The Ministry of Defence say the project to demonstration, manufacture and integrate AESA radars with the Typhoon fleet is “continuing at pace”.

Kevan Jones, Member of Parliament for North Durham, asked via a Parliamentary written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made on fitting the AESA radar to the UK Typhoon fleet.”

Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, answered:

“The Ministry of Defence is committed to implementing an Active Electronically Scanned Array radar on our Typhoon fleet. The demonstration and manufacture phase for the UK’s variant of the European Common Radar System is continuing at pace, and in June 2020 a contract was let with our European partners to develop a common integration solution across the Typhoon radar enterprise.”

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Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
2 months ago

Yeah, but do we have a target ISD for an AESA installation on RAF Typhoons? Or is it all talk and little action?

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 months ago

You do wonder if MPs have the intelligence to formulate a question that requires a correct and succinct answer rather than one that just goes through the motions?

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
2 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

This question is ‘placed’. The government needs an excuse to raise this important point so they rope in a sympathetic Opposition M.P. and give him the question to ask at a given point in proceedings. Why Kevan Jones, a Blairite, lasted in the Labour Party under Corbyn is another question again.

BB85
BB85
2 months ago

That is one of the most BS answers I have seen in a while. What a load of waffle. That date means nothing. It looks like it will be 2030 before we see Aesa on UK Typhoon.
It’s starting to make more sense to do what other posters mentioned and put the gen 1 aesa on tranche 2 then use gen 2 on tranche 3 plus the first tranche of Tempest.

Aethelstan the curioAreus
Aethelstan the curioAreus
2 months ago

My, out of date experience of politicians, was that once they’d said or stated the words the cuedos was had and spent. Trivial things like where’s the money and completion didn’t spin. I guess little changes.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
2 months ago

“….with our European partners to develop a common integration solution across the Typhoon radar enterprise”
Does that mean UK is joining the the German/Spanish initiative to develop an AESA for Typhoon?

BB85
BB85
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

No, the UK already lead most of this development, then when the mod saw how much the F35 radar was changed their requirements and requested a gen 2 instead of the gen 1 under development.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Indeed from what I remember the ‘gen1’ has been basically hanging around in prototype form for more than 10 years waiting for funds to bring it into service. Then just as they thought they had better think about it, the F35 radar showed that things had come on a bit while it sat there attracting dust and of course some aspects of it were by then relying upon increasingly out moded parts and tech so that rather than introduce it in that form, it was put through an update to bring it up to state of the art performance again… Read more »

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

What a load of nonsense. In many respects Mk 0 (the old Radar 1+) as is being fitted to Kuwaiti and Qatari Typhoons is more advanced than APG-81 (F-35) – it has a repositioner, for starters.

dan
dan
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

What evidence do you have that it will be better than the AN/APG-81 that has been flying operationally for a a few years? Most of the what it does is classified so unless you have first hand knowledge of the radar you are just wildly guessing.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  dan

I’ve spoken to plenty of people who have used APG-81, and some of the few who’ve used or experienced Captor-E. Why is it contentious that a radar whose design was only finished a couple of years ago should be more advanced than one dating from the 1990s?

john melling
2 months ago

Been all talk and little action on AESA for years.
So little progress from the UK and Italy still dragging this out!
But Germany, Spain seem to be making more progress

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
2 months ago
Reply to  john melling

Yes. 2023 is the target date for Germany/Spain AESA. This is rather optimistic since Hensoldt doesn’t have any fighter aircraft AESA. Ground and ship radars are one thing, but making it smaller and lighter for an aircraft is a different story. I would not be surprised to see that date slip, but at least they have overcome the toughest hurdle -> political will.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

They’re basically using a developed version of the existing AESA being integrated for Kuwait and Qatar

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

No they are not. Hensoldt is developing the radar for German and Spanish Typhoons. The Kuwait Typhoons are going to be using the Gripen radar made by Leonardo. Hensoldt and Leonardo have no joint ventures etc….

