Eurofighter Typhoon Updates

A nice video from EADS

Eurofighter Typhoon is a truly multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft. The video highlights the air-to-air capabilities needed for Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) missions and also shows its air-to-ground capabilities while on deployment.

And some interesting bits of information from RIAT

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/riat-multi-role-typhoon-over-delivering-raf-official-claims-388515/”]

A recent FOI request has revealed the 2012 figures for QRA launches although this kind of information is often to be found in Parliamentary Answers, click here to read it

RAF Typhoon Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft are held at continuous readiness at RAF Coningsby and RAF Leuchars. The number of days on which RAF QRA aircraft have been launched from all QRA bases for 2010-2012 is as follows: 2010, 14 2011, 18 2012, 25 Launches in 2012 included launches as part of the Air Security Plan for the Olympics. I can confirm that the MOD does hold details of the dates, times and incidents responded  to. I can confirm that al launches were either for Russian military aviation (either Bear or Blackjack aircraft) which approached the NATO Air Policing Area for which the United Kingdom has responsibility or aircraft within UK civil airspace that were causing concern to civil Air Traffic Control ers. Not al launches resulted in an interception, as some incidents were resolved before interception occurred. Al Russian military aircraft remained in international airspace and did not enter UK sovereign airspace. The aircraft that were causing concern to civil controllers were a range of aircraft types registered in a number of countries, including those registered in the United Kingdom.

A new maintenance regime will save the MoD a considerable amount of money as the number of flying hours before the aircraft are ‘serviced’ has been increased from 400 to 500, there will also be an attendant improvement in availability. Read more here

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”https://www.gov.uk/government/news/typhoon-force-completes-largest-ever-training-mission”]

Good news on Paveway IV integration, as part of the Phase 1 Enhancement programme Typhoon has now successfully released a Paveway IV and can carry up to six of the precision guided bombs. Read more here From BAE

The Phase 1 Enhancement programme includes the integration of new weapons including Paveway IV and EGBU-16 alongside integrating a Laser Designator Pod (LDP) onto Tranche 2 aircraft of the partner nations.

What this does demonstrate is the glacial pace of development, understandable given the numerous constraints but even so, getting Paveway IV actually on Typhoon has taken far far too long

Finally, news from BAE about Tranche 3, the first of which (BS116) has been moved from final assembly to the paint shop.

Click here to view the story from BAE 

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://ainonline.com/aviation-news/ain-defense-perspective/2013-07-26/middle-east-customers-funding-eurofighter-upgrades”]

And some very interesting information about Paveway IV

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://ainonline.com/aviation-news/ain-defense-perspective/2013-07-26/raytheon-uk-describes-paveway-iv-upgrades”]

 

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Chris
Chris
July 26, 2013 11:40 am

Quite interesting to compare with the FRES thread and the arguments over what is right for recce vs. what is right for what the vehicle will end up being used for. Looking then at Typhoon – here is a carefully designed stealthy high speed interceptor complete with semi-conformal air to air missiles, now festooned with under-wing pylons and bombs and stand-off missiles and sensor pods and designators. Absolutely not what the aircraft was originally bought for, but I’d wager a greater proportion of the fleet’s operational life will now be directed towards the ground attack role rather than its original interceptor role.

It would be interesting to know if the ‘Phoon as good at ground strike as old Tornado, which was designed for the task.

El Sid
El Sid
July 26, 2013 11:53 am

It’s a myth that Typhoon was an air-to-air specialist that has been bodged into a ground attack aircraft, it was always intended to replace Jaguar as well. Look at this article from 1978 talking about how the RAF wanted the Tactical Combat Aircraft to be 50:50 fighter and mud-mover :
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1978/1978%20-%200695.html – in fact you can trace that requirement all the way back to the original Staff Targets in the early 1970s. What happened is that the bombing stuff got pushed back as a cost-saving measure.

The Germans put a bit more emphasis on air-to-air, the Frogs wanted more air-to-ground, but they were no more than 60:40 either way.

The Tiffy has some big advantages over the Tonka, particularly when it comes to situational awareness – over Libya they could lead their Tonka partner back to the tanker for instance. The reason for partnering them with a Tonka was that the latter had meatware with much greater experience of picking out targets in complicated urban environments, whereas the Tiffy pilots hadn’t had much experience of air-to-ground.

Chris
Chris
July 26, 2013 12:13 pm

ElSid – I didn’t know/remember that, but in my defence this aircraft was developed firmly under the Eurofighter name, furthermore as this history of the programme: http://starstreak.net/history.html points out, to follow EFA there was FOAS the replacement of the GR4 Tornado. It even states that to accommodate the ground strike requirement BAE offered a Typhoon variant with a larger wing, further suggesting Mk1 Typhoon was not always considered up to the ground strike role.

El Sid
El Sid
July 26, 2013 12:35 pm

Names don’t mean much – qv the F-117 and F-16. There were several earlier names for Eurofighter involving “Combat” rather than “Fighter”, the air-to-air took more prominence after the French pulled out to make Rafale and budgets were cut post-Cold War.

Tiffy as mud-mover is not incompatible with FOAS – both the Mosquito and Lancaster did air-to-ground, but in different roles. Your multirole fighter is always going to be at the light end of the air-to-ground spectrum, the real debate is the extent to which one needs a “heavy”. As an aside, did anyone see that documentary the other day about the Mozzie, it’s on Channel 4-7 tomorrow or at http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-plane-that-saved-britain/4od

Topman
Topman
July 26, 2013 12:47 pm

One of many upgrades to come. We’ll be done them for literally years before we get where want to be, but it’s coming together now.

@ TD Not to be fussy, but you’ve got the wrong last picture, the text is about PWIV, the picture is PW2 (HES I think)

@ El Sid a problem with the SA, gone along way to being sorted now with CAP A/B upgrade.

The Other Chris
July 26, 2013 1:17 pm

Every time I hear the Typhoon’s nickname, I always chuckle inwardly that it’s no wonder the MoD never managed to get their Sea Tiffy up.

Chris.B
Chris.B
July 26, 2013 1:20 pm

@ El Sid,
“It’s a myth that Typhoon was an air-to-air specialist that has been bodged into a ground attack aircraft,”

Except for all the original/early staff targets and designs, both in this country and places like Germany, being for a new fighter, onto which a ground attack capability was earmarked much, much later. Other than that though, complete myth.

Rocket Banana
July 26, 2013 1:21 pm

Will we be getting the full 160?

Does anyone know at what state of their lives the various airframes are at?

By this I mean how many air hours are left on each tranche on average? I’m really trying to see when the numbers are likely to fall off. Are we going to get 160 before we have to ditch the oldest? etc…

Topman
Topman
July 26, 2013 1:32 pm

@ simon

All no doubt being number crunched now, depends how many Sqn we want to pay for. Cash and how much of it, as always is the real question.

Rocket Banana
July 26, 2013 1:38 pm

From an aircraft design perspective if you wanted to build a strike aircraft you would not build Typhoon, you’d build a Tornado, which we all did. The thing is that Typhoon lends itself to strike whereas Tornado does not lend itself to QRA. As a Brit I was truly embarrassed that we ever had the Tornado ADV.

Typhoon’s origins come from the EAP which came from the ACA (Agile Combat Aircraft). The main drive was agility and advanced combat manoeuvres to counter the rising threats from Russian aircraft of the time (Mig 29). There was no need for strike at the time as we had Tornado.

I’m sure someone will mention a “staff target” or something, but actually the ACA/EAP was done outside and before any government involvement at all.

This is the story I was told by some aero/astro boffins in 1990 ;-)

Topman
Topman
July 26, 2013 1:43 pm

‘ As a Brit I was truly embarrassed that we ever had the Tornado ADV.’

I wasn’t nor would be, far better than people imagined. Too many people listening Blue circle radar stories. Was it the best no, but far from an embarrassment.

‘but actually the ACA/EAP was done outside and before any government involvement at all.’

You might want to check that again, the EAP all done outside of a government involvment? The government set the wheels in motion with all the requirements.

