Eurofighter Typhoon

Eurofighter Typhoon

infobox Aircraft
name = Typhoon
type = Multirole fighter
manufacturer = Eurofighter GmbH

caption = A Eurofighter Typhoon F2 of the RAF
designer =
first flight = 27 March 1994
introduced = 2003
retired =
number built = 146 (as of May 2008) [ [ Eurofighter Typhoon ] ] 707 Ordered (as of January 2008)
primary user = Royal Air Force
more users = Luftwaffe Aeronautica Militare Ejército del Aire
status = Operational
unit cost = £68.9 million, [ [ NAO report (HC 98-ii 2007-2008): Ministry of Defence: Major Projects Report 2007 - Project Summary Sheets ] ] [ Fidler, Stephen. "Saudis confirm £4bn Typhoon deal." "Financial Times" 17 February 2007] 77.7 mil., [Saudi Arabia stresses that the unit price of £61.5 million (€77.7 million) is the same price that the RAF is paying. ] $122.5 mil. (2008 Unit Production Cost)
developed from = British Aerospace EAP
variants with their own articles = Eurofighter Typhoon variants

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine canard-delta wing multirole aircraft. It is being designed and built by a consortium of three separate partner companies: Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, and EADS working through a holding company Eurofighter GmbH which was formed in 1986. The project is managed by NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency) which acts as the prime customer. [ [ Description of NETMA on the Eurofighter website] ]

The series production of the Eurofighter Typhoon is underway, and the aircraft is being procured under three separate contracts (referred to as ""), each for aircraft with successively greater capabilities. The aircraft has entered service with the UK Royal Air Force, the German Luftwaffe, the Italian Air Force, the Spanish Air Force and the Austrian Air Force. Saudi Arabia has signed a GB£4.43 billion (approx. 6.4 billion c. 2007) contract for 72 aircraft.



The UK had identified a requirement for a new fighter as early as 1971. A specification, AST 403, issued by the Air Staff in 1972, resulted in a conventional "tailed" design known as P.96, which was presented in the late 1970s. While the design would have met the Air Staff's requirements, the UK air industry had reservations as it appeared to be very similar to the F/A-18 Hornet, which was then well advanced in its development. The design had little potential for future growth, and when it entered production it would secure few exports in a market in which the Hornet would be well established. Boot 1990, pp. 229-233.] Simultaneously, by 1979 the West German requirement for a new fighter had led to the development of the TKF-90 concept. Buttler 2000, p. 131-134.] This was a cranked delta wing design with forward canard controls and artificial stability. Although the British Aerospace designers rejected some of its advanced features such as vectoring engine nozzles and vented trailing-edge controls, they agreed with the overall configuration.

In 1979 British Aerospace and Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm presented a formal proposal to their respective governments for the ECF, the European Collaborative Fighter Buttler 1990, p. 134.] or European Combat Fighter. [ Eurofighter History] ] In October 1979 Dassault joined the ECF team for a tri-national study, which became known as the European Combat Aircraft. It was at this stage of development that the Eurofighter name was first attached to the aircraft. Butler 2000, p. 135.] The development of different national prototypes continued. France produced the ACX. The UK produced two designs. The P.106 [Strictly speaking, the P.106B. The P.106A was a single-engined version of the original P.96. Boot, 1990, pp.79–82.] was a single-engined "lightweight" fighter, superficially resembling the JAS 39 Gripen, the P.110 was a twin-engined fighter. The P.106 concept was rejected by the RAF, on the grounds that it had "half the effectiveness of the two-engined aircraft at two thirds of the cost". West Germany continued to refine the TFK-90 concept. The ECA project collapsed in 1981 for several reasons including differing requirements, Dassault's insistence on "design leadership" and the British preference for a new version of the RB199 to power the aircraft versus the French preference for the new SNECMA M88.

As a result the Panavia partners (BAe, MBB and Aeritalia) launched the Agile Combat Aircraft (ACA) programme in April 1982. Buttler 2000, p. 137.] The ACA was very similar to the BAe P.110, having a cranked delta wing, canards and a twin tail. One major external difference was the replacement of the side mounted engine intakes with a chin intake. The ACA was to be powered by a modified version of the RB199. The German and Italian governments withdrew funding, however the UK Ministry of Defence agreed to fund 50% of the cost with the remaining 50% to be provided by industry. MBB and Aeritalia signed up with the aim of producing two aircraft, one at Warton and one by MBB. In May 1983 BAe announced a contract with the MoD for the development and production of an ACA demonstrator, the Experimental Aircraft Programme. [Nicholls, Mark et al. "Eurofighter". Key Publishing "on behalf of Eurofighter GmbH", 2003. Retrieved: 23 May 2008.]

In 1983 the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain launched the Future European Fighter Aircraft (FEFA) programme. The aircraft was to have Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capabilities. In 1984 France reiterated its requirement for a carrier-capable version and demanded a leading role. The UK, West Germany and Italy opted out and established a new EFA programme.

In Turin on 2 August 1985 Italy, West Germany and the UK agreed to go ahead with the Eurofighter. The announcement of this agreement confirmed that France, along with Spain, had chosen not to proceed as a member of the project. [Lewis, Paul. "3 European Countries Plan Jet Fighter Project." "New York Times", 3 August 1985, p. 31.] Despite pressure from France, Spain rejoined the Eurofighter project in early September 1985. ["Eurofighter: Spain joins the club." "The Economist", 17 September 1985, p. 68.] France officially withdrew from the project to pursue its own ACX project, which was to become the Dassault Rafale.

