Eurofighter Typhoon; Europian Multi-role Delta Fighter Aircraft
History; Production; Inventory; Combat Performance; Versions; Characteristics; Development timeline

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Eurofighter Typhoon

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a highly agile twin-engine multi-role canard-delta fighter aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of European nations formed in 1983. In design it resembles other major modern combat aircraft such as France's Dassault Rafale and Sweden's Saab Gripen. However, its combination of agility, stealth features and advanced avionics suggest it is amongst the most capable fighter currently in service with any airforce.

1 History
2 Production
3 Inventory
4 Combat Performance
5 Problems
6 Versions
7 Characteristics
8 Development timeline

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Role Multi-role fighter
Crew 1 or 2
First Flight March 27, 1994 (development aircraft)
Entered Service 2003
Manufacturer Consortium: EADS, BAE Systems, Alenia
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 m? 540 ft?
Empty 9,750 kg 21,500 lb
Loaded 15,550 kg 34,280 lb
Maximum Takeoff 21,000 kg 46,300 lb
Engines 2 x Eurojet EJ200 turbofans
Dry thrust 60 kN 13,500 lbf
Afterburner thrust 90 kN 20,200 lbf
Maximum Speed 2,390 km/h 1,480 mph
Combat Range 1,390 km 860 miles
Ferry Range 3,700 km 2,300 miles
Service Ceiling > 18,000 m > 60,000 ft
Rate of Climb 15,240 m/min 50,000 ft/min
Wing Loading 311 kg/m? 63.7 lb/ft?
Thrust/Weight 7.7 N/kg 0.79 lbf/lb
Avionics CAPTOR radar, "Pirate IRST" infrared sensor(FLIR)
Guns 1 x 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon
Bombs Paveway 2, Paveway 3, Enhanced Paveway, JDAM
Missiles AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-88 HARM, AGM Armiger, AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-132 ASRAAM, AIM-120 AMRAAM, IRIS-T, MBDA Meteor, ALARMs, Storm Shadow(AKA "Scalp EG"), Brimstone, Taurus, Penguin
Other Laser designator, e.g. LITENING pod

The initial members of the consortium were the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. In 1985 France withdrew in favour of its own Avion de Combat Exp?rimental (ACX) project (which later became the Dassault Rafale).

Initial hardware requirements were as follows: UK 250, Germany 250, Italy 165, and Spain 100. Production work share was divided among the countries proportionally to procurement: British Aerospace (33%), Daimler-Benz (33%), Aeritalia (21%), and Spain's CASA (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). Messerschmitt-B?lkow-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, 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%).

Development is now the responsibility of 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, in conjunction with 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 defence aircraft. The contract was not signed at that time, however, due to floods, an election, and political controversy. The purchase of 18 Typhoons was finalized on July 1, 2003. The cost was €1,959,000,000 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 to €62,900,000.

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.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is unique in modern combat aircraft in that there are four separate assembly lines (the F-16 was only produced internationally under limited licences). Each partner company assembles its own national aircraft, but builds the same parts of all 620 aircraft.

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

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 was an Operational Evaluation Unit, No. 17 Sqn in 2003, followed by the Operational Conversion Unit, 29 Sqn at BAE Warton in 2004. The aircraft are expected to move to RAF Coningsby in 2005. 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 Austria for 18 units, and an initial interest from Greece for 60 aircraft. Norway has also expressed interest, but has yet to buy any Eurofighters. Other countries expressing interest include South Africa, Chile, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The Typhoon could possibly meet the requirements of the UK's Future Offensive Air System programme, which is seeking to replace the deep-strike capability provided by the Tornado GR4. If selected, the Typhoon would likely be modified for internal weapons carriage and increased internal fuel capacity.

Combat Performance

German Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der with a new Luftwaffe EurofighterFor 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 and the Dassault Rafale developed in France, 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 to other contemporary fighters.

In June 2005, The Scotsman reported ( that, in a mock confrontation with two American F-15 fighter craft, the Eurofighter was not only able to avoid his pursuers, he succeeded in getting into shooting position. Unattributed statements indicate that the success of the craft came as a surprise to both the Americans and the RAF.

While 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 F/A-22 is the only other fighter with supercruise capabilities.

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).

As German newspapers reported in 2004, the few Eurofighters in service with the Luftwaffe did not meet specifications at that time. Because of technical difficulties, the aircraft is only allowed to take off without cannon ammunition and at moderate temperatures. However, it is important to note that early aircraft are delivered at a baseline state, with capability to be increased incrementally; indeed, BAE has stated that the capability of the aircraft will increase at a faster rate than the training of pilots.

