 90 F35Bs in active service. Currently the RAF and Fleet Air Arm are too small and lacking combat jet numbers. With Brexit fast approaching we need to revert back to a strong defence posture and not allow anyone EU, Russia or any foreign power to bully or encroach on our EEZ or territorial waters, air space or overseas territories.

    • As I’ve said before in an earlier piece, BAE did a design study on marinising the Typhoon. But as we jumped in bed with US with the F35 any further development was cancelled.

      However, I did a study on the aircraft that are currently Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) capable. These aircraft are designed to operate from the Kuznetsov type carriers and must have a very high thrust to weight ratio for take-off, these are the Mig 29K (0.97) and SU33/J15 (0.83). The Kuznetsov carriers have a slightly shorter flight deck than our QE class and use reaction boards to reduce the deck space required. So technically the Typhoon with a thrust to weight ratio of 1.15 would have no difficulty taking off. To make a point the ski ramp at pax river has successfully been used by F18 Super Hornets and they have a thrust to weight ratio of 0.93.

      Food for thought!

      • Not really. As you say, your idea of a marinised Typhoon was studied and rejected many years ago.

        And it wasn’t the F-35 that killed the idea. It was the huge development cost for an aircraft that wouldn’t provide anything that an F-18 couldn’t offer (let alone an F-35C) with potential sales of no more than a few dozen.

        The fundamental problem with STOBAR is that the aircraft involved have a poor payload/range performance. Loaded for bear, the land version of Typhoon (not a heavier marine version) has nowhere near a 1.15 thrust to weight ratio. I think MTOW is about 50k lbs and max thrust just over 40k lbs. And that max thrust is not achievable in hot conditions like in the Red Sea or Indian Ocean. So yes, they could take off but only with very limited stores and/or fuel.

        • The Typhoon’s thrust to weight ratio stated is I admit for a clean aircraft, with a war load is probably closer to the F18E’s. So theoretically launching a Typhoon off a carrier is doable when using a ramp for assisted take-off as per the recent F18 demonstration. The Typhoon’s weapon load should be better if not comparable to the Mig29K.
          The Typhoon still does very well for itself in very hot climates for example Saudi. I have witnessed two taking off with a full bomb load and once past the threshold going vertical. Only a very few Western aircraft can do that such as F15 and F18, the dear old Tornado not a chance.

  5. Wouldn’t it be nice if an RAF F35B Pilot could offer an honest opinion(anonymously of course) as to what he thinks of his steed’s performance

  6. We have to remember that it has often taken years before we see a fighter platform reach its full potential, just like with the Typhoon. Lets hope we see the same from the F35 after all the money spent. In 2 or 3 software updates, I would hope we get to see its operating envelope widen significantly
    However, especially with the ‘b’ version, an out-and-out air superiority fighter it aint and to round out our carrier capability we really should be thinking of augmenting the F35 in the long term. Short take off, arrested landing aircraft that can work with the F35 and make up for its short-comings, as per David’s comment above. The F35 will cope with anything anyone bar the Americans can launch from a carrier, but that wont be the case long term. God forbid we ever go to war with the likes of China, who knows what capability they will have in 20-30 years time from a carrier. We have to plan for that, and be able to meet that capability. For me, there has to be a navalised Tempest type platform, but I know many will disagree. I guess it comes down to the argument of whether we plan to only ever augment a combined effort (F35 only adequate alongside the Americans) or if we plan to be able to fight alone (multiple platform types required).

    • Well hopefully in the 2030s when QE goes in for her midlife refit, and perhaps the F35 is showing her age slightly, I would of course love to see them converted to CATOBAR flying a form of Tempest(Sea Tempest???) and perhaps order a small batch of F35Cs to work along side as strike aircraft, also E2D and whatever else.
      But this is all very much fantasy fleet stuff and it will never happen but in ideal world it probably should happen, along with a third carrier, and 12 T46s, and 16 T26s but this is very very much fantasy unfortunately and never gonna happen, but one can dream that politicians will wake up and see the power of sea power on the global stage!

  7. It’s a pity they have not chosen to transfer over the RAPTOR pod, big loss in tactical recon not just for the UK but all allied forces. With Typhoon’s high ceiling it could have returned Canbera levels of performance.