Also in 1985 the BAe EAP was rolled out at BAe Warton, by this time also funded by MBB and BAe itself. The EAP first flew on 6 August 1986. [Fairhill, David. "Euro-fighter goes supersonic on maiden flight: First test flight of EAP aircraft in Lancashire." "The Guardian", 7 August 1986.] The Eurofighter bears a strong resemblance to the EAP. Design work continued over the next five years using data from the EAP. Initial requirements were: UK: 250 aircraft, Germany: 250, Italy: 165 and Spain: 100. The share of the production work was divided among the countries in proportion to their projected procurement - British Aerospace (33%), DASA (33%), Aeritalia (21%), and Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA) (13%).

1986 also saw the establishment of the Munich based Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH to manage development of the project [Cowton, Rodney. "Eurofighter partners: Britain, West Germany, Italy and Spain." "The Times", 7 June 1986.] and EuroJet Turbo GmbH, the alliance of Rolls-Royce, MTU Aero Engines, FiatAvio (now Avio) and ITP for development of the EJ200. The aircraft was known as Eurofighter EFA from the late 1980s until it was renamed EF 2000 in 1992. [Spick, Mike ed. 2000, p. 438.]

By 1990 the selection of the aircraft's radar had become a major stumbling block. The UK, Italy and Spain supported the Ferranti Defence Systems-led ECR-90, while Germany preferred the APG-65 based MSD2000 (a collaboration between Hughes (of the USA), AEG and GEC-Marconi). An agreement was reached after UK Defence Secretary Tom King assured his West German counterpart Gerhard Stoltenberg that the British government would underwrite the project and allow GEC to acquire Ferranti Defence Systems from its troubled parent. GEC thus withdrew its support for the MSD2000. [Miller, Charles. "Radar Deal Keeps Britain in Forefront of Airborne Technology." "The Press Association Ltd.", May 1990.]


The maiden flight of the Eurofighter prototype took place on 27 March 1994. [ "1994: Maiden flight for future fighter jet."] "BBC News", 27 February 1994. Retrieved: 19 March 2008.] Dasa chief test pilot Peter Weger took the prototype on a test flight around Bavaria. The 1990s saw significant arguments over work share, the specification of the aircraft and even participation in the project.

On 9 December 2004, Eurofighter Typhoon IPA4 began three months of Cold Environmental Trials (CET) at the Vidsel Air Base in Sweden, the purpose of which was to verify the operational behaviour of the aircraft and its systems in temperatures between -25 and -31°C. [ [ Target Lock: Eurofighter Typhoon] ]

In May 2007, Eurofighter Development Aircraft 5 made the first flight with the CAESAR (CAPTOR Active Electronically Scanning Array Radar) demonstrator system, [ [ FR News] ] a development of the Euroradar CAPTOR incorporating Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology.

The maiden flight of Instrumented Production Aircraft 7 (IPA7), the first fully equipped Tranche 2 aircraft, took place from EADS' Manching airfield on 16 January 2008. [ [ First Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoon Has Flown ] ]

When developed, the production version of the CAPTOR-E radar is being proposed as part of Tranche 3 of the Typhoon from 2012. Tranche 2 aircraft use the non AESA, mechanically scanned Captor-M which incorporates weight and space provisions for possible upgrade to CAESAR (AESA) standard in the future. [ [ Hopes Raised for Captor tests] ]


The first production contract was signed on 30 January 1998 between Eurofighter GmbH, Eurojet and NETMA. [ BBC] , "BBC News", 30 January 1998. Retrieved: 18 September 2007.] The procurement totals were as follows: UK 232, Germany 180, Italy 121, and Spain 87. Production was again allotted according to procurement: British Aerospace (37%), DASA (29%), Aeritalia (19.5%), and CASA (14%).

On 2 September 1998, a naming ceremony was held at Farnborough, England. This saw the Typhoon name formally adopted, however initially for export aircraft only. This was reportedly resisted by Germany; perhaps because the Hawker Typhoon was a fighter-bomber aircraft which served with the RAF during the Second World War against German targets. [ [ Storm over 'Typhoon' name for Eurofighter] , "BBC News", 2 September 1998. Retrieved: 18 September 2007.] In September 1998 contracts were signed for production of 148 Tranche 1 aircraft and procurement of long lead-time items for Tranche 2 aircraft. [Chuter, Andy. "EF2000 deal firms up first batch order." "Flight International", 23 September 1998.] In March 2008 the final aircraft out of Tranche 1 was delivered to the German Luftwaffe, from that date on only Tranche 2 jets will be delivered. [ [ 20080325_lastTR1 ] ]