Rocket Banana
July 26, 2013 2:04 pm

Topman,

Very good at going in a stright line towards a pair of Mig-29s escorting a Tupolev? And then what? :-(

I’ll abstain from the EAP argument, I’d love to hear the story from someone who was involved in the design project. It just seems a little odd to design a high thrust, short ranged, fighter, to be used as a strike aircraft when we had Tornado which was as good as perfect at the time.

El Sid
El Sid
July 26, 2013 2:04 pm

.B / Simon
Read that Flight article for the view from 1978.

As a Brit I was truly embarrassed that we ever had the Tornado ADV.

I wasn’t – arguably it remains even now the best tool for our very specific remit at the time, which was to loiter for long periods over the Norwegian Sea, waiting for unmanoeuverable bombers armed with long-range missiles. Mig-29’s would not have featured – they’re not escort fighters in any case, they’re for point-defence. An F-16 or F/A-18 would have been spectacularly pants at doing the job of the F3. It was a UK solution for a very UK requirement – arguably Canada has a similar requirement, but not many others.

Topman
Topman
July 26, 2013 2:13 pm

@ Simon

It would have done the job it was supposed to.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
July 26, 2013 2:17 pm

“arguably it remains even now the best tool for our very specific remit at the time, which was to loiter for long periods over the Norwegian Sea, waiting for unmanoeuverable bombers armed with long-range missiles”

“It was a UK solution for a very UK requirement – arguably Canada has a similar requirement, but not many others”

The major owner of that particular requirement (not us and not Canada) came up with the F14, which (with AIM54 and TCS among other toys) would have done nicely and would have been available at the right time. But commonality and industrial reasons meant the UK went down the F2/F3 route – probably rightly so.

JJ
JJ
July 26, 2013 2:27 pm

How realistic was the “Sea Tiffy”?oops nearly typed it ..
Looking at the Indian Mig 29 St..uh no Sea Typhoon would be perfectly suited to the QE’s.
read somewhere that all they had to do was reinforce the landing gear,so no TVC nozzles or Boundery layer control?
Since the real added value of the F-35B seems to sit in its electronic gizmo’s and not it’s flying performance why not dust off the Sea Typhoon?If you are worried about airframes,don’t!you can pick some up in Spain for €45 million each,they have only done 600 hrs…

I say this because the cost per hour for the B are still not clear,well Aviation week wrote an article that the USMC was adding simulator hours aswell to the total cost,how desperate can one be?

Typhoon will get Asea,well it is supposed to get that and BAE could use some of that F-35 ECM stuff to make Sea Typhoon a bit more like the F-35 in an electronic sense,so the RN will end up with something the US navy wants,a fighter with good Kinematic performance(F-XX).

Meanwhile in South Korea round 3 in the bidding process has begun,all 3 players are still on the field..

Rocket Banana
July 26, 2013 2:55 pm

All,

You might like to read this…

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1983/1983%20-%202327.html

…which is how I understood it all to be.

Paul R
Paul R
July 26, 2013 3:02 pm

Well it seems the Typhoon isn’t doing too bad in the weight it can carry or hard points.
Wiki shows the following (opinion’s and corrections welcome)

Tiffy can carry about 7500kg on its hard points and under the fuselage. “8 × under-wing; and 5 × under-fuselage pylon stations”

Tornado can carry 9000kg “: 4× light duty + 3× heavy duty under-fuselage and 4× swivelling under-wing pylon stations”

F35 can carry 6800kg on wings with 1300kg internal ” 6 × external pylons on wings with a capacity and two internal bays with two pylons each”

So in terms of a ground role, it can carry a good combination and will end up doing the donkey work once Tornado goes and F35 comes in. After all we may struggle to bring some weapons back with the F35. So Tiffy might be in a good position in with the amount of hard points so could carry a few types of missiles making it a bit flexible.

Chris.B
Chris.B
July 26, 2013 3:09 pm

@ El Sid,

Except – again – you only need to look at the first decade basically of the design and requirements work. Which was all about producing a fighter, with very little capability in the ground attack role. Not that it matters now, given how well it’s transitioned into the swing role.

Rocket Banana
July 26, 2013 3:30 pm

Actually, running through all that Air Staff Target stuff and evidently stumbling on the Jaguar I now feel much more comfortable in that the F35B is the Harrier and Jaguar replacement of AST-403… took a while, but I got there in the end ;-)

Typhoon can continue to morph into a heavy weight strike aircraft and as long as we keep the numbers up (160 in total) we can use it to provide national air defence and strike. Alternatively we can aim for about 80 Typhoon and build up the F35 numbers (either A or B). I suppose there is still a risk with F35 so slow progress on Typhoon conformals, etc, is a reasonable way of mitigating this risk.

Chris
Chris
July 26, 2013 3:38 pm

Simon – thanks for the link; its good to know my memory isn’t as flaky as was inferred.

Aren’t all these front-line Typhoons single seaters? Doesn’t that mean the workload on the pilot/navigator/bomb-aimer/weapons-officer is a potential bottleneck? Seems like if you want to play Tornado GR games it might have paid to put the second seat in – obviously the trainer has one but no doubt it will be at the cost of a fuel tank or radar set or the like. Obviously it would be a bad thing if the second man duties had been handed off to a pile of computers. I spend my days working with computers and I can exclusively report they are the most annoying, dumb, obstinate, unpredictable, stubbornly stupid and stupidly stubborn work colleagues ever. Blowed if I’d trust one to shoot the correct target.

Mark
Mark
July 26, 2013 3:42 pm

The treat aircraft against which typhoon was designed was the su27 class fighter. It was the emergence of this aircraft and its ability to escort the soviet bombers all the way to blity that meant a solution other than tornado f3 was required.

Tornado was designed as a low level interdiction strike aircraft around we177 and jp233. However as mainly a result of the 91 gulf war the doctrine has moved back to med/high level strike sorties something typhoon is aply suited to due to an excellent wing and exceptionally powerful engines couple with a pretty decent DAS system. This enables tiffy to happily sit at 40k+ ft with a full war load of missiles and bombs a major benefit. It will take a leaf out of the f15s book and add conformal fuel tanks improving it range (the main change for a strike aircraft) and turn itsself into an excellent strike aircraft. Being a strike jet was always part of this aircrafts design brief, cockpit interace, radar modes, pirate ect were all in place early on with a to g capability.

What held it back was the halt in raf standup limiting the force to just 2 sqns for years and the idioc production contracting stating all government had to agree before updates could proceed. It should be remembered that paveway 4 was only in service in 2008 and is not available for export. While the raf and bae worked around this best they could delivering a raft of upgrades the contracts have been rewritten and no such governmental agreements are required from here on. It will help finally deliver an excellent aircraft the raf expected a few years ago.

topman
topman
July 26, 2013 3:56 pm

@ paul r numbers a bit out for tonka. 15 pylons in total.

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
July 29, 2013 9:56 pm

@ Simon:

Re: “…It just seems a little odd to design a high thrust, short ranged, fighter, to be used as a strike aircraft when we had Tornado which was as good as perfect at the time.”

Why do you say “short ranged”? (Or are you refering to the EAP rather than the Tiffy as it became?)

The information I can get gives it a range, on a hi-lo-hi strike mission, of 750 nm, not much less than the Strike Eagle (790 nm).
The ferry range is also only very slightly less than the F-15E.
[The proposed conformal tanks would then further increase the Tiffy’s range by 33%.]

Or am I missing something?

wf
wf
July 29, 2013 11:04 pm

@Mike Wheatley: I suspect you might want to reconsider the book Typhoon range. Remember it’s internal fuel is only 4.5 tonnes, with a 23.5 tonne MTOW. This is small, hence when you almost never see Tiffies without external tanks. The CFT’s will increase the fuel to 7.5 tonnes, which should allow it to compete in range at least with the 15E, which with it’s own CFT’s has about 12 tonnes of fuel with an MTOW of 36.5 tonnes.