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

That’s absolutely wrong. The Raven radar on Gripen is entirely different – it does have a repositioner, but of different design. The Qatar and Kuwait Typhoons have a version of Captor-E, MK 0 (previously known as Radar 1 Plus). The German and Spanish Typhoons will use this radar, which then will be upgraded to MK 1 standards through the addition of a new multi-channel digital receiver and new TRMs. Hensoldt are part of Euroradar, with Leonardo.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  john melling

The UK has made lot’s of progress, and the radar 2 version we will get will be the finest in the world, and will surpass the AN/APG81 being mounted on gimbal will give it a far wider scan range, along with electronic attack, which isn’t available on the radar 1 version. Buying that version would simply be a waste of money.

ETH
ETH
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

It was my understanding that the 2nd generation of the UK radar would not be compatible with Trance 1 Typhoons?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  ETH

I think that is correct. But our tranche 1 aircraft are used for training, air defence, and aggressor training only, and probably wouldn’t be deployed overseas, unless it was for an air defence mission. Tranche 2 can also can take the new radar.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  ETH

Notionally, no AESA is compatible with Tranche 1. The UK AESA testbed is a T1 Typhoon, however, so it is possible, but would require a lot of obsolescence removal in the avionics, and the judgement is that it would not be cost effective. However, just watch what happens to surplus T1 aircraft, which are likely to gain an AESA when resold to new operators.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  john melling

Hardly. Germany and Spain have just decided on Mk 0 as a retrofit option for their in service T2 and T3 Eurofighters, with a later upgrade planned to Mk 1 (same radar, with a new digital multi-channel receiver and new transmitter/receiver modules (TRMs)

The UK is going for the more advanced Radar 2, which has a different antenna and expanded electronic attack capabilities.

John Clark
John Clark
2 months ago
Reply to  john melling

It’s not really a surprise, we do this all the time. The idea behind Typhoon was a single multi roll fighter, spread across the squadrons. What we end up with is ‘ fleets within fleets’ as per usual. I do recall there was a plan to retro fit AESA to batch 2 Never happened. We might eventually get some batch 3 AESA radars fitted, at some vague point after 2025, I won’t hold my breath. I expect much tax payers money spent and little bang for our buck, it’s the usual outcome when you mix piss poor MOD management and… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
2 months ago

I don’t understand the answer. The recent German announcement indicated that the German implementation was not to be the same as the UK so what is this “common integration solution” ??

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Same i am confused. Does euro partner refer to German/Spain AESA initiative, or a Sweden/Leonardo partnership since they will need to design a radar for Tempest?

BB85
BB85
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

I was under the impression they are all under the one initiative. Germany, Spain and Italy are integrating the gen 1 Aesa radar. The UK has decided against decided the fund a more advanced gen 2 version to include electronic attack but its all part of the same radar program.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
2 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Not really.
1. Leonardo is working with Sweden to equip Gripen with AESA. I have read that this will be the smae radar mounted on Kuwait Typhoons
2. Germany announced it was going to fully develop and equip its own radar with Hensoldt as the contractor. Spain then joined them for their Typhoons who will replace their F18.
3. The UK is still not clear (time, contractor etc…), and this latest announcement doesn’t say much.
It seems there are 3 different versions of AESA for Typhoon. Although this article mentions a common euro solution, which raises more questions than answers.

expat
expat
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Would agree, Germany is now building its capability and with Spain is now developing its own solution ground up. For 2 reasons, Germany has seen defence as good way to boost it economy post Covid 19 and also because they need capability to contribute the the French/German FCAS program. Defence is the best way to ensure investments stay within your country if you’re part of the EU.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  expat

This brings back the old story actually which I read recently that led up to the design that resulted in the Typhoon. Germany nearly dropped out and ended up delaying things not for the last time because it wanted its own radar solution. Meantime Britain and Italy not sure about Spain wanted the British (Feranti I believe) radar which is now the basis of the Leonado efforts today. It was always intended to develop and evolve into the AESA version as I mention above 10 plus years ago, but the current version was deemed good enough to delay that and… Read more »

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  expat

Wrong. The Hensoldt radar is a derivative of Mk 0 for Kuwait and Qatar. It is in no way new from the ground up.