Costs increases

In 1988 the Secretary of State told the UK House of Commons that the European Fighter Aircraft would "be a major project, costing the United Kingdom about £7 billion". [ [ "House of Commons Daily Debates, column 1055"] , Hansard.] It was soon apparent that a more realistic estimate was £13 billion, [ [;jsessionid=AM11JI5BMJVMZQFIQMFSFFWAVCBQ0IV0 Cost increase Eurofighter between 1983 and 2004] ] [ [ Air farce one] ] made up of £3.3 billion development costs [ [ COMPANY NEWS; European Consortium Gets Fighter Contract - New York Times ] ] plus £30 million per aircraft. [ [ European Fighter: Cost vs. Pride - New York Times ] ] By 1997 the estimated cost was £17 billion; by 2003, £20 billion, and the in-service date (2003; defined as the date of delivery of the first aircraft to the RAF) was 54 months late. [ [ The impact of the large cost overruns and delays] , "House of Commons".] [ [| Select Committee on Defence Sixth Report: Progress on key projects] , "House of Commons", 24 June 2004. Retrieved: 19 December 2006.] Since 2003 the Ministry of Defence have refused to release updated cost estimates on the grounds of 'commercial sensitivity'. [ [ NAO report (HC 98-i 2007-2008): Ministry of Defence: Major Projects Report 2007 ] ]



In late-1990 it became apparent that the German government was not happy about continuing with the project. The Luftwaffe was tasked to find alternative solutions including looking at cheaper implementations of Eurofighter. The German concerns over Eurofighter came to a head in July 1992 when they announced their decision to leave the project. However, on the insistence of the German government sometime earlier, all partners had signed binding commitments to the project and found themselves unable to withdraw.

In 1995 concerns over workshare appeared. Since the formation of Eurofighter the workshare split had been agreed at the 33/33/21/13 (United Kingdom/Germany/Italy/Spain) based on the number of units being ordered by each contributing nation. However, all the nations then reduced their orders. The UK cut its orders from 250 to 232, Germany from 250 to 180, Italy from 165 to 121 and Spain from 100 to 87. According to these order levels the workshare split should have been 39/24/22/15 UK/Germany/Italy/Spain, Germany was however unwilling to give up such a large amount of work. In January 1996 after much negotiation between UK and German partners, a compromise was reached whereby Germany would take another 40 aircraft from 2012. The workshare split is now 43% for EADS MAS in Germany and Spain; 37.5% BAE Systems in the UK; and 19.5% for Alenia in Italy. [ [ European Cooperation: Workshares, 15 December 2006] , "EADS". Retrieved: 19 January 2007.]

The next major milestone came at the Farnborough Airshow in September 1996. The UK announced the funding for the construction phase of the project. In November 1996 Spain confirmed its order but Germany again delayed its decision. After much diplomatic activity between the UK and Germany, an interim funding arrangement of DM 100 million ( 51 million) was contributed by the German government in July 1997 to continue flight trials. Further negotiation finally resulted in German approval to purchase the Eurofighter in October 1997.


On 21 November 2002, DA-6, the Spanish two-seater prototype crashed due to a "double engine flame-out", [ [ History in the Making] ] said to be specifically related to the experimental trial standard of engine being used by that aircraft. The aircraft went down but the two crew members escaped unhurt.


The Eurofighter Typhoon is unique in modern combat aircraft in that there are four separate assembly lines. Each partner company assembles its own national aircraft, but builds the same parts of all 620 aircraft.

*Alenia Aeronautica – Left wing, outboard flaperons, rear fuselage sections
*BAE Systems – Front fuselage (including foreplanes), canopy, dorsal spine, tail fin, inboard flaperons, rear fuselage section
*EADS Deutschland – Main centre fuselage
*EADS CASA – Right wing, leading edge slats

Production is divided into three "" (see table below) with an incremental increase in capability with each tranche. Tranches are further divided up into batches and blocks, eg the RAF's Tranche one twin seaters are batch 1 T1s and batch 2 T1As.

:Note: In addition to 9 new Tranche 1 aircraft, Austria will receive 6 used German Tranche 1 aircraft for a total of 15 Typhoons. For the delivered 6 used Tranche 1 aircraft receives Germany 6 Tranche 2 aircraft more. [ [ Der Darabos-Deal ] ]


In 1999, the Greek government agreed to acquire 60 Typhoons in order to replace its existing second-generation combat aircraft. [ [ "Eurofighter opens Office in Athens"] , "Eurofighter GmbH", 16 July 1999. ] However, the purchase was put on hold due to budget constraints, largely driven by other development programs and the need to cover the cost of the 2004 Summer Olympics. In June 2006 the government announced a 22 billion euro multi-year acquisition plan intended to provide the necessary budgetary framework to enable the purchase of a next-generation fighter over the next 10 years. The Typhoon is currently under consideration to fill this requirement. [ [ "22 bln earmarked for next decade as battle looms over fighter"] , "Kathimerini", 26 June 2006.]

On 2 July 2002, the Austrian government announced the decision to buy the Typhoon as its new air defence aircraft. The purchase of 18 Typhoons was finalised on July 1 2003, and included 18 aircraft, training for pilots and ground crew, logistics, maintenance, and a simulator. The future of this order has recently been questioned in the Austrian parliament. [ [,,1937681,00.html Democracy gridlocked by unstable coalitions] , "The Guardian", 2 November 2006.] On 26 June 2007, Austrian Minister for Defense Norbert Darabos has announced a reduction to 15 aircraft. [Heinrich, Mark. [ "Austria, Eurofighter agree cut in jet purchase."] "Reuters", 26 June 2007. Retrieved: 27 June 2007.] On 12 July 2007, the first of 15 Eurofighters was delivered to Austria and formally entered service in the Austrian Air Force. [ [ Eurofighter Typhoon Delivered To Five Nations] ,]