Rocket Banana
July 30, 2013 9:48 am

Mike Wheatley,

My “short ranged” statement was a bit unfair. I indicated in my first comment that a fighter makes a better strike aircraft than the other way round. What I really meant was in comparison to a “proper” strike aircraft it has a poor range (see Blackburn Buccaneer).

Furthermore I doubt the 750nm touted range has anything like the weapons loadout of the F15E (4 x AMRAAM + 4 x 2000lb bombs) and a 100nm penetration sprint.

However, it is not a fair comparison. F15 is a bigger bird, carries more fuel, and therefore can carry more weapons. Typhoon is a great aircraft, there is no doubt, and it will make a pretty reasonable strike aircraft. Most of the above was me going on about the original design brief for Typhoon and the fact that Tornado is a better strike aircraft so why would you bother to build another one at the time.

ChrisW
ChrisW
July 30, 2013 10:58 am

For Tornado ADV v F-14 v F-15 v ACF etc., read Battle Flight by Chris Gibson. ADV was probably the best outcome but was bought in minimal numbers and I’d always hankered after a having a US carrier air wing based in Scotland (realising we’d never buy F-14s) in the manner that 2 wings of F-111s made up for our shortfall in strike aircraft after TSR2 and F-111K.

Typhoon has surely always had the potential (given the will and the cash) to be the replacement for the Tornado GR, hobbled as the latter aircraft was by the Germans at the design stage in terms of size/range/load and radar and never satisfactorily upgraded (not given the will or the cash – remember when the GR4 “upgrade” meant they couldn’t drop bombs for a while?). Pilots I spoke to would have had the F-15E any day (other opinions are available).

Re. size. Didn’t the French go their own way because they wanted a smaller aircraft? Rafale seems to have grown quite a bit since then. Does anybody have the history on this?

I see we have Sea Typhoon devotee. There’ll be someone along in a minute saying we should get the Harriers back from the desert!

Topman
Topman
July 30, 2013 12:02 pm

@ Chris W
‘Typhoon has surely always had the potential (given the will and the cash) to be the replacement for the Tornado GR, hobbled as the latter aircraft was by the Germans at the design stage in terms of size/range/load and radar and never satisfactorily upgraded (not given the will or the cash – remember when the GR4 “upgrade” meant they couldn’t drop bombs for a while?).’

It might have been described as short legged but it’s still comprable to other similar a/c especially with big jugs. It’s weapon load is as about as much as we’d need. The F15 is a bit bigger and can carry quite a few more bombs, however this can be met with TSC (Twin Stores Carriers) on GR4, however not really used these days.
As to not satisfactoriliy upgraded in what manner? I’d say it as good as anything in it’s roles one of the most sort after during Libya it’s upgrades, weapons systems and personnal mean it’s far from unsatisfactory. Certainly better than anything in any European airforce and as good if not better than the spams. It’s upgrades should have come earlier and it’s last one is too late but adds in everything needed. I can’t think of many comprable aircraft that for example carried a wider range of weapons.
The upgrade where it couldn’t drop bombs? You mean the GR1 –> GR4 in the 90’s ?

Mark
Mark
July 30, 2013 5:01 pm

I think we need to be careful with the whole range thing it very dependant on flying altitudes ect it can lead to rats up a drain pipe and with aar even a harrier would operate for 6 hr missions. F15 is a big beasty and signifcantly more expensive that european types to operate and will in the most likely current configurations out range a typhoon or even a tornado. The mighty fin has been a very effective aircraft for us and remains relevant.

Is typhoon a better or worse strike jet than a tornado again IMO debatable. The typhoon platform being more modern and of higher performance is arguably more survivable in a contested environment but the tornado force has more institutional knowledge in ground attack role and at present more weapons options.

Buccaneer like the a6 went a long way the benefits of being a large sub sonic design.

John Hartley
John Hartley
July 30, 2013 5:32 pm

Had the FOAS version of Typhoon been selected, it would have had a lengthened fuselage with more fuel & a small internal bomb bay, conformal tanks, wing root extensions & Satcom. I would have looked at upping the bypass ratio on the EJ200 from 0.4 to 1 , to perhaps 0.6 or 0.8 to 1.

HurstLlama
HurstLlama
July 30, 2013 5:52 pm

This might be of interest to some in this debate:

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_07_29_2013_p04-01-601325.xml

I wonder what he meant by “taking the handcuffs off”

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
July 30, 2013 6:48 pm

Re: Typhoon range,

Yes, range comparisons are tricky animals.
“Strike mission” range is what matters (for using the Tiffy as a mud-mover) – but as mentioned, is highly influenced by the specifics, which aren’t stated.
Conversely, “ferry range” is fairly comparable, but not terribly relevant.
But the thing is, the Typhoon has (without CFTs) ~95% of the range of a F-15E on any available metric, (with the Tornado in between the two,) which gives me a big “huh?!?” whenever I hear someone mention the Tiffy as “short ranged”.
I guess this is due the Tiffy, being more modern, having significantly more efficient engines and aerodynamics.

(Of course the F-15E is bigger and can carry more per aircraft. I don’t quibble that, its just the range thing that I was querying.)

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
July 30, 2013 7:05 pm

Re: Sea Typhoon.

Since the subject came up, could someone go over the “why not” for the Sea Typhoon?
I find that sort of analysis very educational.

…And on that subject, I recall data on the Chinese carrier-based Su-27s, (re)posted in response to comments that the Chinese STOBAR carrier “would be rubbish”.
The executive summary was “oh no it isn’t”; the technical reasoning being that a catapult adds significant thrust, whilst a ski-jump acts as a modest thrust multiplier: for high thrust-to-weight aircraft, like the Su-27, the ski-jump multiplied value is larger than a catapult-added value.
This being relevant because the Typhoon is also a high thrust-to-weight aircraft.

So, yes, if anyone knows the details for the Sea Typhoon evaluation, I’d love to hear it, if you can link the docs to me (us).

Rocket Banana
July 30, 2013 7:28 pm

Mike Wheatley,

Sea Typhoon would have been perfectly good for the job of air defence. However, when you load it up with ordnance for strike/support it will not accelerate as quickly. In addition it will have to go faster because of the increased weight so it’s a “double whammy”.

Having said this some “fag packet” calcs give it a maximum TO weight of about 21,200kg with a 250m, 12 degree jump (standard atmosphere). Leaves the ramp at about 103 knots, keeps accelerating to 122 knots, after which, it’s airborne. This uses a Clmax of 2, which is probably pushing it a bit ;-)

Mark
Mark
July 30, 2013 8:08 pm

Don’t have any evaluation Report but il give my two penny’s on why not a gd idea. First on the ski jump it doesn’t add thrust it does two things. 1st it improves safety, the lauch aircraft direction is away from the sea gives a few extra vital seconds in emergency situations. 2nd what the ski jump basically does is gives you something for nothing in the ballistic path the aircraft takes on leaving the ramp gives it time to accelerate to a safe wing borne speed when without the ski jump would require additional carrier deck length in f35bs case it saves roughly 150ft deck takeoff role.

This leads into why not a sea typhoon. On exiting a ski jump an aircraft doesn’t have the ability in wing borne flight to maintain roll pitch and yaw stability using aerodynamics they use a reaction control system eg harriers nozzles and ducts and f35 roll posts and fan. Typhoon would need a reaction control system designed, flight software changed and significant work in the transition region of flight to permit operationally effective performance. Russian aircraft achieve this feat by having excellent post stall characteristics (not something particularly inherent in delta canard configurations) and probably longer deck runs so not reciving as much benefit from the ski jump.

The fwd fuse section of typhoon is less than ideal it has a long large nose and two big canards which will hinder a pilots view on a high alpha carrier landing approach required by a delta configured jet. This is one noticeable difference with rafale close coupled canards and small nose (and subsequently a smaller radar) than typhoon a trade off for its carrier requirement again design attention required here in any sea typhoon.