WeeWill
WeeWill
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

So basically the Rt Hon Jeremy Quin has not noticed the rest of Europe f*****g off in the other direction without him. Or he has and is ignoring it, giving a completely pointless answer anyway.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  WeeWill

Hardly. Two of four European partners have decided to adopt a minimum change version of the export AESA.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Nope.

1) No commonality between Raven (Gripen E radar) and Radar 1+/Mk 0 for Kuwait/Qatar.

2) The new Hensoldt version of Captor-E will only be for existing German T2/3 and Spanish T3 Typhoons.

3) Radar 2 for the UK is in development and manufacture.

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Sorry, this is a long one….. The Typhoon’s original radar the Captor-M is designed and manufactured by a consortium (EuroRadar), just like the aircraft. Hensoldt, Indra, Finmeccanica and Selex. Subsequently, Finmeccanica and Selex have now been combined under Leonardo and Hensoldt comes under the EADs (Airbus) banner. Leonardo is the lead partner of the consortium. Indra and Hensoldt were originally making the gimbal and antenna. Hensoldt in particular have been the leader in developing the AESA transmitter/receiver modules (TRMs), whilst the Edinburgh based Selex ES were developing the processing. The Captor-M has had a multitude of software updates to enhance… Read more »

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Nope. Germany and Spain have selected Mk 0>Mk 1 for their Tranche 2/3 and Tranche 3 aircraft. No decision yet on Quadriga and other new build Typhoons for Germany which may use Radar 2.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

It means a common hardware installation, software drops will be the difference between gen 1 radar, and gen 2. And also common integration between the rest of the Typhoons avionics, power and cooling systems. The back end of the radar is basically a Captor radar, with a new AESA antenna mounted on a moving gimble that gives it far wider scan angles compared to say the AN/ANG81 in the F35. Gen 2 will offer electronic attack, and more capable of detecting stealthy aircraft, plus other sneaky stuff that will be classified. It will be worth the wait 👍

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Nope: There is no hardware commonality between the Export radar (MK 0) the eventual German radar (MK 1) and the UK radar (Radar 2). It is not accurate to use the terms Gen 1 and Gen 2.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

Hi Jon. You say in your own article radar 2 will have maximum commonality with radar 1 plus, especially with its hardware and operating interfaces. is the export radar mk0 a very different system to radar 1 & 2?. Cheers 👍

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Hi Robert. Originally, Leonardo and MoD sources sought to downplay the differences between Radar 1+ and Radar 2 – as they were then known. There was a political imperative to present a common E-scan programme. At that time, Radar 2 was presented as being much the same as Radar 1+, but with a new antenna. More recently, it has emerged that Radar 2 is effectively an all new system, with little hardware commonality. The export radar (Radar 1+, now known as Mk 0) is virtually identical to the radar for the German/Spanish AESA retrofit. The German T2/3 aircraft and Spanish… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

Thanks for the clarification Jon, I am now better educated. Good article by the way 👍

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Common hardware and driver installation and just the software different.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Good question. I suspect that we’re talking about a common interface for the original M-Scan, Mk 0, Mk 1 and Radar 2.

T.S
2 months ago

From what I have read, E Scan will be a good and fairly large aesa radar, but uses much of the back end from the old radar. The UK was working on one with all new back end stuff and electronic warfare capabilities. Apparently, we have said that if it’s not at least as good as the one on the F35, we wont consider it. However, it seems to have gone very quiet on the net in the last few years, so who knows what we will get if anything.

Mike R
2 months ago
Reply to  T.S

A LITENING 5 pod seems do do everything a basic gen 1 AESA E-Scan does passively for about $1.4m each. Could have much lower running costs than CAPTOR-E and still be upgraded. No EW radar jamming facility but could this be the reason for the recent publicity about Spear-3 EW?