After unsuccessful campaigns in South Korea and Singapore, [ [ Typhoon hit by Singapore] ] on 18 August 2006 it was announced that Saudi Arabia had agreed to purchase 72 Typhoons. [ [ Saudi Arabia buys 72 Eurofighters] , "BBC News, 18 August 2006. Retrieved: 26 October 2006.] In November and December it was reported that Saudi Arabia had threatened to buy French Rafales because of a UK Serious Fraud Office investigation into the Al Yamamah ("the dove") defence deals which commenced in the 1980s. [Morgan, Oliver. [,,1962471,00.html "BAE in eye of the Typhoon."] "The Guardian", 3 December 2006. Retrieved: 20 December 2006.] However on 14 December 2006 Britain's attorney general, Lord Peter Goldsmith, ordered that the Serious Fraud Office discontinue its investigation in the BAE Systems' alleged bribery to senior Saudi officials in the al-Yamamah contracts, citing "the need to safeguard national and international security". [ [ Probe into BAE's Saudi defence deal dropped] , "Reuters", 14 December 2006. Retrieved: 14 December 2006.] "The Times" has raised the possibility that RAF production aircraft will be diverted as early Saudi Arabian aircraft, with the service forced to wait for its full complement of aircraft.Evans, Michael. "Saudis get Typhoons ahead of RAF." "The Times", 9 January 2007. [ Saudi Typhoons] 2007-01-09 Retrieved: 11 January 2007.] This arrangement would mirror the diversion of RAF Tornados to the RSAF. However, "The Times" has also reported that such an arrangement will make the UK purchase of its tranche 3 commitments more likely. On 17 September 2007 Saudi Arabia confirmed it had signed a GB£4.43 billion contract for 72 aircraft. [ Saudis Pay 4.43 Billion Pounds for 72 Eurofighters (Update1)] ] 24 aircraft will be at the Tranche 2 build standard, previously destined for the UK RAF, the first being delivered in 2008. The remaining 48 aircraft will be assembled in Saudi Arabia and delivered from 2011. [ [ Eurofighter Typhoon Multi-Role Combat Fighter, Europe] ] Saudi Arabia considers to order 24 additional jets in the future, [ [ Saudi may order 24 Eurofighter jets] , Reuters] more recent reports suggest that number may be as high as 60. [ [ U.K. Defense Ministry Forced To Revisit Procurement Premises] , AVIATION WEEK] or even 72 [ [ Saudis in talks for 72 Typhoons] ]

In March 2007, Jane's Information Group reported that the Typhoon was the favourite to win the contest for Japan's next-generation fighter requirement.Grevatt, Jon. [ "Japan narrows next-generation fighter requirement choice"] . "Jane's Defence Industry", 21 March 2007. Retrieved: 27 June 2007.] The other competitors then were the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-15E Strike Eagle. On 17 October 2007, Japanese Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba confirmed that Japan may buy the Typhoon. Although the F-22 was in his words "exceptional", it was not "absolutely necessary for Japan", and Typhoon was the best alternative. [ [ Japan may buy Eurofighter, defence minister says] , "Reuters", 17 October 2007. Retrieved: 20 October 2007.]

During the 2008 Farnborough Airshow it was announced that Oman is in an "advanced stage" of discussions towards purchasing a number of EF Typhoons as a replacement for its Jaguar aircraft. [ [ Oman Nears Eurofighter Typhoon Deal] , AVIATION WEEK] [ [ Franborough Airshow] ]

Other potential customers of the Typhoon are Bulgaria, India, [ [,0008.htm "India to shop for more combat aircraft"] , "Hindustan Times', 26 February 2006.] Denmark, [ [ "Terma klar til europæisk kampflysamarbejde"] "Jyllands Posten", 2006. [ EADS] Retrieved: 11 July 2007.] Pakistan [ [,,1888755,00.html#article_continue "Austria prepares to dump Eurofighter order"] "Guardian Unlimited" 6 October 2006] and Romania. [ [ Romania replaces the MiG-21 ro icon] , "Antena 3", 16 May 2007.] BAE Systems itself reports that Typhoon is "actively being promoted in a number of other markets including Greece, Switzerland, India, Turkey and Japan". [ [ BAE SYSTEMS Typhoon website - export markets] ] EADS had also invited India to join the Eurofighter program in April 2008; India is yet to take a decision in this regard. [ [ EADS invites India to join Eurofighter programme as partner] , The Financial Express] [ [ EADS Invites India to Join Eurofighter consortium] ]


Airframe and avionics

The Typhoon features foreplanes, and lightweight construction (82% composites = 70% carbon fibre composites + 12% glass reinforced composites). [ [ Carbon Fibre Composites] , Eurofighter GmbH]

The fighter achieves high agility at both supersonic and low speeds by having a relaxed stability design. It has a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire control system providing artificial stability, as manual operation alone could not compensate for the inherent instability. The fly-by-wire system is described as "carefree" by preventing the pilot from exceeding the permitted manoeuvre envelope.

Roll control is primarily achieved by use of the wing flaperons. Pitch control is by operation of the foreplanes and flaperons, the yaw control is by rudder. [ [ Eurofighter Flight Control Systems] ] Control surfaces are moved through two independent hydraulic systems that are incorporated in the aircraft, which also supply various other items, such as the canopy, brakes and undercarriage. Each hydraulic system is powered by a 4000 psi engine-driven gearbox. [ [ Eurofighter Hydraulics System] , Eurofighter GmbH.]

