Eurofighter Typhoon

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Eurofighter Typhoon

Two-seat Development Aircraft (DA4). Type Multirole fighter Manufacturer Eurofighter GmbH Maiden flight 27 March 1994 Introduced 2003 Status Active service Primary users Royal Air Force Aeronautica Militare Italiana Luftwaffe Spanish Air Force
[1]

Number built 100 (as of October 2006)

Variants Eurofighter Typhoon variants

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine multi-role canard-delta strike fighter aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of European aerospace manufacturers, Eurofighter GmbH, formed in 1983. The series production of the Eurofighter Typhoon is now underway and the aircraft has formally entered service with the Italian Air Force. 'Initial Operational Capability' is expected to be declared by Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom in 2006. Austria has purchased 18 Typhoons, while Saudi Arabia signed a contract on 18 August 2006 for 72 to be built by BAE Systems.

Development
In the mid 1970s France, Germany and the UK established the European Combat Aircraft programme (ECA). In 1979, following differing requirements (particularly the French requirement for carrier compatibility), British Aerospace (BAe) and Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm proposed the European Combat Fighter (ECF). The development of different national prototypes and continued differences over specification lead to cancellation of the ECF programme in 1981. As a result the Panavia partners (Germany, Italy and UK) launched the Agile Combat Aircraft (ACA) programme. Following the failure of Germany and Italy to fund development, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) paid £80 m to BAe, to develop the Experimental Aircraft Programme technology demonstrator (EAP). In 1983 the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain launched the Future European Fighter Aircraft (F/EFA) 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, Germany and Italy opted out and established a new EFA programme. The following year France officially withdrew from the project to pursue its own ACX project, what was to become the Dassault Rafale.

Eurofighter Typhoon T.1 of the Royal Air Force. The dark patch in the centre of the fuselage is the exhaust of the Auxiliary Power Unit

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 in 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%), DaimlerBenz (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 and EuroJet Turbo GmbH, the alliance of Rolls-Royce, MTU Aero Engines, FiatAvio (now Avio) and ITP for development of the EJ200.

By 1990 the selection of the aircraft's radar had become a major stumbling block. Britain, Italy and Spain supported the Ferranti Defence Systems-led ECR-90, while Germany preferred the APG-65 based MSD2000 (a collaboration between Hughes, 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. [2] The maiden flight of the Eurofighter prototype took place on March 27, 1994 (then just known as the Eurofighter EF 2000). Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm 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. When the final production contract was signed in 1997, the revised 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%). The project has been named and renamed a number of times since its inception, having been known as EFA (European Fighter Aircraft), Eurofighter, EF2000 (Eurofighter 2000), and most recently Typhoon.

Costs and delays
The cost of the Eurofighter project has increased from original estimates. The cost of the UK's aircraft has increased from £7 billion to £19 billion and the in-service date (2003; defined as the date of delivery of the first aircraft to the RAF) was 54 months late.[3] Britain's commitment to its 88 Tranche 3 aircraft has been questioned.[4] 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 insistence of the German government some time earlier, all partners had signed commitments to the project and they found themselves unable to leave. 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. Britain cut its orders from 250 to 232, Germany from 250 to 140, 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 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 and a new workshare of 30%, the eventual splits becoming 37/30/20/13 (UK/Germany/Italy/Spain). 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 Britain and Germany, an

interim funding arrangement of DM 100 million (€ million) was contributed by the German 51 government in July 1997 to continue flight trials. Further negotiation finally resulted in German approval to purchase the Eurofighter in October 1997. Though most of the programme's problems have been political, with major delays imposed by funding delays and governmental procrastination, the Typhoon has suffered some minor technical problems. On 21 November 2002, DA-6, the Spanish two-seater prototype crashed due to an engine problem. The problem was said to be specifically related to the experimental trial standard of engine being used by that aircraft. On 16 January 2006 an RAF Typhoon T1 made an emergency landing at RAF Coningsby. The nosewheel failed to deploy, via either the normal or emergency systems. The aircraft landed on the main gear and used aerodynamic braking whilst simultaneously deploying the brake chute. The nose was then gently lowered, minimising the damage to the aircraft. The pilots vacated the aircraft once a suitable ladder was positioned next to the aircraft. [5] The RAF Typhoon T1 has now been returned to service. In 2004 German newspapers reported that the few Eurofighters in service with the Luftwaffe did not then meet specifications. Because of technical difficulties, the aircraft was reportedly only allowed to take off without cannon ammunition and at moderate temperatures.[citation needed] Eurofighter GmbH and the Luftwaffe denied these claims. It is important to note that it was always planned that early aircraft would be delivered at a baseline state, with capability to be increased incrementally. BAE has stated that the capability of the aircraft will increase at a faster rate than the training of pilots.[citation needed] In November 2006 BAE Systems commenced an upgrade programme to bring 43 tranche 1 RAF Typhoons up to a common standard. Scheduled maintenance will take place at the same time as the upgrades.[6]

Production

RAF Typhoon F2

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 – Left wing, outboard flaperons, rear fuselage sections BAE Systems – Front fuselage (including canards), canopy, dorsal spine, tail fin, inboard flaperons, rear fuselage section  EADS Germany – Main centre fuselage  EADS CASA – Right wing, leading edge slats Production is divided into three "tranches" (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.