Landing gear aft fuselage and carrier landing. The most harsh environment for an carrier aircraft would require signifcant strengthing of the aft fuselage and probably deeper wing root geometry for much stronger main gear and perhaps increased volume around the inlet for a larger nose gear if catapult take off was requested. On that if a catapult was required the intakes are really in the wrong place wouldnt fancy some poor sod sticking his body infront of a huge intake as he connects the catapult ski. Add to this an increase in control surfaces particularly the vertical stabiliser and you’ve probably added 5000lb to the basic weight of the jet. You will then most likely require a engine performance enhancement to accommade this weight gain.

You will also have to redesign the wing/fuse pylons and there load paths thru the wing and fuse as thes weapons station will most like see the maximum sizing loads from the controled crash that is a normal carrier landing when returning with ordanance.

Then a retest and potential redesign of all electronic equipment to ensure it is compliant with ship board systems and most likely sealant and finish methods on the aircraft assembly and engines for the martime environment.
The crux of this your redesigning the entire aircraft and any resemblance to a land based typhoon is the name and general appearance. If you require an aircraft to land on a ship you better have the requirements in from the beginning as its a major driver you can’t add them later. Carrier jets are heavier more expensive to buy and operate and offer lower performance as a result when compared against any equivalent land based aircraft unfortunately that is just the way it is.

Jeremy M H
July 30, 2013 8:49 pm

Agree with Mark wholly and would say this as well.

STOVL is fine in that you can do without a lot of that extra weight for arresting the aircraft so the MTOW penalty of the shorter takeoff role does not hurt you all that much. You can save some money by not having to have all that stuff on your carrier. STOBAR on the other hand gets you the worst of both worlds. You pickup almost all the extra weight of the CATOBAR types but you suffer a MTOW penalty (this is highly debated when it comes to just how much of one).

You also don’t pickup the other fringe benefits of CATOBAR the biggest of which is launching aircraft that are not high performance fighters and higher operational tempos (long deck runs are kind of a killer for staging a bunch of aircraft at once, the whole ass end of a US CVN can be used to bring up and stage aircraft while they launch on the front end). STOBAR just seems to be kind of lost in no mans land in my view.

Rocket Banana
July 30, 2013 8:54 pm

Mark,

You don’t have to fly in a stalled configuration when you’ve left the ramp. You simply fly a descent (well, actually a ballistic path). The wings still produce lift and the control surfaces will still allow control. Easy to do with software. Even easier with a thrust vectoring nozzle… oh, bugger, add weight, oh and money ;-)

Mike,

Probably worth pointing out that Typhoon can take off without the ski-jump anyway in A2A config and no drop tanks.

Also, STOBAR is a bit of a waste of deck space and difficult to interleave takeoffs and landings.

Mark
Mark
July 30, 2013 9:19 pm

Simon

You’re not flying in a stalled configuration in the classic sense of high alpha stall but no matter what the trajectory is you are flying at a speed were insufficient aerodynamic control is available in operational configurations and insufficient lift is generated by the wing to support the aircrafts weight this will be for a short time only but Sod’s law and all suggests it needs to be robustly covered. As an aside a stalled aircraft still produces lift on the wings and body its generally very asymmetric and insufficient to support its weight but lift is still produced and is not easy to model.

Thrust vectoring helps it needs to be multi axis which is in effect a reaction control system. A harrier is essential a thrust vectoring aircraft is it not. You can leave the ramp at actual flying speed but you lose some of the benefit of the ski ramp. I wouldn’t class it as easy or cheap the hardest and most dangerous stage in any stovl aircraft flight is the transition from wing borne flight to thrust hover and would be the same in this case.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
July 30, 2013 10:50 pm

This STOBAR carrier is essentially the same size as QE.

http://the-salfordian.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Liaoning-aircraft-carrier.jpg

The safe parking area (where you can park cabs without interfering with launch or recovery) is defined by the red hatched line around the island. There’s enough space there for about 8 cabs, whereas QE (or a Nimitz) can range north of twenty and still launch/recover. Even CdG can manage better than a dozen on 2/3 the displacement.

Irrespective of what the payload penalties are on the aircraft, it’s a cr@p operating system.

“Carrier jets are heavier more expensive to buy and operate and offer lower performance as a result when compared against any equivalent land based aircraft unfortunately that is just the way it is.”

I think the performance differential has been miniscule for a long time now. You couldn’t call a massive difference twixt F4/F105, F14/F15, F16/F18 or even Buccaneer or A6 vs Tonka. People (especially Brits) tend to think that way because of the SHAR legacy (and Vixen vs Lightning) long before that, but in reality, while they will be heavier and more expensive, carrier jets are every bit as capable as a land-based equivalent.

Rocket Banana
July 31, 2013 10:39 am

STOBAR Kuznetsov – easily more than 12 jets ready on deck!

As I said, it’s fine for air-defence, but when you want to launch heavier jets you have to “pull them back” to the rear port sponson, which limits the other aircraft you’ve got on deck.

So, if we make Typhoon’s wings fold… it will cost even more :-(

Rocket Banana
July 31, 2013 12:29 pm

Mark,

Humour me for a moment…

If I use a sports car instead of a plane and drive it down the runway and up the ski-jump it will follow a ballistic path. If I strap rocket jets to the back and light them when I leave the jump the car will continue to accelerate and follow an elongated ballistic path.

If I put my hand out of the window of the car I will be able to make the car roll or yaw (slightly). As long as there is enough airflow over my hand (or a canard) I will have the same control authority as I would at the lower speed that I leave the ski-jump at.

Typhoon will leave the ski-jump at about 100 knots – easily enough for control from the canard. The engine just keeps on pumping and the aircraft just keeps on accelerating. At some point there will be enough velocity for the wings to generate enough lift for flight. Up until that point we don’t need the wing at all. We could almost jettison it.

There must be some validity in this given BAEs “sell” to the Indians for their carrier?

Topman
Topman
July 31, 2013 12:37 pm

@ Simon

‘easily enough for control from the canard. ‘

Not to be a pedant, Typhoon doesn’t have any canards they’re foreplanes.

‘There must be some validity in this given BAEs “sell” to the Indians for their carrier?’

Of course there are, with enough time and money it’s possible but so is everything. BAE want to ‘sell’ because that’s their business.

Rocket Banana
July 31, 2013 12:44 pm

Topman,

Foreplane: Is that because you refuse to speak French? ;-)

Topman
Topman
July 31, 2013 12:50 pm

Moi? Non.

Well they are different things (IIRC!) :)

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
July 31, 2013 1:01 pm

Simon

Just as an aside, you’ll notice that the after two jets cross the foul line and therefore prevent recovery as does the jet on the port launchway. So 9 in the safe parking area (ten might be possible) and one on the stbd launchway. It’s not entirely clear what the majority are – they look like Freestyle, which shows just how confused Ivan had got himself. Using Fulcrum or Flanker would increase spot factor and reduce number of cabs able to be parked.

Topman
Topman
July 31, 2013 1:18 pm

@ TD

No, I hadn’t. I can’t say I’m surprised, listening to the grapevine it was only a matter of time…

Mark
Mark
July 31, 2013 1:24 pm

Simon

The foreplanes on typhoon are there to control pitch rate as this can get quite large on typhoon and they also allow better optimisation at super sonic speeds.

Take account of cross wind Takeoffs possible assymetric thrust conditions or even load outs on the jet during the acceleration to wing borne flight and wonder if your wing flaperon slight control is enough.

Topman
Topman
July 31, 2013 1:37 pm

Timed out on the edit, it is the DM, and I’ll try not to second guess those there, but still not sure why they couldn’t get on from a local source. Several big Airlines fly in and out of nearby airports, unless it’s an unusal tyre spec.
It’s unlikely any would be held on stock at Minhad, although they might be from now on!

Rocket Banana
July 31, 2013 2:36 pm

NaB,

So they are. I think you’re right about the Freestyle too.

Any idea why the foul line (in front of forward lift) doesn’t extend to the middle of the deck at the front?

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
July 31, 2013 5:26 pm

Short answer, no.

If I had to guess it would be that the foul line for the extended t/o run from port aft would cover most of that. Also parking aircraft inboard of the fwd lift would knacker the access to the stbd t/o point.