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike R

That’s just nonsensical, Mike.

Mike R
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

Jon, Have you read the latest brochures about Litening 5 from Rafael and Northrop Grumman? They are most interesting but the point I was trying to make is that this bit of kit plus Spear- EW could make a handy upgrade for Tranche 2 and 3 Typhoons until E-Scan becomes available for Tranche 3. I hope I have clarified my point.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike R

I have. I am familiar with Litening. It does not do what an AESA does, and cannot give anything like the SA of even the most primitive AI radar, nor can it support AMRAAM/Meteor. It has a part to play, certainly but as an adjunct to the primary sensors.

Mike R
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

Thanks for your explanation Jon (most helpful) but where do you get your knowledge from? Do you work for Leonardo UK or MoD?

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike R

I’m a full time aerospace writer. In the last year I have spoken to numerous people at Euroradar, BAE, Selex, and the MoD.

Mike R
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

At last we have a specialist journo on whom we can trust for accurate, factual explanations not like some in the mass media. Hooray!

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

Whilst Litening does not have the attributes of a primary radar. It has been proven by both the German and US Air forces that it can be used as a “poor man’s” IRST. AMRAAM can definitely use the data derived from an IRST to attack another aircraft (as used by our Typhoons). The aircraft’s data link will give mid-course updates and can tell the AMRAAM when to go active. The USAF have not integrated the Litening pod with AMRAAM in this respect. So they are only using it as a passive situation sensor. Typhoon does have a known problem, that… Read more »

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

That’s nonsense – based on the claims by Até on Hush Kit. His ‘tactic’ was comprehensively rubbished by real Typhoon pilots on PPRuNe.

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

No, what is mentioned in the Hushkit archive “was” correct. But obviously our pilots became wise to the tactic. I have two friends still currently flying Typhoons and they have said the French tactic was used against then successfully, but the French overplayed their hand by trying to use it a lot. We developed a counter which mitigated the issue. The requirement of having a downwards looking PIRATE still stands.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

No, it wasn’t. The French tactic could only work against a single Typhoon flying straight and level, with no wingman, operating without DASS, and without any support from AWACS, radar, other platforms. And only if the attacking aircraft remained entirely emission free (making him vulnerable) and approached from dead astern before climbing to engage (vulnerable again). The tactic would not work outside of an academic training sortie. It’s absolute and complete bollocks.

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

Correct, it was only used in mock dogfights. As you quite rightly state, it should not work against an aircraft that has AEW coverage. The tactic is sound against any high flying aircraft, especially if its flying predictably. By flying low level and emission free. The Rafale’s OSF IRST will be looking straight up, where the opposing aircraft will be contrasted against the sky’s background. Yes, the aircraft has to climb and remain in the other’s blind spot, which is more than doable if timed correctly. But any aircraft with an IRST can perform the same tactic. However, if Rafale… Read more »

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Nonsense. This is simply too silly to dignify with a lengthy reply. Do you seriously think it’s that easy to sneak up on a Typhoon?

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

Silly, perhaps, but true! Don’t forget this tactic developed by the French was done in the mid 90’s when both jets had just come into service. So both the RAF and Armée de l’Air were investigating and developing how their respective aircraft could be used. Against a Typhoon today, even operating on its own, the pilot would have to be asleep for another aircraft to sneak up to it undetected. As hinted above, the Typhoon does have a means of detecting approaching “objects” from below and behind it! What my friends alluded to though, is that they would like something… Read more »

Graham
Graham
2 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Why did they not mount the IRST on the end of the starboard wing where the decoys are housed, the front of the wingtip pod is empty so had the space. From there it wouldn’t have obstructions.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham

Because you want the IRST close to boresight.

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

The Typhoon’s wing pods contain the ECM antennas, so there would be no room for an IRST.