  8. If you go back in time to the concept art of the Agile Combat Aircraft (when France was still part of the team) what would become the Rafale and Typhoon had twin fins. The ACA design incorporated 2D thrust vectoring nozzles and boundary layer control instead of flaps. At some point the twin fins, TVN and boundary layer control was rejected by BAE possibly on cost and complexity.

    The twin fins do give an aerodynamic advantage when the aircraft is at high alpha angles or banked over at 90 degrees. It does not provide a stealthier design per say i.e. F15 unless the are canted i.e. F22. This is because a 90 degree surface provides an ideal RF reflector. By canting the fins to a different angle causes the reflection to be “bounced” away from the transmitter. There are other reasons why 90 degree angles are useless for stealth, but unless you’ve studied electromagnetic surface interaction it’s not an easy process to describe in this format.

    The main issue for stealth purposes with either a single or twin fin is the material of the fins and the construction method and tolerances used. Aluminium alloy is a beautiful conductor of RF whilst carbon fibre is not. The carbon fibre matrix is a poor conductor but depending on the cut length of the fibres/wavelength it will re-radiate. There is fine line between absorption and re-transmitting properties which are determined by the fibre orientation, fibre length, glue properties and the wavelength of the radar used. For long wavelength radar CF with a epoxy neutral resin is a good RAM, but as the frequency increases there will be a point at which the CF resonates. However, for the design of the fin to work you need actuators for the rudder, fittings etc which invariably are good conductors and must be screened.

    To make the Typhoon more stealthy you will have to replace a number of parts with parts made from stealthier materials and generally clean it up (close the gaps). The aircraft already has the leading edges of the canards, main wing and engine intakes coated with RAM. But a new fin constructed from a new RF absorbent material is highly feasible. However the general rounded fuselage shape cannot be designed out or the lack of an internal bomb bay to hide the weapons. So, yes the radar cross section can be further reduced but there will be a point of diminishing returns whereby the cost and effort will become negligible.

    This is the reason why BAE/MoD are looking at the Tempest as it will be designed from the start with stealth features, perhaps using a combination of thrust vectoring and Magma control surface technology (no flaps or fins), an internal weapons bay, flattened airframe with no 90 degree or rounded surfaces, perhaps a Reaction Engines pre-cooler for addtitional thrust and a higher operating altitude.

    For the Tranche 1 Typhoons, I think a better option would be to lease these to the poorer NATO countries, but have BAE/Mod provide both logistic and maintenance support. We have proven that the combined RAF/BAE system maintains sufficient aircraft to meet operational criteria unlike what’s happening in Germany. It would provide these countries with a very capable supported aircraft.

    • Typhoon is a very expensive aircraft to run.

      There just won’t be any countries interested in the T1’s. Any countries looking to lease a modern fighter will go with the Gripen as there will be a load of Gripen C’s available soon and they cost a quarter of the money to fly compared to Typhoon.

      The current position regarding T1 is the best. Fly the arse off them on QRA, Aggressor and Falklands duties until 2030 then retire.

      • Report on Defence update.com in 2017:

        “Each F-35B will be able to carry two Meteor missiles and two air/ground weapons in the internal weapons bay for missions requiring stealth capabilities”

    • “The twin fins do give an aerodynamic advantage when the aircraft is at high alpha angles”

      I’m pretty sure you have that backwards i.e. the single taller tail fin works better at high AoA and that is the principle reason it was chosen for Typhoon.

      • Thank you Ron 5, It will be interesting in that case to see what might be lost in AoA if we included thrust vectoring and root extension kits to Typhoon and introduced the twin fins as well? Hopefully AoA would remain the same while improving its stealth capability? In the ideal world that is!

      • Its really an airframe package, you loose airflow over the vert stab. at high alpha when that occurs will depend on other aspects of the airframe. As with everything its a compromise. The B2 uses 4 control surface on the trailing edge to induce yaw instead of a rudder and vert stab. plus a very complex flight control system. Many US mock ups of 6th gen fighters have no vert stab. thus removing a the need to engineer a stealthy vert stab.

        I doubt we’ll see twin vert stabs or TVNs on the Typhoon. TVNs will add weight, so you need to move weight forward or add weight at the nose. More weight = less payload and range hence why there’s been no rush to include them. Although the boy in me thinks a Typhoon in this config will look awesome 🙂

        • Expat-Rolls Royce at looking at increasing the current output from 90kN to 112kN of wet thrust (25% increase in additional thrust) for the new engine and possibly a little bit more.Clearly this could help solve the problem?