Navigation is via both GPS and an inertial navigation system. The Typhoon can use Instrument Landing System (ILS) for landing in poor weather.

The aircraft employs a sophisticated and highly integrated Defensive Aids Sub-System named Praetorian. [ [ "16 July 2008 - Farnborough day III: Rauen speaks, media listen"] , Eurofighter GmbH] Threat detection is provided by a Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), a Missile Approach Warning (MAW) and a Laser Warning Receiver (LWR). Protection is provided by Chaff and Flares, Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) and a Towed Radar Decoy (TRD).

Praetorian monitors and responds automatically to the outside world. It provides the pilot with an all-round prioritised assessment of Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface threats. It can respond to single or multiple threats.

The aircraft also features an advanced Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) based on the TERPROM Terrain Referenced Navigation (TRN) system used by Tornado but further enhanced and fully integrated into the cockpit displays and controls. [ [ BAE SYSTEMS delivers first Eurofighter Typhoon Ground Proximity Warning] , Eurofighter GmbH]


General features

The Eurofighter Typhoon features a "glass cockpit" without any conventional instruments. It includes: three full colour Multi-function Head Down Displays (MHDDs) (the formats on which are manipulated by means of softkeys, XY cursor and voice (DVI) command), a wide angle Heads Up Display (HUD) with Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR), Voice & Hands On Throttle And Stick (Voice+HOTAS), Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMSS), Multifunction Information Distribution System (MIDS), a Manual Data Entry Facility (MDEF) located on the left glareshield and a fully integrated aircraft warning system with a Dedicated Warnings Panel (DWP). Reversionary flying instruments, lit by LEDs, are located under a hinged right glareshield. [ [ Eurofighter cockpit] ]

The pilot flies the aircraft by means of a centre stick and left hand throttles. Emergency escape is provided by a Martin Baker Mk.16A ejection seat, with the canopy being jettisoned by two rocket motors. [ [ Eurofighter Cockpit Ingress & Egress] ]

Voice Control

The Typhoon DVI system utilises a Speech Recognition Module (SRM), developed by Smiths Aerospace (now GE Aviation Systems) and the then Computing Devices (now General Dynamics UK). It was the first production DVI system utilised in a military cockpit. DVI provides the pilot with an additional natural mode of command and control over approximately 26 non-critical cockpit functions, to reduce pilot workload, improve aircraft safety, and expand mission capabilities. An important technological breakthrough during the development of the DVI occurred in 1987 when Texas Instruments produced their TMS-320-C30 Digital Signal Processor (DSP). This greatly advanced the packaging of DVI from large complex systems to a single card module. This early advance allowed a viable high performance system. The project was given the go ahead in July 1997, with development and pilot assessment carried out on the Eurofighter Active Cockpit Simulator at BAE Systems Warton. [ [ Janes: AIRCRAFT CONTROL AND MONITORING SYSTEMS] ]

The DVI system is speaker-dependent, i.e. requires each pilot to create a template. It is not used for any safety-critical or weapon-critical tasks, such as weapon release or lowering of the undercarriage, but is used for a wide range of other cockpit functions. [ [ Defence Annual Report, p. 39.] ] [ [ Eurofighter capability, page DVI 36 - 38.] ] Voice commands are confirmed by visual or aural feedback. The system is seen as a major design feature in the reduction of pilot workload and even allows the pilot to assign targets to himself with two simple voice commands, or to any of his wingmen with only five commands. [ [ Eurofighter Direct Voice Input] ]

"g" protection

In the standard aircraft, "g" protection is provided by the "Full Cover Anti-"g" Trousers" (FCAGTs). [ [ Life Support System & Aircrew Equipment Assembly (AEA)] ] This specially developed "g" suit provides sustained protection up to 9 "g". The Typhoon pilots of the German Air Force and Austrian Air Force, however, wear an improved hydrostatic "g"-suit called "Libelle" (Dragonfly) Multi G Plus, [ [ Libelle Multi G Plus] ] [ [ Libelle Multi G Plus] German [ Translation] ] [ [ Multi G Plus officially for Eurofighter pilots introduced] DLGR Info 2005-03 p.3] which also provides protection to the arms, reducing arm-pain and theoretically allowing for more complete "g" tolerance.

Design Process

The design of the cockpit had involved the inputs from both test and operational pilots from each of the four partner nations from the feasibility and concept stage and throughout the design process. This has necessitated the use of specially commissioned lighting and display modelling simulation facilities and the extensive employment of rapid prototyping techniques.

PIRATE Infrared Search and Track

Eurofighters starting with Tranche 1 Batch 5 have the PIRATE (Passive Infra-Red Airborne Track Equipment) IRST (Infrared Search and Track System) mounted on the port side of the fuselage, forward of the windscreen. The PIRATE system was developed by the EUROFIRST consortium. Galileo Avionica (FIAR) of Italy is the lead contractor, Thales Optronics of the UK (system technical authority) and Tecnobit of Spain make up EUROFIRST.

PIRATE operates in two IR bands, 3-5 and 8-11 micrometres. When used with the radar in an air-to-air role, it functions as an Infrared Search and Track system (IRST), providing passive target detection and tracking.

In an air-to-surface role, it performs target identification and acquisition. It also provides a navigation and landing aid. PIRATE is linked to the pilot’s helmet mounted display. [ [ Eurofighter Typhoon] , Air Force technology.]