It does not matter if the IRST is located near the aircraft’s centreline. If it was mounted on the wing tip, this would be a known fixed distance, where its angular moment is easily worked out. Therefore, all distance to object calculations would then take this into account.

Rob N
Rob N
2 months ago
Reply to  T.S

Perhaps we should Buy F-35 radars for Typhoon tranche 2 and then fit the mod 2 E-Scan to tranche 3. I am not sure if EASA can be fitted to tranche 1.

T.S
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

I dont think it can, the airframe would need reengineering and cost too much to be worthwhile.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

Why buy a previous generation E-scan that has no repositioner for any Tranche of Typhoon?

Cam
Cam
2 months ago

How’s goods the f35 Radar in comparison to gen 1 AESA?

Rob N
Rob N
2 months ago
Reply to  Cam

The E-Scan mod 2 could be better then the F-35 radar. It is obvious that the RAF thinks E-Scan mod 1 is not as good as the F-35 radar. The E-Scan has one notable advantage over F-35/F-22 radar. The Typhoon has lots of room in the nose and can fit a very large mechanical pointed plate. This in effect gives the Typhoon a much better area of reguard compared to the usual EASA radars.. So a mod 2 E-Scan will have a better radar coverage. Also it will be more modern and will have to be at least as capable… Read more »

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

The assumption that Mk 0 and MK 1 are inferior to APG-81 is dubious, at best. Compared to that F-35 radar, all Typhoon E-scan options have a repositioner, for starters, so all have a bigger field of regard. They’re also newer, with newer processors, TRMs, etc.

Rob N
Rob N
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

Please try and read what I wrote. I made no assumptions about the early E-Scan, I only mentioned that the RAF want something better hence the mod 2.

I covered the extra radar coverage in my comment.

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

You start with a fundamental misconception, Rob. It is NOT “obvious that the RAF thinks” that Captor-E in Mk 0 or Mk 1 form “is not as good as the F-35 radar.”

Captor-E already enjoys some advantages over APG-81 in the F-35 – Radar 2 is intended to provide further advantages, and new capabilities including use of the AESA as a data link and for jamming.

Steve
Steve
2 months ago

It is kinda strange that politicians that have made their lifetime goal of not answering straight questions, can’t see that a written question like that would not get a straight answer.

The question needs to be much more specific rather than massively open to interpretation like that one.

Steve
Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I can understand that a question asked in a live debate might not come across as what you wanted, but a written question you have time to think through how the answer would arrive.

Mark
Mark
2 months ago

A contract was let to develop. Typical mod speak meaning that at least a decade down the line it’ll be decided that its going down a dead end and we have wasted millions.

expat
expat
2 months ago

The MoD may be committed but is the government.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  expat

Has anyone asked Cummings after all there is little guarantee he has told even Boris about his plans and even if he has it’s highly unlikely it will have stuck in the bit between his ears.

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  expat

Dont the government hand the money to the MOD and they decide what it gets spent on within that budget?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
2 months ago

A December 2018 article that runs through the development of Captor-E and may help clarify some of the questions being asked.
https://monch.com/mpg/news/ew-c4i-channel/4578-ef-radar.html

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago

What a fabulous article…… !!!

Joe16
Joe16
2 months ago

Who is this Kevan Jones chap? He seems to be asking a lot of defence related questions for an MP for South Durham. Unless there’s a major MOD site or something there I don’t know about?

Jon Lake
Jon Lake
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Long track record of interest in defence:
Former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Veterans at the Ministry of Defence
Shadow Minister for the Armed Forces 2010-2015
Member of the special Select Committee set up to scrutinise the Bill that became the Armed Forces Act 2011.
Member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014

Mike R
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon Lake

He also is a member of the Defence Select Committee.

Grubbie
Grubbie
2 months ago

“Continuing at pace”, an unbelievably slow pace. Conformal tanks due for just before retirement.

Graham
Graham
2 months ago

Do we know of the RAF are planning to update both the Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 with Radar 2 ?