JJ
JJ
August 1, 2013 8:08 am

“I see we have Sea Typhoon devotee.” Devotee?not really,was thinking about the BAE salesmen in South Korea.
I mean they are trying to sell Typhoon,it competes with the F-35 which seems to get more expensive and performance seems to be degraded every year,yet the UK buys the F-35,must be hard to explain that to potential Typhoon buyers except that the B version can land on a ship.

Also comments made by the USN regarding the F-35 future are not all that positive,so I started thinking about a Sea Typhoon,after all if I am not mistaken the design has been prepared for TVC and regarding software,was there not the Estol prgram with the X-31?what came out of that one?

Offcourse it is all not that simple as it sounds but the potential is there.I personally think that we have not heard the last yet regarding Sea Typhoon.

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
August 1, 2013 1:18 pm

Thanks for the replies,
Lets see if I am following:

(1) Deck area gets eaten by the arresting area. Okay. But surely CATOBAR is just as bad? And how does RSVL impact this?

(2) Range suffers. Okay, but the comparison is between the F-35B on one hand, and a Tiffy on the other hand, the latter probably having its CFTs, so I’d be really surprised if its range ended up less than an F-35B.
And by range, I mean in a strike mission, (why else would you want the extra range?) which then raises the question of “bring back weight” – anyone know what that would be?

(3) “By the time you have finished navalising it, you have a new aircraft.”
Now this I can see.
What if we posit the RN buying Rafale-M’s? (Which can also do STOBAR, and seems to have an even longer range.)
[Along with an order for a greater number of tranche-3 Tiffy’s for the RAF, to advertise that we think it is a better aircraft for non-naval use.]

(4) Aircraft operations / cycles is significantly harmed.
Again, yes, I get this, in particular STOVL integrates very well with concurrent helicopter operations, which matters for us.
But (again) surely CATOBAR is just as bad, and we considered that, before rejecting it due to cost rather than performance, (or did we? ) so surely it can’t be that bad?

***

There seems to be a second question here:
In addition to “why didn’t we”, there is a question of:
“why don’t we buy a token number of Rafale-M’s for when we need a much longer range strike capability?”
(Yes I’m sure you could make a tranche-4 Typhoon than could do what you want, but why bother, for a high-risk derivative in limited numbers, when the Rafale-M already exists?)

And/or, can you STOBAR an F-35C?

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
August 1, 2013 2:42 pm

There is no such thing as CATOBAR. It’s an acronym made up by internet spods which has unfortunately fallen into common usage (though thankfully not yet with MoD proper) – the correct designation is CTOL.

The difference between CTOL and STOBAR is that the catapult run is about half that of the STO run. You can also put a catapult in the waist (cats 3&4 on a CVN) and park alert fighters back aft near it without affecting parking area forward. Or with bow cats, you can park on one while using the other. STOBAR ships tend to have a full-width ramp, which prevents you doing the same. SRVL will have a similar effect to STOBAR, but it’s not the default method of recovery.

To the best of my knowledge none of Rafale, Typhoon and F35C have ever demonstrated a STOBAR capability. Only one of them has so far demonstrated the ability to perform an arrested recovery.

And while I’m thinking about it, the only offer BAE have ever made to the Indians is to develop a carrier-based version of Typhoon for them – at their expense. The words that spring to mind are “that’s going to cost you….”

wf
wf
August 1, 2013 3:11 pm

@NaB: I seem to remember that a series of CTOL naval aircraft were successfully tested with a land based ski ramp back in the 80’s by the USN, so that would suggest it’s doable for aircraft already stressed and equipped to take an arrestor wire. Whether the thrust margin is enough of course, is another matter

Rocket Banana
August 1, 2013 3:18 pm

wf,

I think those tests were for launch only. No landings involved.

Rocket Banana
August 1, 2013 4:10 pm

Mike Wheatley,

IMO there are two main issues with STOBAR:

1. The jets will not perform as well as their CTOL/CATOBAR equivalents in terms of TO weight.
2. You can’t park aircraft on the bow because it tends to be entirely “ramp” to accomodate pilot error and wind during the takeoff run.

It’s easy to discount the value of the forward parking area until you add it to the remaining parking area that is easy to get to when landing jet, after jet, after jet. Basically (on a carrier the size of ours) doubles the number of aircraft you can quickly recover. So think about an “all out” strike (something I thought was common knowledge to call an “alpha strike”). You’re going to end up with them all landing at much the same time so you won’t have time to move each aircaft to the rear of the carrier.

A picture paints a thousand words so…

CATOBAR vs STOBAR

…please forgive, it was done in a hurry, but I think it gets the idea over.

Jeremy M H
August 1, 2013 4:35 pm

@JJ

While you are right that the UK and Italy and others also wanting F-35’s probably does not help sell Typhoons I think you are wrong that the case would be made based just one wanting aircraft for sea duty. The fact of the matter is that the UK and Italy want the F-35 because it does a lot of thinks the EF can’t and won’t be able to do. In ditching the F-35 you are asking those nations to field a significantly less capable force for the sake of helping possibly sell fighters for a private company. It probably won’t work and the overall results would be worse for the UK. I don’t see the point.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
August 1, 2013 4:47 pm

The tests referred to were done at Pax River in the early 80s and involved a T2C, an F14A and an F/A18A using ramps of 6 and 9 degrees. The Buckeye did most of the work (200+ launches), the Hornet did 90, but the Tomcat only did 28 (limited by single-engine flight safety concerns).

They all appear to have launched well below their MTOW, which is probably to do with concerns re single engine failure and minimum airspeed during launch. All achieved significant (~50%) reductions in t/o roll compared to a field t/o, but then if you think minimum t/o roll for a laden tactical jet is somewhere of the order of 2000-2500ft, then that still translates to 1000-1250ft (north of 300m in real money) to get the same load in the air with a ski-jump. All of which means that if you’re going to use STOBAR on a ship of ~250-300m, you’re going to incur reductions in what you can carry. Couple that with the need to carry recovery fuel and your useable warload is going to be a tad light.

Those are the only aircraft to have been tested. All other references (eg to things like E2) are actually simulations rather than actual tests.

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
August 1, 2013 8:55 pm

@ all

Thanks for all the replies, very helpful!

JJ
JJ
August 2, 2013 7:05 am

@Jeremy;I see your point yet is the F-35B really that capable?I do not doubt that the “advertised” performance regarding avionics is at Star Trek level,but it also comes at enormous cost(extra cost for the F-35 is 13 billion and we are still counting….).So is it really worth it?those costs need to be made back somehow and Lockheed is a private company like BAE,they are here not to serve but to earn big bucks,and they have done that very very well…added to that we would like to build some airplanes in Europa aswell and the way things are going now…

regarding the Rafale;well I had forgotten about that one,but please can we get a REAL engine for the Rafale?EJ200 would fine thankyou very much!with TVC offcourse!(and perhaps variable cycle since RR did not get an ADVENT development contract)yep that also sounds simple but I think it is more simple than Sea Typhoon(after reading all the replies).With EJ 200 the Rafale would go ballistic although if I am not mistaken the EJ200 needs 77kg/s and the M88 sits at 68 kg/s,that might be €xpensive…
When it comes down to looks the Rafale wins hands down anyways!:-)what a beauty.

Many thanks for all your replies,very interesting reading.

Cheers,

JJ

JJ
JJ
August 2, 2013 7:13 am

…please forgive, it was done in a hurry, but I think it gets the idea over.

@Simon;I forgive you and it also clarifies Jeremy’s point regarding CTOL vs Stobar.

Tom
Tom
August 2, 2013 9:04 am

JJ – Both UK and Italy are building significant parts and sub-assemblies for all/many of the F-35s. Production of the F-35 will carry on for far longer than production of the Eurofighter or the Rafale, and would of done without any UK/European involvement.

The cost of the F-35 has been higher than expected but that is no different to the Eurofighter. Inflation, rising labour costs, and the fact that the far fewer of these aircraft are buying brought than was originally planned for. This isn’t unique to building fighter aircraft; its true of every manufactured product now and probably in the whole of history.