The first Eurofighter Typhoon with PIRATE-IRST was delivered to the Italian Aeronautica Militare in August 2007. [ [ 1st Eurofighter with PIRATE-IRST Radar delivered to Italian Air Force] ]



The Typhoon's combat performance compared to the new F-22 Raptor and the upcoming F-35 Lightning II (only 1% of F-35 the test programme completed in April 2008 [ [ Bill Sweetman, JSF Delays Pile Up 11. Aug. 2008] ] ) fighters being developed in the United States and the Dassault Rafale developed in France, has been the subject of much discussion. In 2008, the UK is dicussing a pullout from the F-35 project and instead the acquisition of a naval Typhoon [ [ Britain considers £9bn JSF project pullout and the acquisition of a NAVY Typhoon ] ] with thrust vectoring. [ [] german [ TVC Bestsellers and market leader] translated ]

In March 2005, United States Air Force Chief of Staff General John P. Jumper, then the only person to have flown both the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Raptor, talked to Air Force Print News about these two aircraft. He said,

Further, "The Eurofighter is certainly, as far as smoothness of controls and the ability to pull (and sustain high G forces), very impressive," he said. "That is what it was designed to do, especially the version I flew, with the avionics, the color moving map displays, etc. — all absolutely top notch. The maneuverability of the airplane in close-in combat was also very impressive."

The Typhoon is capable of supersonic cruise without using afterburner. This is referred to as "supercruise". According to the official German Luftwaffe and Austrian Eurofighter website, the maximum speed possible without reheat is between Mach 1.2 and Mach 1.5. [ [!/delta/base64xml/L3dJdyEvd0ZNQUFzQUMvNElVRS82XzdfMTBK&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=9&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Deurofighter%2Bsupercruise%26start%3D10%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3DV7n%26sa%3DN] ] [2005 AFM 198 p.39-45 Mach 1.21 with center drop tank 2 AIM-9 and 4 AIM-120 AFM] [ [ Austrian Eurofighter Supercruise M 1.5] [ Translation] ] "Air Forces Monthly" gives a maximum supercruise speed of Mach 1.1 for the RAF FGR4 multirole version. [cite news |first=Mark |last= Ayton |title=Kings of Swing |url= |work=Air Forces Monthly|pages=58-67 |publisher=Key Publishing |date= September 2008 |accessdate=2008-08-15 ]

In 2002, the MBDA Meteor was selected as the long range air-to-air missile armament of Eurofighter Typhoon. [ [ BAE Systems Preliminary Results Announcement 2002] , "BAE Systems". Retrieved: 29 October 2006.] [ Projects Report 2004] , "Ministry of Defence". Retrieved: 29 October 2006.] Pending Meteor availability, Typhoon will be equipped with the Raytheon AMRAAM. The current in-service date for Meteor is predicted to be August 2012.

The Eurofighter consortium claims their fighter has a larger sustained subsonic turn rate, sustained supersonic turn rate, and faster acceleration at Mach 0.9 at convert|20000|ft|m than the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, Mirage 2000, Rafale, the Su-27, and the MiG-29. [ [ Eurofighter Consortium] ] [ [ Eurofighter capabilities] ] [ [ Eurofighter Typhoon Operational Evaluation] ]

In 2005, a trainer Eurofighter T1 was reported to have had a chance encounter the previous year with two U.S. Air Force F-15Es over the Lake District in the north of England. The encounter became a mock dogfight with the Eurofighter allegedly emerging victorious. [ [ Eurofighter a shooting star in clash with US Jets] ] [MLt. Col. Gero Finke, service instructor pilot and captain of the 2nd squadron at 73 Fighter Wing "Steinhoff" based at Laage near Rostock, about mock aerial battles.] Verify source|date=May 2008

In the 2005 Singapore evaluation, the Typhoon won all three combat tests, including one in which a single Typhoon defeated three RSAF F-16s, and reliably completed all planned flight tests. [Defence Analysis August 2004] [ [ ] ] Verify source|date=May 2008 Singapore still went on to buy the F-15.

During the exercise "Typhoon Meet" held in 2008, Eurofighters flew against F/A-18 Hornets, Mirage F1s, Harriers and F-16s in a mock combat exercise. It is claimed that the Eurofighters won all engagements (even outnumbered 8 vs 27) without suffering losses. [ [ Eurofighter Typhoon] ] [ [!!/delta/base64xml/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS80SVVFLzZfMjBfR00x?yw_contentURL=%2F01DB060000000001%2FW27CWL9K208INFODE%2Fcontent.jsp Luftwaffe Eurofighter exercises (German)] ]

Air-to-ground capabilities

The Typhoon has always been planned to be a multi-role fighter with robust air-to-ground capabilities. Earlier than scheduled the RAF integrated the air to ground capability, based on the Rafael/Ultra Electronics Litening III laser designator and the Enhanced Paveway II/III laser guided bomb [ [ "Typhoon proves its air-surface capability"] , United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, 9 June 2008.] under the "Austere" programme. [ [ "Eurofighter Typhoon capability soars ahead with latest contract"] , Eurofighter GmbH, 20 July 2006.] A more comprehensive air-to-ground attack capability including Paveway IV, EGBU-16 bombs and a higher degree of automation will be achieved for all partner nations with the Phase 1 Enhancements currently in development.Schwarz, Karl. [ "Eurofighter Typhoon: production of Tranche 2 is under way."] "Flug Revue", June 2008.]