Production Summary

Country

Tranche 1 Tranche 2 Tranche 3 Total

Austria

0

18

0

18

Germany

44

68

68

180

Italy

29

46

46

121

Saudi Arabia

0

48

24

72

Spain

20

33

34

87

United Kingdom 55

89

88

232

TOTAL

148

302

260

710

Exports
In 1999 the Greek government agreed to acquire 60 Typhoons in order to replace its existing secondgeneration combat aircraft. [7] However, the purchase was put on hold due to budgetary 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 2.2 billion euro multiyear 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, along with the F-22 Raptor, Rafale and F-35 Lightning II. [8] On July 2, 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.[9] After unsuccessful campaigns in South Korea and Singapore, on 18 August 2006 it was announced that Saudi Arabia will purchase 72 Typhoons. [10] It is reported that the Saudis have threatened to buy French planes instead because of a UK Serious Fraud Office investigation into the original Al Yamamah defence deals in the 1980s. [[2]] Other countries that have expressed interest in the Typhoon are India [11], Denmark [12], Norway, Pakistan and Turkey, while the type was rejected by South Korea and Singapore. Less likely 'prospects' have reportedly included Chile and Brazil.

Versions

Eurofighter Typhoon prototype on display at Dubai Air Show 1998. Note the multiple roundels for the air forces: (left to right) Spanish Ejército del Aire, Italian Aeronautica Militare, British Royal Air Force, and German Luftwaffe.

The Eurofighter has so far been produced in three major versions; seven Development Aircraft (DA), five production standard Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) for further system development and Series Production Aircraft. These Series Production Aircraft are the aircraft now operational with the partner air forces.

Combat performance

Eurofighter Typhoon of the Royal Air Force displaying at the Farnborough Air Show, 2006

Its combination of agility, performance, stealth features and advanced avionics make it one of the most capable fighter aircraft currently in service. Compared to its rivals, Typhoon's cockpit and man/machine interface are claimed to be significantly advanced and intuitive, resulting in a lower pilot workload, building on the early glass cockpits pioneered by aircraft like the F/A-18 and Mirage 2000, looking similar, but working in a much more intuitive and effective way, with given operations requiring fewer pilot inputs. The conventional HOTAS-concept was enhanced with a direct voice input system to allow the pilot to perform mode selection and data entry procedures. The Typhoon's combat performance, particularly compared to the new F-22A Raptor and the upcoming F-35 fighter under development in the United States and the Dassault Rafale developed in France, has been the subject of much speculation. While making a reliable assessment is impossible with available information, there is a study by the UK's DERA comparing the Typhoon to other contemporary fighters. In it, the Typhoon was second only to the F-22A in combat performance. Especially in France, it is claimed that 10 years after this study, Typhoon hasn't shown evidence of any superiority during international competitions, though recent UK and US reports (in Flight Daily News, Aviation Week, Show News and Defence Analysis for example) indicate that the aircraft was the preferred technical solution in Singapore, though Typhoon was ousted from the competition before Rafale and F-15. In March 2005, United States Air Force Chief of Staff General John P. Jumper, then the only person to have flown both the Typhoon and the Raptor, talked to Air Force Print News about these two aircraft. He said that "the Eurofighter is both agile and sophisticated, but is still difficult to compare to the F/A22 Raptor. They are different kinds of airplanes to start with; it's like asking us to compare a NASCAR car with a Formula 1 car. They are both exciting in different ways, but they are designed for different levels of performance". [13]