JJ
JJ
August 2, 2013 12:46 pm

“JJ – Both UK and Italy are building significant parts and sub-assemblies for all/many of the F-35s. Production of the F-35 will carry on for far longer than production of the Eurofighter or the Rafale”

;True there is some production in the EU yet it remains to be seen whether the jsf will be carrying on for that long,again there are serious cost issues and true others have had their woes but none of them failed this big in the cost arena,and that others have failed is not an argument for the jsf to fail also in the cost arena,was this thing not supposed to be cost driven?ah well yes it was but not from a taxpayers perspective!:-)and again is it really that good?why does the USN want something faster?what is an jsf pilot going to do when he is out of missiles like his forebears in F-4’s over Vietnam?

and then this; http://seekingalpha.com/currents/post/1189242

Mark
Mark
August 2, 2013 1:09 pm

I think the cold reality of what f35 is going to deliver in the next 10-15 years is giving a renewed optimism to a whole host of jet program’s that were being ignored including typhoon. The fact the US is keeping superhornet, f15 and f22 even when f35 is delivered shows that f35 is not the only answer so why it should be seen as problamic to have typhoon and f35 is beyond me. Indeed had the issues outlined in the piece below had been made public at the time I doubt f35 would be here now

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/outgoing-f-35-programme-boss-shares-hard-won-lessons-383932/

Tom
Tom
August 2, 2013 1:59 pm

JJ – I don’t disagree with everything your saying, though the JSF is not going to be cancelled.

At a certain point the JSF is needed, if only to inject some new life into the US (and other) air forces and replace some of the older aircraft with something, even if it is not the wonder weapon that it was in the late 90s/early 00s, rather ridiculously, touted as.

Mehmet EMRE
Mehmet EMRE
August 4, 2013 4:12 pm

I am not very good at comparing aircrafts but while watching İzmir Air Shows in 2011 I noticed that the circle f-16 has made while sharp turning was a lot larger than Eurofighters. I mean F-16 has no chance to win in a dogfight against Eurofighter. And I hope F-35s specs will be better than Eurofighter. In the meantime, you can have a look at some cool Eurofighter photos :

Eurofighter Typhoon Pictures

WiseApe
August 4, 2013 5:14 pm

@Mehmet – Thanks for the excellent link.

wf
wf
August 4, 2013 7:28 pm

@Mehmet EMRE: be careful about extrapolating from airshows. How tight a turn is obviously a function of how much g an aircraft can sustain, and no one knows what the pilots concerned were pulling other than themselves.

Secondly, in order to put on a good show, there’s a premium at airshows at remaining within the airfield perimeter, which puts a premium on aircraft who’s corner velocity (speed for the highest turn rate) is low. This does not correlate to a useful real life performance either.

That being said, I would expect Typhoon to be better than the F16. It’s got a better T/W ratio, more modern flight control system, and it is naturally unstable vs just relaxed static stability :-)

Mehmet EMRE
Mehmet EMRE
August 5, 2013 3:03 am

: Well I have one question for you. Which one do you think is better? (F-35 or Eurotyphoon). Thanks..

Observer
Observer
August 5, 2013 6:06 am

Mehmet, that is an apples vs oranges question. The Typhoon is designed for high speed close range dogfighting, which is why it is designed to be so damn agile while the F-35 is designed for LO (low observability) aka assasinations. They obviously have situations they are designed for and are best at.

For example asking a Typhoon to sneak up on an F-35 probably isn’t the best idea. Inversely, if the F-35 fails to sneak up on a Typhoon, it is probably going to be in a fair bit of trouble. Something like asking a sprinter to swim or asking a swimmer to run the 100m. You are not going to get the best results either way.

Mehmet EMRE
Mehmet EMRE
August 5, 2013 6:31 am

Oops! That was indeed enlightening. Thank you :)

wf
wf
August 5, 2013 6:46 am

@Mehmet EMRE: Typhoon *should* be better. It has a better airframe, more installed power etc. But it’s systems are not as good due to lack of development money :-(

An F16’s armament options are practically unlimited, but Typhoon’s are not

JJ
JJ
August 6, 2013 5:55 am

“An F16′s armament options are practically unlimited, but Typhoon’s are not”

Well once the UK,Italy and the Netherlands realize they have given away the fighter market to the US and actually PAID for it they just might get their act together and “fix” Typhoon,So how about a Typhoon Next Gen?Asea(being developed),TVC,uprated engines etc
Stealth you say?well by the time the F-35 gets into service will it’s stealth be as effective as it would have been a decade ago?

Opinion3
Opinion3
August 6, 2013 6:16 am

The lack of the development of the Typhoon might actually be constrained by the consortium aspect of the build. Is everyone holding off spending development pennies until all cough up their share.

The orders lost have been substantial. As for the scrapping of the Typhoon in Britain well that is just madness.

mike
mike
August 6, 2013 8:51 am

@ JJ and wf

Well, the Saudis are certainly the lads we should be thanking for actually pushing forward weapons integration… soon their aircraft will have a wider range of munitions than our own :/
Same will probably apply to the wider upgrades.

As with stealth, well radar and thermal tracking and acquisition is getting more and more advanced to a state where stealthiness is not a such great an edge against a peer nation as it seems… the USN has already been grumbling about that, and well; stealth only helps in certain flight profiles too, that will be a whole new learning curve of airmanship for RAF and FAA pilots to learn.

Jeremy M H
August 6, 2013 2:01 pm

@Mike & JJ

I think that what the USN had to say about stealth has been over sold by many. They did not, as many seem to think, pronounce that it had no place. Their position on the issue is basically that stealth is not everything. It has to be a part of a broader capabilities set with electronic warfare and standoff weapons and everything else. In that respect they are of course right.

Regardless of the changes in detection capabilities the fundamental advantages of being LO rather than not remain pretty much the same, they just change in scale. Unless I either make the detection and engagement envelope of a VLO aircraft effectively the same as a non-VLO aircraft I fight at a pretty large disadvantage. There are ways to try and do this but all of them have drawbacks. Most current and projected IR systems don’t have the range or volume search capabilities of a radar. Many are quite good out to a certain range but most are at their best when cued by either an onboard radar or a search area by something like an AWACS. Lower frequency radars can help you too but the ones with good resolution are very big sets for the most part. They are more moveable than they are mobile in most senses of the word.

That is really what the USN is getting at. There are systems that will cause low-observable aircraft more trouble. But that is why they are still moving towards a TLAM replacement and HARM is being massively upgraded and electronic warfare continues to be developed. However hard it is to get an F-35 to operate in an area you would need all the more support for an F-18 to do the same.

It is the height of presumption to assume that China and Russia are designing low observable aircraft if detection technology was going to be sufficient in the life time of those aircraft to render what they are doing useless. Other nations, with access to full reports and high tech industrial bases of their own, like Japan have looked at non-VLO vs VLO aircraft and made a pretty clear statement on where they think they need to go to be relevant in the future.

mike
mike
August 6, 2013 4:03 pm

@ Jeremy

Indeed good points, but stealth is not quite the ‘get up and go’ silver bullet the public imagines when you tell them an aircraft is ‘stealth’, there’s far more to it (such as flight profile) as no doubt your aware of. Would an F-22 or F-35 fall prey to a SAM system like the F-117 did? Different generation of stealth tech of course, but remember the Russians for example have superior IR detection systems on their aircraft (including the next gen aircraft), and others will learn – like the Serbs did – the ‘tell’ of a stealth aircraft. It stands to reason that with the superior VLO tech on western types will drive alternative means of detecting them, from IR to wash to Electronic emissions, the fact they have the beginnings of VLO tech is to enhance their survivability.