The absence of such a capability is believed to have been a factor in the type's rejection from Singapore's fighter competition in 2005. At the time it was claimed that Singapore was concerned about the delivery timescale and the ability of the Eurofighter partner nations to fund the current capability packages. [ [ "Typhoon air-to-ground ability near fruition."] "Flight Daily News", 21 February 2006.] With the planned Phase 2 Enhancements Eurofighter GmbH hopes to increase the appeal of Typhoon to possible export customers and to make the aircraft more useful to partner air forces.

Radar signature reduction features

Although not designated a stealth fighter, measures were taken to reduce the Typhoon's radar cross section (RCS), especially from the frontal aspect. [ Eurofighter Structural Design] ,] [ [ To survive in a present-day] ] An example of these measures is that the Typhoon has jet inlets that conceal the front of the jet engine (a strong radar target) from radar. Many important potential radar targets, such as the wing, canard and fin leading edges, are highly swept, so will reflect radar energy well away from the front sector. Richardson 2001, p. 113.] Some external weapons are mounted semi-recessed into the aircraft, partially shielding these missiles from incoming radar waves. In addition radar absorbent materials (RAM) developed primarily by EADS/DASA coat many of the most significant reflectors, e.g. the wing leading edges, the intake edges and interior, the rudder surrounds, strakes, etc. [ [ Airpower FAQ (German)] , [ English translation] ] The Typhoon does not use internal storage of weapons. External mounting points are used instead, which increases its radar cross section but allows for more and larger stores. [ [ F-22 weapons] ] The Typhoon's current Euroradar CAPTOR radar is relatively easy to detect when operating, unlike a few more advanced radars. For that reason the Eurofighter operates automatic Emission Controls (EMCON) to reduce the Electro-Magnetic emissions of the Radar. The German BW-Plan 2009 indicates that Germany will equip/retrofit the Luftwaffe's Eurofighters with the AESA Captor-E from 2012. [ [ Bundeswehr Plan 2009] , Page 67; German]

According to the RAF, the Eurofighter's RCS is better than RAF requirements. Comments from BAE Systems suggest the radar return is around one fourth of that of the Tornado it replaces. [ [ Structure] ] "No official figure are available, but the Eurofighter is understood to have an RCS under one square metre." The manufacturers claim the RCS of the Eurofighter to be the smallest of all aircraft currently in production (apart from the F-22). [ [ Eurofighter Typhoon - The Stealthy Eurofighter Typhoon ] ] The manufacturers have carried out tests on the early prototypes to optimize the low observability characteristics of the aircraft from the early 1990s. Testing at BAe's Warton facility on the DA4 prototype measured the RCS of the aircraft and investigated the effects of a variety of RAM coatings. Another measure to reduce the likelihood of discovery is the use of passive sensors, which minimises the radiation of treacherous electronic emissions. While canards generally have poor stealth characteristics, [Neblett, Evan, Metheny, Mike and Leifsson, Leifur Thor. [ "Canards."] "AOE 4124: Configuration Aerodynamics". Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, Virginia Tech., 17 March 2003.] the flight control system is designed to minimise the RCS in flight, maintaining the elevon trim and canards at an angle to minimise RCS. [ [ Faq Eurofighter] , [ translation] ] [ [ Austrian Eurofighter committee of inquiry: Brigadier Dipl.Ing.Knoll about Eurofighter and Stealth p.76-77] , [ translation] ] This compares with the estimated RCS of the Rafale of 2 square metres, and the estimated RCS of the American F-117 of 0.025 square metres. [Richardson 2001, p. 57.]

Operational history

On 4 August 2003, Germany accepted the first series production Eurofighter (GT003). [ [ "German Air Force take Delivery of First Series Production Eurofighter"] , "Eurofighter GmbH", 4 August 2003.] Also that year, Spain took delivery of its first series production aircraft. [ [ "Spanish Air Force take Delivery of First Series Production Eurofighter"] , "Eurofighter GmbH", 5 September 2003.] And on 16 December 2005 the aircraft reached I.O.C. with Italian Air Force as air defence fighter from Grosseto air base.

On 9 August 2007, the UK's Ministry of Defence reported that No. XI Squadron of the RAF, which stood up as a Typhoon squadron on 29 March 2007, had taken delivery of its first two multi-role Typhoons. [ 11 Squadron] ] The Typhoons were declared combat ready in the air-to-ground role by 1 July 2008. [ [ Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Equipment and Logistics | Typhoon proves its air-surface capability ] ] The RAF Typhoons will be ready to deploy for operations by mid-2008. On 17 August 2007, two of XI Squadron's Typhoons were sent to intercept a Russian Tupolev Tu-95 approaching British airspace. [ [ Typhoon launches operationally for the first time] ]

On or around 25 April 2008, the landing gear on a Typhoon from 17 Squadron at RAF Coningsby, operating at the US Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake test centre in California, USA, did not deploy, apparently due to pilot error, causing extensive damage. [Hoyle, Craig. [ "RAF Eurofighter damaged in US landing incident"] ,, 28 April 2008.]


The Eurofighter has so far been produced in three major versions; seven Development Aircraft (DA), seven production standard Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) for further system development, [ [ "First Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoon Has Flown"] , Eurofighter GmbH, 16 January 2008.] and Series Production Aircraft. These Series Production Aircraft are the aircraft now operational with the partner air forces.