Development aircraft (DA)- Seven aircraft with varying equipment fits and missions
DA1 (Germany) - Airframe, engine and Flight Control Software (FCS)
DA2 (Britain) - FCS development and envelope expansion
DA3 (Italy) - Weapons systems development
DA4 (Britain) - Radar and avionics development, being upgraded to Tranche 2 standard
DA5 (Germany) - Radar and avionics development, being upgraded to Tranche 2 standard
DA6 (Spain) - Airframe development and handling
DA7 (Italy) - Navigation, avionics and missile carriage
Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) - Five production standard aircraft for further system development
IPA1 (Britain) - Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS)
IPA2 (Italy) - Air-to-surface weapons integration
IPA3 (Germany) - Air-to-air weapons integration
IPA4 (Spain) - Air-to-surface weapons integration and environmental development
IPA5 (Britain) - Air-to-surface and air-to-air weapons integration
Series Production Aircraft (SPA) - Production aircraft for partner nations.
RAF Typhoon T1 - British twin seat trainer
RAF Typhoon F2 - British single seat operational fighter

Austria: EUR 63 million "fly-away cost" (only the plane) and 100 million "system cost" (logistics, support, subsystems DASS, MIDS)
Germany: EUR 85 million "system cost"
First flight: 1994
In service date: first deliveries of production aircraft in 2003
Users: UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria; possibly Greece

Development timeline
RAF issues Air Staff Target 396 (AST-396), a requirement for a STOVL aircraft to replace the Harrier and Jaguar fleets.
AST-403, specification revised for an air superiority fighter. STOVL requirement dropped and AST-409 lead to the development of Harrier GR5.
France, Germany and UK initiate the European Combat Aircraft programme (ECA).
Following differing requirements (particularly French requirement for carrier compatibility,) BAe and MBB propose the European Combat Fighter (ECF)
Development of different national prototypes and continued differences over specification lead to cancellation of ECF programme.
Panavia partners (Germany, Italy and UK) launch Agile Combat Aircraft (ACA) programme. Following failure of Germany and Italy to fund development the UK MoD pays ?80m prototype, the European Aircraft Programme (EAP.)
May - Contract for production of EAP prototype signed.
Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain launch Future European Fighter Aircraft (F/EFA) programme. Aircraft to have Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capabilities.
France reiterates requirement for carrier capable version and demands 50% workshare. Britain, Germany and Italy opt out and establish new EFA programme
France officially withdraws, commences ACX project.
October 27 - EAP demonstrator rolled out at BAe Warton.
June - Eurofighter GmbH established.
August 8 - EAP makes its first flight. Configuration closely matches final Eurofighter design.
Rolls-Royce, MTU Aero Engines, FiatAvio (now Avio) and ITP form EuroJet Turbo GmbH for development of EJ200.
November 23 - Contracts signed for production of demonstrator engines and airframes.
CAPTOR RadarEuroRADAR formed for development of ECR-90 (CAPTOR) radar (right).
May 1 - Last flight of EAP demonstrator.
EuroDASS formed for development of Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS.) Initially only UK and Italy participate. When Eurofighter enters service only RAF aircraft will exploit all capabilities of DASS.
July - Germany announces intention to withdraw from the project. Negotiations begin to reduce costs. As a single engine aircraft is ruled out Germany decides to fit cheaper systems, e.g., F/A-18's APG-65 in place of ECR-90, and delay its service entry by two years. Germany eventually participates in all systems.
December - Renamed Eurofighter 2000.
March 27 - Maiden flight of first development aircraft, DA1 from DASA at Manching with RB199 engines.
April 6 - Maiden flight of second development aircraft, DA2 from BAe Warton. DA2 also flew with RB199s.
June 4 - Maiden flight of Italian DA3, the first with EJ200 engines.
August 31 - Spanish DA6 becomes the first two-seater to fly.
January 27 - First flight of DA7 from Turin.
February 24 - Maiden flight of German DA5, first aircraft to be fitted with ECR-90.
March 14 - Maiden flight of UK's DA4, the second two-seater and last of the seven development aircraft.
January - First aerial refuelling trials, involving DA2 and an RAF VC10 tanker.
January 30 - NETMA and Eurofighter GmbH sign production and support contracts for 620 aircraft.
September - Typhoon name adopted, announced as strictly for export contracts. There is some controversy ( as the last aircraft to bear the name was the Hawker Typhoon, a World War II aircraft.
December 18 - Tranche 1 contract signed.
Eurofighter International established as single contracting/management company to handle all export sales.
March 8 - First export sale, 60 ordered and 30 options by Greece.
May 16 - UK commits to MBDA Meteor BVRAAM, leading to significant benefits for export prospects.
July 7 - DA2 emerges from ten month stand down with latest avionics. Finished in black (see below) to reduce cosmetic effect of 490 pressure transducers applied to airframe.
April 5 - Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA2) makes maiden flight from Turin.
April 11 - IPA 3 makes maiden flight from EADS Military Aircraft, Manching, Germany.
April 15 - IPA 1 makes maiden flight from BAE Warton.
July 2 - Austria announces acquisition of 24 Typhoon's, later reduced to 18.
July 23 - "Typhoon" name officially adopted as in-service name by four partner nations.
November 21 - Spain's DA6 crashes about 110 kilometres (70 miles) south-west of Madrid. The problem is later attributed to an early development model of the EJ200 powerplant, a problem which the manufacturer insists cannot occur in production engines.
December 11 - Flight testing resumes.
February 13 - First Series Production Aircraft, GT001 flies from Manching. This is the first of Germany's 180 aircraft.
February 14 - In the space of just over an hour Italy's IT001 and Britain's BT001 make their maiden flights.
February 17 - Spain's ST001 flies from EADS Military Aircraft, Getafe, Spain.
June 30 - "Type Acceptance" signed, marking formal delivery of aircraft to the partner nations.
October - Integration of Meteor begins
June 27 - Two RAF Typhoon T1s depart UK for Singapore for marketing and training
December 15 - UK confirms purchase of second batch of 89 aircraft, the last nation to commit to "Tranche 2" production of 236 aircraft.

Text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License


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