I’m just remarking that a mixed VLO and ‘normal’ is the solution – albeit an expensive one, and Typhoon already has shown how sharp it can be when working in conjunction with a VLO aircraft (F-22) – in terms the Americans call it ‘over-delivering’. Already, planning has started to seek how we can use Typhoon with F-35. I do think we will be on good ground (air?) with these two types :)

We just need the investment and good leadership – as with anything equipment wise :/

WiseApe
August 6, 2013 4:13 pm

A bit of Typhoon news from the Dewline:

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/08/saudi-typhoon-deliveries-and-a-tranche-3-spotters-guide/

While I agree with Jeremy MH’s comment about Japan there is still a large market out there of nations unwilling to buy Russian/Chinese, or unable to buy F35.

Jeremy M H
August 6, 2013 5:08 pm

@Mike

I honestly think the Serb shoot down is about the silliest thing ever brought up in the stealth debate really. They shot down one and possibly hit another. Given the target sets they were hitting and the defenses present (in all F-117 operations) that is an incredible track record. No, it does not render an aircraft invulnerable by any stretch. But I would guess based on operating patterns that no other aircraft would operate in those areas at those times at all for the most part. Moreover the standard for success for the defense is not shooting down one or two fighters. It is preventing the other side from doing what it wants.

While the public may get its panties in a wad over a couple of aircraft shot down the reality is that you had better inflict losses on the high side of 30-50% when your IADS system is up and running against an F-35 user because we know the other aircraft are highly likely hit their targets and vastly degrade your ability to defend yourself. It is not Vietnam anymore where you air defense system is going to get multiple chances to take a crack at the other side. Pretty much every aircraft you miss is likely to hit something important and that probably can’t be replaced. And while the aircraft can’t be replaced in the short-term either they are a lot more interchangeable with one another than say a high end L band radar of which a nation might possess 2 or 3 that can do volume search and generate targeting quality tracks.

Mark
Mark
August 6, 2013 9:51 pm

No constraints on typhoon being modified by individual nations anymore. Typhoon was designed for high altitude high speed bvr combat against high performance Russian aircraft f16 was not it was a close in dog fighter. F16 is very versatile now but in its large array of weapons it covers practically none of the uk air launched weapons bar AMRAAM.

I think the us navy’s idea of low observable aircraft is x-47 shaped not f35 shaped!

JJ
JJ
August 7, 2013 5:58 am

“Regardless of the changes in detection capabilities the fundamental advantages of being LO rather than not remain pretty much the same, they just change in scale.”

@Jeremy;that is the whole problem isn’t?The enormous cost no is no longer justified,not enough bang for the buck in case of the F-35c,that is perhaps why the X-47 is landing on a carrier before the f-35c:-).
I always like to compare stealth in airforces to submarines in the navy,you need it but you will not be able to submerge your entire navy,it might be possible but is it really worth it?

So will the F-35 be cancelled?nope not the A anyways,although never say never.The C will problably be dead and burried this autum,the airforce will have to drop the entire B-1 in order to save the F-35a,because something will have to give.And the B?Well I lke an aircraft which does not need thousands of acres of luxury airbase,but does it really have to weigh 14 tonnes and have stealth?and have a 38 million dollar engine?

Rocket Banana
August 7, 2013 9:22 am

I was thinking about doing a post to ask the question: “What do we do when B and C are cancelled?”.

If the stealth aspect of F35 becomes significantly less valuable, then what you are left with is a good strike aircraft in the A flavour.

The wing is larger on C, it has to fly higher and waste fuel getting there. It would probably make a better fighter than both the A and B. It also has a different wing, wing root and fuselage to the other two. I’d suspect the C therefore shares less than the A and B.

The B does not have the greatest of ranges and has pretty poor endurance. It is simply a Harrier replacement that costs a fortune to buy and own. However, both the A and B variants will make better low-level penetration aircraft but their radius will drop to about 70%.

The bottom line is that its easy to make a case to keep A, and at a push B, but C has no significant USP especially with X-47 waiting in the wings.

Chris
Chris
August 7, 2013 10:20 am

Simon – ref “What do we do when B and C are cancelled?” – from UK perspective at the moment the existence of F35C is just a point of mild interest. But if the F35B were to have US funding pulled, the RN would be up a creek without a paddle. What on earth would we do with two enormous carriers that only suit STOVL operation? Pay BAE another king’s ransom to revert to cats & traps for a second time? This time around it would be really expensive as the metalwork is all glued together now. Buy back whatever Harrier stocks the world has to offer? See if Pres Putin has spare YAK 38? Declare we only ever wanted to use CVF for helo ops anyway? Big creek; no paddle.

On the other hand, it can’t be beyond the wit of man (more specifically beyond the wit of engineer) to put a modern turbofan inside the Pegasus vectored thrust casing? The thrust vector stuff was after all a couple of wobbly nozzles off the main fan, a fire-brick lined plenum with more wobbly nozzles glued to the jetpipe, some bicycle chains wrapped round the nozzle bases to make them move around a bit, some water injection to ensure even thrust across the fan disc and a handful of puffer nozzles for stability. All very 1960s technology – there might be a reason for that… But once there’s a vectored thrust EJ2000 or whatever, all you need is a bit of airframe and Bob’s your uncle there’s a new Harrier in town. The VAAC control system I hope is still BAE IPR, and not given away to the US partner companies.

Let’s face it, in the 1950s there were 15 major jet fighter developments under way just in the UK. And money was tight back then just like it is now. So it must be possible to engage brain and make new aircraft without the need for the participation of seventeen partner nations all pulling in different directions? Or have the laws of physics evolved beyond our feeble understanding in the intervening years?

Rocket Banana
August 7, 2013 10:30 am

Chris,

If we had to go VSTOL on our own I think Harrier type front nozzles and F35B type rear nozzle. Never liked the “Lift System”. I’d also compromise and go for a subsonic aircraft. I’d also compromise and go for small wings to allow Mach 0.9 low-level strike and use the available viffing (which is not doable on F35) to supplement air to air engagements.

I would however want internal weapons (2 AMRAAM + 2 1000lb Paveway) primarily to reduce drag during my low-level penetration.

Basically it would be Harrier meets Buccaneer… is that a Parrot? :-)

If we could not do it then I think we’d have two massive LPH/floating missile silos. We’d have to develop a decent air defence missile capable of balistic engagements and therefore very long-range “shoot the shooter” ability. I’d also work on a long-range stealth cruise missile and admit defeat that the FAA will never fly jets again. :-(

Chris
Chris
August 7, 2013 10:51 am

Hmmm. Not sure I’d trust the screwball F35 rear nozzle to synchronise with harrier type front vectored thrust nozzles. Its quite slow to redirect – viffing might be beyond its abilities. I’d stick to the Pegasus system I would. Of course there’s nothing technical preventing much longer better streamlined plenum pipes leading away from the jetpipe to rear nozzles mounted further back, that would offer I imagine much better fluid dynamic properties and less energy wastage at the expense of internal volume and weight and a rearward move of the centre of VTOL lift. Might be more efficient if we only want very short take-off & landing and the ability to viff. It might also make the control system more robust – it must be really tricky to balance on top of a column of moving air; forward momentum and some straightforward aerodynamic help from wings & flight surfaces must make life so much easier.

Rocket Banana
August 7, 2013 10:55 am

Chris,

I wouldn’t “viff” the rear nozzles for anything other than takeoff or landing. Just the front ones.

I’d also duct the front nozzels when they are in normal flight configuration to mix their cool air with the hot gases of the rear nozzle.

Currently investigating if we need the rear nozzle to move at all if we’re prepared to use SRVL all the time. I think it can be done with just Harrier style front nozzles, much like boundary layer blowing or the C-17 trick of blasting jet exhaust down the flaps.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
August 7, 2013 10:58 am

In the unlikely event that F35B gets canned, by far the cheapest option (and I include any nonsense about LPH missile carriers and pretend new SAMs in that) will be to fit EMALS and EARS and fly F35C or F18E. C0cking about with Typhoon or creating a completely new STOVL aircraft will be a programme costing tens of billion. Fixing the ship will be chump change by comparison.

Rocket Banana
August 7, 2013 11:00 am

Ah but NaB, there would still be a market for a STOVL jet. The USMC will still like one, as would the Spanish and Italians. A possible order book of 400 or so.