          Alternatively the RR engine being designed for Tempest will sit deep inside the aircraft (weight forward) and with greater thrust compared to the current EJ200. Not sure if this would fit inside the Typhoon and solve the problems you mentioned. It could also serve as a useful testbed if it can?

          • Depend if the extra thrust comes will a fuel efficiency penalty. Extra thrust will get more weight of the ground but if I burn more fuel I’ve traded off range. However if the engine is more fuel efficient I get that back.

            The core of the EJ200 is probably a good starting point for future engine. However I would like to see the F136 back into development but in the UK for a number of reasons.
            1) It was more powerful than the PW 135 powering the F35.
            2) Rolls were involved so would give UK military Engine sales boast, F35 customers would have choice.
            3) The f135 may be used in other military projects, Rolls could complete in these.
            4) The F135 will be developed into a variable bypass engine, the F136 would also undergo the same development. Tempest would need variable bypass engine allow efficient super cruise.
            5) The F136 would have plenty of additional power for direct energy weapons.

            I don’t know why the f136 was cancelled. US lobbying I suspect but quite why the UK didn’t step in and assist with funding the remaining development and ordering the F136 for the UK aircraft was short sighted. The PW F135 still has problem and the F136 could have become the preferred choice.

      • Possibly, it all depends on the design of the wing and if it causes loss of yaw authority due to the turbulence generated by the wing and fuselage at high alpha angles. From memory the lower 1/2 to 2/3 of the fin/rudder becomes ineffective hence why there were a significant number of aircraft designed with the twin fins. I think that on trapezoidal style wing designed for dog fighting i.e. the F18 they had twin fins for more yaw authority at high alphas with the goal of increasing nose pointability by using the LERX generated vortexes and upper fuselage strakes aimed at the fins. Other aircraft such as the F15 may have required the twin fins due to suffering from lack of authority at high angles of attack due to the turbulence created by the fuselage.

        The Typhoon with its close coupled delta would still greatly benefit from a smaller twin fin arrangement over a single fin for the high alpha pointability reason, it’s one of the reasons why the tail fin is so large. Thrust vectoring and boundary layer control would also help greatly, possibly negating the requirement of a fin altogether.

        The other benefit of twin fins is the added yaw authority when flying supersonically.

          • Ron, I think your being unfair. DaveyB pretty much on the money. Put simply, you point the nose up the airflow that would have reached the vert stab is reduced and/or turbulent as the nose is now in the way thus reducing the effect of the vert stab. So you can split the vert stabs move them outward you improve the airflow or make a bigger vert stable bigger like that have done on the Advanced Hawk which has improved AoA due to the new slatted wing. Its a complex subject but Davey8 contribution is at the right level, this is not an aeronautical design website.

  9. (Chris H) Volker Paltzo is fighting for his well paid job while facing the reality he will lose it when Typhoon production ends (without further orders) in early 2023. And who in their right minds will now order a Typhoon when the constituent owners (BAE, Airbus and Leonardo) are heading of in opposite directions. Anyone considering a non US aircraft will wait to see what Tempest or the EU Dream Machine will look like now. What he doesn’t mention is that the EU carved this consortium up for political ends to teach the UK a lesson for leaving the EU forgetting that the majority shareholders (BAE -33% and Leonardo -21%) are now in Team Tempest – Oops!

    Clemens Linden, Eurojet TURBO GmbH CEO, is in the same boat with Paltzo. He is out of a job come 2023 whatever happens as the Eurojet majority shareholders (RR – 33%, AVIO Italy – 21% and ITP Spain but owned by RR – 13%) will not be part of the EU project and they will not get EJ200 engines in any variant with production moved from Germany to the UK. and RR is a key member of Team Tempest with AVIO closely connected to Leonardo

    It makes me laugh how the Europeans laud this project while turning their backs on us in Galileo and their new fighter programme. Hypocrites the lot.

    • LOL, And we’re bending over backwards to please them? What a joke.
      I hope to see the day when we leave the EU holding onto the £39 Billion and saying goodby. Lets see what they can afford to build then!