The Tranche 1 aircraft were produced from 2000 onwards. Aircraft capabilities are being increased incrementally, with each software upgrade resulting in a different standard, known as blocks. [ Major Retrofit For Early Eurofighter Typhoon Aircraft Begins] ] With the introduction of the Block 5 standard, the R2 retrofit programme began to bring all aircraft to that standard.

;Tranche 1
*Block 1 : Initial Operational Capability and basic Air Defence Capability.
*Block 2 : Initial air-to-air capabilities.
*Block 2B : Full air-to-air capabilities.
*Block 5 : Full Operational Capability (FOC) by combining existing air-to-air role with air-to-ground capabilities.

;Tranche 2
*Block 8 : New mission computers required for the integration of future weapons such as Meteor, Storm Shadow and Taurus. (Differences in the build to Tranche 1 related to changes in production technology or obsolescence).

pecifications (Typhoon)

aircraft specification
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=jet
ref= Typhoon performance data, [ [ Typhoon Performance Data] , Eurofighter GmbH.] RAF Typhoon, [ Typhoon] ] BAE Systems page, [ [ Typhoon page] , BAE Systems.] AFM [ "Kings of Swing."] "AirForces Monthly", August 2008.]
crew=1 (Typhoon F2) or 2 (Typhoon T1)
length main= 15.96 m
length alt=52 ft 5 in
span main=10.95 m
span alt=35 ft 11 in
height main=5.28 m
height alt=17 ft 4 in
area main=50 m²
area alt=538 ft²
empty weight main=11,000 kg
empty weight alt=24,250 lb
loaded weight main=15,550 kg
loaded weight alt=34,280 lb
max takeoff weight main=23,500 kg
max takeoff weight alt=51,800 lb
more general=
engine (jet)=Eurojet EJ200
type of jet=afterburning turbofan
number of jets=2
thrust main=60 kN
thrust alt=13,500 lbf
afterburning thrust main= 90 kN
afterburning thrust alt= 20,250 lbf
max speed main=
** At altitude: Mach 2 (2,120 km/h, 1,320 mph)
** At sea level: Mach 1.2
** Supercruise: clean Mach 1.5
max speed more=
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
cruise speed more=
ceiling main=19,812 m
ceiling alt=65,000 ft
range main=1,390 km
range alt=864 mi
ferry range main=3,790 km
ferry range alt=2,300 mi
climb rate main=>315 m/s [ [ Eurofighter Tech] ] [ [ Eurofighter climb rate 25% better as F-16 (254 m/s x 1.25 = 317.5 m/s)] ]
climb rate alt=62,000 ft/min [ [ News] ]
loading main= 311 kg/m²
loading alt=63.7 lb/ft²
more performance=
* Gun: 1x 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon
* Air-to-Air missiles: AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-132 ASRAAM, AIM-120 AMRAAM, IRIS-T and in the future MBDA Meteor
* Air-to-Ground missiles: AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-88 HARM, ALARM, Storm Shadow (AKA "Scalp EG"), Brimstone, Taurus KEPD 350, Penguin and in the future AGM Armiger
* Bombs: Paveway 2, Paveway 3, Enhanced Paveway, JDAM, HOPE/HOSBO
* Laser designator, e.g. LITENING pod

Popular culture

On 5th September 2007 Top Gear's Richard Hammond raced a Bugatti Veyron against a 29 Squadron Eurofighter Typhoon (designated Bravo X-Ray) at RAF Coningsby. The contest was in the form of a two-mile drag race; the Typhoon climbing a mile and returning to base, and the Veyron travelling a mile and back on the runway. The Typhoon won. [ [ RAF news] ]

ee also

*British Aerospace EAP

*List of active United Kingdom military aircraft
*List of aircraft of the Royal Air Force
*List of military aircraft of Germany
see also=
*European defence procurement
*4.5th generation jet fighter




* Boot, Roy. "From Spitfire to Eurofighter: 45 years of Combat Aircraft Design". Shrewsbury, UK: AirLife Publishing Ltd., 1990. ISBN 1-85310-093-5.
* Buttler, Tony. "British Secret Projects: Jet Fighters Since 1950". Hinckley, UK: Midland Publishing, 2000. ISBN 1-85780-098-8.
* Harkins, Hugh. "Eurofighter 2000, Europe`s Fighter for the New Millennium (Aerofax 6)". Earl Shilton, UK: Midland Publishing, 2006 (previous edition 1997). ISBN 1-85780-068-0.
* Matthews, Henry. "Prelude to Eurofighter: EAP(Experimental Aircraft Programme)" (X-Planes Profile-1 ). Beirut, Lebanon: HPM (Henry Paul Matthews) Publications, 2000.
* Richardson, Doug. "Stealth Warplanes: Deception, Evasion and Concealment in the Air". London: Salamander, 2001. ISBN 0-7603-1051-3.
* Spick, Mike. "Eurofighter Typhoon." "The Great Book of Modern Warplanes". St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing Company, 2000. ISBN 0-7603-0893-4.

External links

* [ Official Eurofighter website]
* [ Eurofighter for Austria] de icon
* [ The Eurofighter in the Austrian Air Force] de icon
* [ Unofficial UK Eurofighter site]
* [ Eurofighter Typhoon - Demon or Lemon?]
* [ Kingdom Buys 72 Typhoon Jets - Arab News September 18, 2007]
* [ Sukhoi-30 MKI vs Eurofighter]

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