In June 2005, Scotland on Sunday reported that, when 'attacked' by two USAF F-15E Strike Eagle strike fighter aircraft, a Eurofighter on a 'Case White' conversion training sortie was able to out-manoeuvre the attacking aircraft and "shoot them down" (i.e., achieve radar lock for a long enough period of time to accurately launch missiles, had this been real combat). [14] The Strike Eagle is primarily a ground attack craft (the successor of the F-111 Aardvark), which may have affected the outcome. It is, however, generally agreed that the Eurofighter Typhoon's performance is significantly better than that of the F15C/D, the current air superiority fighter variant of the F-15. While the Typhoon lacks the all-aspect stealth technology of the F-22A, the design does incorporate some low-observable features. Its actual detectability on radar is classified. Passive infrared target detection and tracking (air-to-air and air-to-surface) is provided by PIRATE (Passive Infra-Red Airborne Track Equipment), serving also as a navigation and landing aid. The Typhoon is capable of sustained supersonic cruise without using afterburners. The F-22A is the only other current fighter with supercruise capabilities. According to EADS, the maximum speed possible without reheat is Mach 1.5 in what EF GmbH regard as a 'clean' configuration — e.g., without tanks, but with four BVRAAMs and two IR AAMs. (Supercruise performance drops to Mach 1.3 with a full air-toair weapons load, including tanks). Rafale's supercruise capabilities have been described as marginal with the current engine (the aircraft failed to demonstrate the capability during the Singapore evaluation), while the F-22 by comparison can supercruise rather faster with a full internal weapons load. Canards, lightweight construction (>70% carbon fibre composites) and the inherently unstable design with a quadruplex digital control system providing artificial stability, allow superior agility both at supersonic speed and at very low speed. The fly-by-wire system is described as "carefree" by preventing the pilot from exceeding the permitted manoeuver envelope. In 2002 the MBDA Meteor was selected as the long range air-to-air missile armament of Eurofighter Typhoon [15][16] . Due to delays in Meteor development, Typhoon will be equipped with the Raytheon AMRAAM as a stop gap measure. The current in-service date for Meteor is predicted to be August 2012 [17] .

Air-to-ground capabilities
Typhoon has always been planned to be a swing role tactical fighter with robust air-to-ground capabilities. However the RAF's urgent air-to-ground requirement has driven the integration of an "austere" air to ground capability, based on the Rafael/Ultra Electronics Litening III laser designator and the Enhanced Paveway II G/LGB, earlier than was originally planned. A more comprehensive air to surface attack capability will be achieved for all partner nations later in the decade.[18] The RAF's capability will now be available in the Block 5 aircraft delivered at the end of Tranche 1 and, by retrofit, on all RAF Tranche 1 jets. The absence of such a capability is believed to have been of pivotal importance in the type's rejection from Singapore's fighter competition in 2005. When the Typhoon was dropped from the final shortlist the Singaporean Ministry of Defence commented that: "the committed schedule for the delivery of the Typhoon and its systems did not meet the requirements of the RSAF."[citation needed] Flight Daily News

reported that Singapore was concerned about delivery timescales and by the Eurofighter partner nations' inability to accurately and finally define the content of the Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 Typhoon capability packages.[citation needed] Singapore needed Tranche 2 capabilities that were 'road-mapped' but which are still unfunded, and wanted them in a timescale that required Tranche 1 aircraft. The then unfunded interim 'austere' air-to-ground capability being developed for the RAF Block 5 aircraft fell far short of the capability required. Despite this, according to Flight Daily News, Typhoon reportedly impressed the RSAF evaluation team enough to be the air force's favoured 'technical solution' though a "shambolic performance by BAE Systems during the early part of the bidding process" undermined the Typhoon's chances.[citation needed] By addressing the aircraft's lack of air-to-ground capability, Eurofighter GmbH hopes to increase the Typhoon's appeal to other potential export customers and to make the aircraft more useful to partner air forces. Testing of the latest air-to-ground Flight Control Software (FCS Phase 5), written by an EADS led team, began in 2006. The software will undergo rigorous testing in all four partner nations and six aircraft will be used for testing and validating the required clearances. Completion of these tests will lead to the final clearances for the Full Operational Capability (FOC) specified under the Main Development Contract. This is expected in early 2007 in time for the first Tranche 1 Block 5 aircraft. Alongside the Phase 5 software tests, the FOC avionics functionality (including the new pilot helmet) is now also undergoing flight testing, following the conclusion of rig tests in 2005. The NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) issued a clearance for flight testing in December 2005.

Specifications (Typhoon)

EJ200 engine (foreground)

General characteristics
        

Crew: 1 or 2 Length: 15.96 m (52 ft 5 in) Wingspan: 10.95 m (35 ft 11 in) Height: 5.28 m (17 ft 4 in) Wing area: 50 m² (540 ft²) Empty weight: 11 000 kg (24,250 lb) Loaded weight: 15 550 kg (34,280 lb) Max takeoff weight: 23 500 kg (51,809 lb) Powerplant: 2× Eurojet EJ200 afterburning turbofans, 60 kN dry, 90 kN with afterburner (13,500 lbf / 20,250 lbf) each

Performance

    

Maximum speed: Mach 2.0+, 2390 km/h (1,480 mph) at high altitude; Mach 1.2, 1470 km/h (915 mph) at sea level; supercruise Mach 1.3+ at altitude with typical air-to-air armament Range: 1390 km (864 mi) Service ceiling: 18 000 m (60,000 ft) Rate of climb: 255 m/s (50,000 ft/min) Wing loading: 311 kg/m² (63.7 lb/ft²) Thrust/weight: 1.18

Armament
 

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,ALARMs, Storm Shadow (AKA "Scalp EG"), Brimstone, Taurus, Penguin and in the future AGM Armiger  bombs: Paveway 2, Paveway 3, Enhanced Paveway, JDAM  Laser designator, e.g. LITENING pod