      • (Chris H) Nigel – You may just get your wish the way Barnier is acting up. The EU are hoist on their own petard of “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” so no trade deal we walk away with ‘No Deal’ and WTO rules. Suits me just fine.

        Its why they are still needling us to sign the ‘Withdrawal Agreement (including that £39 Bn) but we have said ‘No Thanks’ as we want the whole package but especially as it separates NI from the rest of the UK.

        However did we allow ourselves to be sucked into this political swamp? .. Oh wait no … we were never asked after 1975…

        • Fingers crossed! And when you include the money we’ll save after leaving the EU plus additional revenue from the foreign aid budget which can be more than justified….

    • I fear you may be overstating “team tempest”.

      I think all that has happened so far is that the MoD has given a small number of companies contracts to independently research various future technologies.

      In particular, Leonardo getting one of the contracts in no way implies that Italy is part of any future UK lead aircraft program.

      • (Chris H) ron5 – You have a knack of misrepresenting things for some reason. Or is it you don’t bother to read things and just drip out anything that minimises everything from the UK? Or outside the USA?

        ‘Team Tempest’ isn’t some random dishing out of contracts to individual companies as you suggest. Its a specific set of companies getting together to deliver a specific fighter aircraft under a ‘brand name’ and the group have been given ONE contract to develop the concept. And do it by evolving what we already have on Typhoon and yes Ron, what we have on F-35 by sourcing from LM or whoever.

        You really need to keep up as well because Leonardo are a big part of this already and say so on their own web feed:

        http://www.uk.leonardocompany.com/-/tempest

        “Standing alongside the Secretary of State and Chief of Air Staff were the senior management of the RAF Rapid Capability Office, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, MBDA and Leonardo, who together as Team Tempest signed a contract to provide the technologies, knowledge, skills and expertise to develop a Next Generation Combat Air System capable of operating in the 2040+ environment.”

        • The budget for this was announced in the2015 defence review.

          Each company has a separate contract with the MoD which they signed and announced earlier in this year.

          The joint signing you link to was pure PR.

          And Italy is not part of the program as you repeatedly insist.

          • (Chris H) Ron5 – I have this image of you standing with fingers in ears shouting ‘No I am not listening its all lies’

            Ron I just gave you Leonardo’s own website link and their comment which is where I got my information to make the comment I did challenging yours. And yet YOU just blanket deny it as ‘untrue’.

            What part of ‘you are wrong’ are you having trouble understanding exactly?

            Jesus H Christ with a hat on …

          • Don’t be so naive, those companies didn’t just go off and do all the work for Farnborough without having first signed contracts.

            The actual signing of contracts was announced on the MoD website earlier this year They didn’t get much attention at the time because the contracts were small and they were for future technology development. Not the sexiest of subjects. And no pretty, plastic full size model.

            May and her minions, jumped on the program and put together the Farnborough dog and pony show which, if you read the the UKDJ, is for development of a few future aircraft technologies and NOT to develop a new RAF aircraft as you were carefully led to believe.

  10. If you read people who are currently paid to know about this stuff, f 35 and eurofighter will work together, with the f 35 providing data to a eurofighter standing off to increase it’s survivability. Thus, tempest is not a validation of the eurofighter concept, but rather shows that stealth makes fighters much more survivable.

    • Hence the reason to invest our money in Magma and upgrade and increase the numbers of Typhoon instead. We will end up with 48 F35’s but not the proposed 138 I hope! Thats 48 by 2024 with a useful service life of six years according to military experts.

      “The biggest idea captivating Air Force leaders is that “near peer” adversaries, meaning Russia and China, are catching up with U.S. warfighting technology and may soon surpass it. The service stated in its Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan that “the Air Force’s projected force structure in 2030 is not capable of fighting and winning” against the “array of potential adversary capabilities” it will likely face.”

      • I can see us having around 70 to 80 F35Bs so we are able to surge numbers onto the carriers, 48 isn’t enough. If they were ever called into action both would need at least 24 active aircraft.

        I do however agree that we shouldn’t buy all 138, not unless its capabilities improve significantly over the life of the programme.

        Hedge our bets and buy enough for the carriers now, but wait to see what other options there are in 20 to 25 years when they need replacing. That might be the time to install cats and traps.

        Ordering more Typhoons to replace the GR4s would seem the best bet.