John Clark
John Clark
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham

The latest plans appear to suggest that Tranche 2 won’t now be retrospectively upgraded and a ‘silver bullet’ force of tranche 3 will be the only examples to receive the radar.

This can just keeps getting kicking down the road and the potential number of airframes so equipped, keeps shrinking.

Daveyb
Daveyb
2 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

I really don’t know what the RAF are thinking when it comes to keeping Typhoon up to date, especially with the emerging threats. Yes, the Captor-M pulse doppler radar is probably the best mechanical radar fitted to any fighter in the World today. However, the World keeps spinning and current aircraft will be having more up to date radars fitted. Then there are the new aircraft that are coming into production soon, such as the SU57 Felon and China’s J20 and J31 aircraft. Russia have also stated that the N036-1-01 X-band radar the Felon is getting will also be fitted… Read more »

Graham
Graham
2 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thanks Davey, excellent response.

So in effect if we want the Typhoon to remain relevant we need to move to AESA. As both T2 and T3 are supposed to serve throughout the 2030’s unless we update both that won’t be the case.

So in your opinion should we be joining the Germans now rather than delaying years or can we get the R2 the RAF want in similar time.

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham

It’s a difficult decision to make. The problem with the Radar 2 version, is that there is very little information on its progress or when it will be produced. I would like to say we should get the Radar 1+, but that all depends on whether the rumours are true, that it is in fact a completely different radar and component wise is incompatible with Radar 1+. However, the version that Germany and Spain will be getting is the same as what Kuwait are getting, but with enhanced software. This would at least be a very good starting point and… Read more »

Graham
Graham
2 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

What were the operational differences that made the Germans/Spanish branch of one way and the British/Italians another. I know the latter have F-35 but it must be more than that neither have sufficient numbers of F-35 and with finances tighter in future and block 4 delayed till 2026 at least and staggering upgrade costs for earlier F-35 it makes sense to hold off on F-35 till block 4. In which case we need to push Typhoon forward. We can’t wait while Russia/China are getting ahead and if not adversaries themselves they could sell to those that are. Time is not… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham

That’s a very good question. Both Germany, Spain and I’m going to include France, as you quite rightly point out, do not have the F35, whilst both Italy and the UK do. Is this enough to sway the doctrine of the countries down different paths? I would say yes! Without seeing what the F35 brings to the party, it is easy to overlook. Oh look, it’s just a new stealthy aircraft, which is actually quite slow and isn’t as handy in a dogfight. However, it cannot be emphasized enough, that the F35 as a complete package is game changing. Not… Read more »

Graham
Graham
2 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

In which case let’s hold off further purchases of F-35 till block 4 arrives and hopefully the unit price is lower in full rate production and in the meantime go full steam ahead with Radar 2 for both Tr2 and Tr3. With that in place we can order more F-35 at leisure from 2026 onward plus we’ll have a better understanding of what force mi we want longer term.

Graham
Graham
2 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB
John Clark
John Clark
2 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

An extremely thorough reply Davey, excellent. It seems to me that we’ve been promised AESA for Typhoon since 2012 ish, ‘it’s in development and just round the corner’. Well Typhoon is at the halfway point of its career and still nothing in sight! We have a limited budget to work with and the RAF is concentrating on ‘ bomb truck’, I don’t blame them, thats the mission the aircraft is being used for and integration of the GR4 arsenal has taken priority. It’s air mission currently entirely consists of shepherding Russian aircraft away from the UK and Baltic States, something… Read more »

Graham
Graham
2 months ago

I know this question is not about AESA but it refers to Typhoon capability:

Can anyone say if SPEAR-3 is planned to be rolled out to both the Typhoon and F-35 fleet or is it just one of the type, I’ve seen confusing comments recently so would like to know if someone can definitively say. Thanks.

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham

Spear 3 has been programmed in for both our F35s and Typhoon. There has also been rumours that RAF would like it on the P8.

John Clark
John Clark
2 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

If the integration money can be found, it would be an excellent choice for the P8, perhaps Protector too?