The economies might look very different when you conisder that the UK could get their jets for free.

x
x
August 7, 2013 11:11 am

Surely if F35b is cancelled we just buy more helicopters to do other work? We could properly fund Crowsnest in terms of both systems and airframes; imagine CVF going to sea with 8. A couple of squadrons of nice new ASW helicopters (with a good sized large AShM). And a couple of squadrons of Junglies/troopers. I bet we could even stretch to a three nice new large LPDs….

……….UK MEU here we come……………..

………this is too exciting I am going to have to take my tablets.

Mark
Mark
August 7, 2013 11:17 am

If f35b gets canned qe will either be a helicopter carrier or join ark royal in turkey.

Optimising a jet for low level terrible idea. Most I’d go with is ensure the cockpit sits at the right freq node from the cofg and have metal LE.

Don’t believe viffing was ever used operationally pretty pointless anyway as we’ve been told by Lockheed for years now manoeuvring doesn’t matter missiles do that!!

Brian Black
Brian Black
August 7, 2013 11:18 am

If F35 was binned, which it won’t be, we’d probably buy more Typhoon… and the FAA would learn to push Paveway IV out the back of a Chinook.

Brian Black
Brian Black
August 7, 2013 11:27 am

If F35 was binned, which it won’t be, we’d probably buy more Typhoon… and the RN could cut a few Trident sized manholes in the deck of QE & POW.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
August 7, 2013 12:13 pm

“Ah but NaB, there would still be a market for a STOVL jet. The USMC will still like one, as would the Spanish and Italians. A possible order book of 400 or so.

The economies might look very different when you conisder that the UK could get their jets for free.”

No, we wouldn’t.

In the event F35 gets canned it will be on the basis that either the USMC requirement is no longer valid or that USN jets will provide what is required. A slack handful of jets from a couple of economies in very serious trouble would not even begin to fund the R&D required.

Compared to designing a supersonic (yes that is still a major part of the requirement) STOVL jet from scratch, Sea Gripen is a piece of p1ss and that’s going well isn’t it?

JJ
JJ
August 7, 2013 1:02 pm

“It is the height of presumption to assume that China and Russia are designing low observable aircraft if detection technology was going to be sufficient in the life time of those aircraft to render what they are doing useless. Other nations, with access to full reports and high tech industrial bases of their own, like Japan have looked at non-VLO vs VLO aircraft and made a pretty clear statement on where they think they need to go to be relevant in the future.”

@Jeremy;complety missed this remark,must learn to read better or start reading later in the day:-)
Anyways the fact that they (China+Russia)are doing the same thing or want us to think so does not mean they are correct,remeber the Battleship revival of the 1930’s?Italy started so France did the same etc.
Am I comparing apples to oranges?dunno but they certainly had enormous price tags!and bang for the buck?never mind…

So was the F-117 the late 20th century “HMS Dreadnought”?

BTW thx for your comments!

Cheers,
JJ

El Sid
El Sid
August 7, 2013 5:05 pm

@Simon
there would still be a market for a STOVL jet. The USMC will still like one, as would the Spanish and Italians. A possible order book of 400 or so.

Don’t bet on the USMC – the USN are going to have to make some hard decisions under sequestration between “wants” and “needs”, and a rethink of their aviation capability is the kind of big-ticket hard decision that they will have to do at a time when they are seriously talking about losing 2-3 carrier groups. There’s already a school of thought that says STOVL is looking less relevant in the modern age. Even before that attack on the Harriers at Bastion last year, some USMC brass were debating the future of operating STOVL planes from austere forward bases, on the grounds that they were just too vulnerable to “commandos” (either insurgents or professionals) in a world in which man-portable guided weapons were proliferating. Bastion is hardly a lightly defended austere FOB, but 15 men were able to knock out eight multi-$million jets in a few minutes.

The cost/benefit of STOVL carriers is looking harder to justify given the size of the F-35 which really limits the numbers that can be carried by amphibious ships. Sure, you can operate 20 off LHA-6/7 but they are aberrations, the USMC has realised that what it really needs are welldecks, particularly in a world where vehicles are getting ever heavier and less amenable to air transport. So they are mostly going to be looking at LHD’s with capacity for 6-8 F-35B – arguably their total requirement is for less than 100 B’s. Already the main argument in the US for saving the B seems to be more about how it would mess things up for us and the Italians/Spanish rather than the USMC’s requirement, one senses that decision makers in the USN could live without a STOVL plane. The case would look even weaker if the TERN comes off, which could carry a 600lb payload to an operational range of 600-900nm from something as small as LCS-2. You could fit a useful number of those onto an LHD.

WiseApe
August 7, 2013 5:57 pm

Re: cancelling F35, the DoD may already be considering the unthinkable:

http://www.defencetalk.com/pentagon-considers-cancelling-f-35-program-48653/

I actually came on here to let you all know that BBC Northwest just announced that Bahrain have enquired about buying some Typhoons – negotiations “at an early stage.” And Korea is not yet out of the question:

http://www.defencetalk.com/south-korea-caps-fighter-aircraft-acquisition-at-7-45-billion-48624/

WiseApe
August 7, 2013 6:16 pm

A Reuters report on the Bahrain story. Might be politically difficult given the call to drop Bahrain from the F1 calendar given their human rights record. Imagine The Guardian readers’ reaction to an arms sale!

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/07/us-britain-typhoon-bahrain-idUSBRE9760KJ20130807

Rocket Banana
August 7, 2013 7:16 pm

Does anyone know what outstanding problems there are with the F35A?

Apart from the utterly stupid price, of course.

Rocket Banana
August 7, 2013 7:31 pm

Okay, okay. I’ll admit the chances are that F35 will get binned purly on cost grounds. I was working on F35B being scrapped on technical grounds, which would have meant there was still a demand to be fulfilled… fat chance.

So are we all happy with:

Building long-range stealth cruise missiles for naval strike?
Building long-range “interceptor” missiles for naval air defence?
A complete inability to interdict movements outside of artillary and AH range?
A nice big and fracking expensive LPH or two?

or

Admit the French were right all along and go Rafale and cats-n-traps?
Ditch Typhoon?
Merge BAe with Dassult?
Push Rafale into Brazil and India and slowly replace all Typhoon with Rafale for common logistics?

Mark
Mark
August 7, 2013 7:44 pm

Simon

Public reported issues with f35 can be found here

http://timemilitary.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/f-35-jsf-dote-fy12-annual-report.pdf

Mission system issues are applicable to all aircraft and just over 1/3 rd of the test program is now complete. The f35b should be heading to the wasp in the next few days.

None of your or option will ever happen

Rocket Banana
August 7, 2013 7:59 pm

Mark

None of your or option will ever happen

Especially the first one ;-)

Thanks for the link.

Rocket Banana
August 7, 2013 8:27 pm

Synopsis…

1. B – doors
2. B – clutch
3. C – transonic buffeting
4. C – appalling transonic acceleration increase (am I reading this correctly)
5. All variants – overheating tail surfaces

I don’t think 1 and 5 are much to worry about. Point 2 is something I mentioned when the whole “Lift System” was first designed. Points 3 is difficult to gauge but should really be solved with some clever use of the control surfaces. Point 4 might be because of point 3 and only a temporary change to the performance spec.

Mark
Mark
August 7, 2013 8:46 pm

Simon

Point 4 (yes you are) due to the larger wing and tail surfaces for the same installed thrust. The larger wing span does however help it in sustained turn performance over the a and b.

To your list add software as no 1 issue and capability moving right significantly so. Also the helmet remains a worry testing this year did not solve the issue and in fact I believe some fixes caused other unforeseen issues with it. The biggest indication there is the alternative helmet is continuing to be pocured at this time. A varient of The bae striker helmet now on typhoon is that alternative.

McZ
McZ
August 20, 2013 10:22 am


“And Korea is not yet out of the question”

Ooops… http://www.defencetalk.com/eads-dropped-from-7-3-bn-s-korea-jet-fighter-bid-report-48804/

I think the export story for Typhoon is very much told.