A multi-role combat aircraft, capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations, from air policing, to peace support, through to high intensity conflict.
Who uses the Typhoon F2
Typhoon will provide the RAF with a multi-role combat aircraft, capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations, from air policing, to peace support, through to high intensity conflict.
Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain formally agreed to start development of the aircraft in 1988 with contracts for a first batch of 148 aircraft – of which 55 are for the RAF – signed ten years later. Deliveries to the RAF started in 2003 to 17(R) Sqn, based at BAE Systems Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire, alongside the factory in which the aircraft are assembled, while detailed development and testing of the aircraft was carried out. Formal activation of the Typhoon Squadron at RAF Coningsby occurred on the 1st Jul 2005, with operational employment expected to be declared later on this decade. An incremental acquisition has always been envisaged resulting in a true multi-role weapon system.
Initial production aircraft of the F2 standard will be deployed primarily as air-superiority fighters, but will quickly be equipped with a potent precision ground-attack capability. Armament will include the long-range Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), the UK-developed Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) and various air-to-ground weapons. They will succeed in service the RAF’s Tornado F3 and Jaguar aircraft.
Following the 55 Tranche 1 aircraft, the RAF is due to receive 89 Tranche 2 aircraft with capacity to be upgraded to deliver further enhanced ground-attack capability and the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile. Earlier Tranche 1 aircraft will be upgraded to this standard.
Negotiations were concluded in late 2004 on a contract for the Tranche 2 batch and the placing of a £4.3 billion contract for 89 aircraft was announced that December. Commitment to Tranche 3 procurement is not expected for some years. The MoD is planning for the introduction of multi-role Tranche 2 aircraft with improved ground-attack capabilities, introduced under a planned upgrade programme, to enter service early in the next decade.
This highly capable and extremely agile aircraft is powered by twin turbofans to Mach 2 at 65,000ft. The airframe is largely constructed of carbon fibre composites and light alloys to save weight while the aircraft is equipped with the advanced ECR90 radar, which can track multiple targets at long range. The pilot can carry out many functions by voice command while aircraft manoeuvre; weapon and defensive aid deployment is done through a combined stick and throttle. All of these innovations dramatically simplify operation of the aircraft in combat. Combined with an advanced cockpit that is fully compatible with night-vision goggles, the pilot is superbly equipped for air combat.
Eurofighter is easily recognisable from any angle. The engine intake is mounted on the bottom of the fuselage (1). Typhoon also has canards (foreplanes)mounted before the main wing (2) and delta (triangular) mainplane (3) is very deep at the point it joins the main fuselage. A tall, sharply swept tail (4) is at the rear of the upper fuselage, with the twin engine jet pipes directly below. The two-seat version has a large bubble cockpit for the additional pilot and a deeper upper fuselage giving a more humped appearance.