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Eurofighter Typhoon

Eurofighter Typhoon at Farnborough (UK) in 2002.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine multirole canard-delta fighter aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of European nations formed in 1983.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Inventory
3 Combat Performance
4 Versions
5 Characteristics
6 Pictures
7 References
8 External links


The initial members were the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
In 1985 France withdrew in favour of the 100% French Avions de Combat Expérimentaux (ACX) project (which later became the Dassault Rafale). The remaining members agreed to split the development work between them as follows: British Aerospace (33%), Daimler-Benz (33%), Aeritalia of Italy (21%), and CASA of Spain (13%).

Over the next five years, design work continued, aided by data from the British Aerospace EAP prototype which had first flown in August, 1986. The maiden flight of the Typhoon prototype took place on March 27,1994 (then just known as the Eurofighter EF 2000). Messerchmitt-Bülkow-Blohm chief test pilot Peter Weger took the prototype on a test flight around Bavaria.

Development is carried out by Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, based in Munich and wholly owned by BAE SYSTEMS (formerly British Aerospace) in the UK, Alenia Aerospazio in Italy and the EADS Deutschland Aerospace Group (formerly DaimlerChrysler and incorporating Deutsche Aerospace AG) and EADS Spain (formerly CASA).

On July 2, 2002 the Austrian government announced the decision to buy the Typhoon as its new air defense aircraft. However, the contract wasn't signed at this time due to floods, an election and political controversy. The purchase of 18 Typhoons was finally signed on July 1, 2003. The cost was EUR 1,959 million and included 18 aircraft, training for pilots and ground crew, logistics, maintenance and a simulator. The full, fly-away price of a single Typhoon works out as EUR 62.9 million.


Despite many delays and controversies over cost, the Typhoon is now in series production.

Current orders for the participating nations are 232 for the United Kingdom, 180 for Germany, 121 for Italy, and 87 for Spain.

In British service, the aircraft is supposed to replace the Tornado F3 and the Jaguar GR3A. The Tornados will be replaced from 2006-2010, and the Jaguars from 2010-2014. Initial deliveries of the Typhoon to the RAF have begun. The first unit to form will be an Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Conigsby in 2004. The initial designations for the RAF aircraft are T1 for the two seater trainer, and F2 for the single seater operational fighter.

An extensive overseas sales effort has so far yielded an order from Greece for 60 aircraft, and an order from Austria for 18 units. Norway has also expressed interest, but has yet to buy any Eurofighters. Other countries expressing interest include Australia, Chile, Brazil, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Combat Performance

For a detailed comparison of the Typhoon and other fighters see: Comparison of 2000s fighter aircraft.

The Typhoon's combat performance, particularly compared to the upcoming F/A-22 Raptor and F-35 fighters under development in the United States, has been the subject of some speculation. While making a complete assessment is impossible on publicly available information, there is a study by DERA comparing the Typhoon with other contemporary fighters. Whilst the Typhoon lacks the all-aspect stealth technology of the F/A-22, the design does incorporate many low-observable features resulting in a much smaller radar cross-section than earlier fighters. It is also capable of sustained supersonic cruise without using afterburners - the only fighter other than the F-22 capable of it. According to EADS, the maximum speed possible without reheat is Mach 1.5 (although this drops to Mach 1.3 with an air-to-air weapons load).

The DERA Study

Britain's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (now split into QinetiQ and DSTL) did an operational evaluation comparing the Typhoon with other fighters in how well they performed against an expected adversary aircraft, the Sukhoi Su-35.

The study used real pilots flying the JOUST system of networked simulators. Various western aircraft were put in simulated combat against the Su-35. The results were:

F/A-22 Raptor     10.1 : 1
Typhoon            4.5 : 1
Rafale             1.0 : 1
Su-35              1.0 : 1
F-15C              0.8 : 1
F/A-18+            0.4 : 1
F/A-18C            0.3 : 1
F-16C              0.3 : 1

These results mean, for example, that in simulated combat, 4.5 Su-35s were shot down for every Typhoon lost.

The "F/A-18+" in the study was apparently not the current F/A-18E/F, but an improved version. All the western aircraft in the simulation were using the AMRAAM missile, except the Rafale which was using the MICA missile.

One must bear in mind that the full details of the simulation haven't been released, making it hard to verify whether it gives an accurate evaluation of the capabilities of these aircraft (for instance, whether they had adequate knowledge of the Sukhoi and Raptor to realistically simulate their combat performance). Nor is the DERA an entirely disinterested party, as part of the British defence establishment.




Eurofighter Typhoon.

Eurofighter Typhoon DA2.


External links