  11. I kind of like Typhoon, and I think it’s had Meteor or the capability of it since it test-fired the Metoer last year. It would be good to see it keep on going, and evolving. Yes, the T1s are expensive, and long maintenance schedules, compared to the Gripen.

    I also agree with a previous comment about the F35, look at the early “it’s a disaster” scenario, and where it is now. In a few years we’ll probably wonder how we did without it.

    • Right then.

      Photonic radar in its most basic form is LIDAR i.e. Laser detection and ranging. Therefor it requires the use of the ultra-violet, visable or infra red spectrum. The idea is to use lasers to mix synthetic aperture techniques with real time searching to generate either a very high resolution 2D picture or a lesser resolution 3D one. This brings along a multitude of problems mostly with signal processing. However the signal generated and received is less noisy so is technically easier to process, its just that’s there is so much data. If you think of today’s equivalent i.e. the RAF’s Sentinal aircraft, the majority of the cabin is taken up with computers to process the enormous amount of data generated. However, it does produce a high fidelity picture whereby items can be easily identified and tracked. Theoretically the photonic radar should be able to produce even higher resolution pictures.
      The LIDAR suffers from the same issues as laser weapons i.e. atmospheric dispersion and absorption. The other problem is the method used for beam forming and focusing. This can easily be achieved in larger lasers, but the idea is miniaturise the diode lasers and build them into arrays much like an AESA radar, so they can be fitted to “fighter” size aircraft. In another ten-fifteen years time we may be at point where it could be fitted to a commercial airliner sized aircraft.
      If they can crack real-time processing and the focusing of the miniature laser diodes this will be a step forward. Its not the silver bullet to stealth, but I believe working in conjunction with a wideband AESA radar will reduce the “current” effectiveness. It will drive a development of photonic absorbent materials much like radar did with RAM.

      • Actually I photonic radar is a name used for a couple of technologies. One is pure optical radar like LIDAR. The other is a normal Radio based radar that uses optical sensors to modulate the signal and provide a more precise and faster detection. It is the second form that is likely to be the one we see on the battlefield and LIDAR is not great over distance and can be affected by fog etc.

  12. I view aircraft stealth as being analogous to the introduction of camouflaged uniforms for the infantry.

    Both designed to make it harder to see and target. Neither pretends to make the user/wearer invisible. Just harder to target.

    Over the years, technology has evolved to make them less effective and in return, stealth & uniforms have also evolved.

    But at the end of the day, they have become mandatory. No infantryman in the world is going to war in a uniform that isn’t camouflaged. And no future aircraft will be non-stealthy.

    So to say that a fundamentally unstealthy aircraft like Typhoon will mount a future comeback as anti-stealth techniques improve, is to me like saying bright red uniforms will make a comeback for the infantry. Not gonna happen.

      • Really?
        “They will require substantial — and expensive — upgrades to bring them up to the latest Block 4 standard, after the new sensors and electronics become available in 2023.

        The cost of developing and implementing the Block 4 configuration is as yet unknown, and figures have been quoted of between $3.9 billion and as much as $16.4 billion.

        In any case, it is high enough that the F-35 Program Executive Officer, Vice Admiral Mat Winter, “said his office is exploring the option of leaving 108 aircraft in their current state because the funds to upgrade them to the fully combat-capable configuration would threaten the Air Force’s plans to ramp up production in the coming years,” according to an October 2017 report by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO)

        To our knowledge, European operators of the F-35 also have “overlooked” mentioning the cost of upgrading their older aircraft to Block 4 standard when reporting to their respective Parliaments, to which they will now have to go cap-in-hand to request the necessary funds. One can imagine the welcome they will receive from their lawmakers.

        And Block 4 is non-negotiable because unless upgraded, all F-35s delivered before 2023 will be severely limited in their capabilities and will only be able to use very few weapons.”

      • Why don’t you ask the RN & RAF guys and gals working on their F-35Bs at Marham?

        I suspect they will tell you that the first ones have already arrived. Is it 9? I’ve lost count.

        • Thank god its not 108!

          “In any case, it is high enough that the F-35 Program Executive Officer, Vice Admiral Mat Winter, “said his office is exploring the option of leaving 108 aircraft in their current state because the funds to upgrade them to the fully combat-capable configuration would threaten the Air Force’s plans to ramp up production in the coming years,”

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