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Eurofighter Typhoon Phase 2 Evolution


It has been around the news sources this week but at long last the Phase 2 Evolution contract has been signed between Eurofighter and the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA).

The series of enhancements will start being fielded from 2015. Many have concentrated on the pointy end stuff but it will also include a wide range of avionics improvements to allow the Flight and utility Control systems to comply with future civil aviation requirements and safety certification.

On top of Meteor integration that was announced earlier this year the P2E list includes upgrades and new systems in;

  • Defensive aids systems
  • CAPTOR radar
  • Multi function information and distribution systems (MIDS)

EP2 is part of the wider Phase 2 Enhancement package that should include Storm Shadow, Taurus, supersonic release of Paveway IV, SDB and Brimstone integration, and when negotiations conclude between NETMA, Eurofighter and Euroradar, the CAPTOR-E AESA radar. Trials of a number of these are ongoing but final contracts have yet to be announced.

The Typhoon is a complicated aircraft programme to follow. Tranche 2 has two phases, Phase 1A and 1B or P1EA and P1EB. The Phase 2 Evolution builds on these. The pipeline of Tranche 3A includes increased fuel capacity, fuel dump valves, airframe provision for conformal fuel tanks and the heavier E-Scan AESA radar and an improved data bus.

Just to be clear, Phase 2 Evolution does not include CAPTOR-E, Brimstone or Storm Shadow, they will come in the Phase 2 Enhancement programme, contracts pending.


With further opportunities in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, South Korea and others there is still much life in Typhoon but the partner nations have no doubt retarded export success by the glacial pace of development, trumpeting integration of Brimstone or a new display is hardly red letter day stuff, they should have been in place for a long time.

The UK should recognise the qualities of the F35 and what it will deliver, no doubt, but lets not forget Typhoon is an extremely effective aircraft, still has bags of growth with sufficient funding and could have great success in the export market but the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

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60 Responses

  1. If I might suggest…

    1. AESA.
    Expediting of AMSAR or whatever it’s inheritor (ES-05?) is would have gone further, simply because the range that Meteor provides doesn’t bode well for a multi engagement capability with a mechanical scan array, no matter how nice the two way datalink is. THAT should have been at the front of the list, even if it meant working outside the box with Selex or whoever.

    2. EJ-230.
    If it’s not on the books then it should have been because if you put more weight on the jet with CFT, you _have to_ increase power to compensate. This is not just sales politics but realworld tactical demand as we well discovered with the 220 engined F-15E that couldn’t hardly climb to refueling altitude with six Mk.82 onboard. We put up with a veritable flame thrower (literally, burned four jets right to the ground) until Pratt got the F100-PW-229 squared away and we could start to use the Strike Eagle for real wars. Obviously, the hotter the rod the more fighter pilots want to ride in it and the Typhoon is already no mean beast when it comes to the high-fast arena but the numbers don’t lie and 20,500lbf is just not enough for a 44,000lb class airframe. EJ-230 was what, 103KN/23,600lbf?

    3. Expanded tanks.
    I don’t know what the existing models come to, I imagine it has to be something like 1,000liter/250 gallons, they just aren’t that big which speaks against the power available to push their drag through the sky but also argues against the _throttle settings_ which make that power possible. Expanding them or shifting to existing 1700 or 2000 liter Tornado tanks would have been a big improvement to veracity of the Eurofighter’s 300-becomes-700nm radius assertions without the major pangs of a CFT rerouting of the fuel plumbing. It certainly wouldn’t have looked as ugly which is a bigger deal in exports than many might think.

    4. A New Cockpit Layout.
    Particularly if the two seaters are ever commandeered to serve as combat controllers for the Neuron or Taranis or their next-gen equivalents, getting independent busses and wide screen touch controls like those of the F-35 and F/A-18 ASH up and running would be a major bonus. On the order of ‘Strike Eagle+’ redefining of the jet as a true /dual role/ fighter.

    Eurofighter is not a LO airframe. Eurofighter is more akin to the F-16C.50 with better thrust trust, integral EW and pylon options. Making sure that it was penetrable without assistance from Tornado or USAF sources would be a major achievement, especially with the retirement of the dedicated F.3 conversions.

    6. Get SPEAR Onboard, _Now_.
    I don’t see that it matters much whether it’s GBU-53/B or AASM but having a cheap, non-U.S. sourced PGM that has standoff range greater than Brimstone and multicarriage from a single pylon station would allow you to again move ahead with a platform changeup that sells as seriously multirole in an environment where big sales are being lost to the likes of F-15K/SG/SA because Eurofighter’s impression is that of a good Air Defense fighter with only pickup in the LGB+LDP arena.

    7. Consider NSM/JSM.
    As both a next gen AShM and as an overall ‘step below’ (KEPD/Taurus/Stormshadow) CM with applications for SPEAR-3 longrange overland work. Australia may well opt out of F-35 and Canada almost certainly will. If the F/A-18F ASH is not in the cards as a longrange interceptor, then certainly the Eurofighter will gain points by having inshore maritime control options.

    8. Get Some Different Paint On It!
    As pretty as the Typhoon is in a kind of mustachioed ballerina sort of way, the colors you’ve gone with _do not_ do it just nor weather well (I say this as a modeler). Something with more contrast and a little darker, edging towards a countershade blue-grey like the two tone RAAF birds or even the F-15E with a little stealthish metallic undercoat would really make a sales demonstrator for a two-seat multirole type pop.

    The truth of the matter is that the UK is heading towards a time of deep peace and limited funding for force upgrades, whether they will it or nil it. The Empire is gone and so you have restricted interests, world wide, to cue the Vickers game anymore.

    The Americans have totally trashed the F-35 and your sole European competitors already have their Gen-4.8 fighters out there as the JAS-39E and Rafale F mk.3.

    If the worst happens in America, as I believe it will do we continue ‘playing about’ with government shutdowns as LOMD matches between two equally non-representative political parties, the opportunity for Eurofighter to take over for a defaulted JSF program is massive. Virtually all of NATO as yet deluded by the F-35 perfumed pig at least.

    Did that mean setting aside other program fundings to provide decent carrythrough on a ‘Eurofighter EM’ for Export Multirole, it would still lead to a massive increase in capability for the RAF while providing fall back funding through the cutoff of the dead in water JSF on an “Oops, so sorry, this hand’s to rich to stay in…” basis of sliding funds back towards army/navy in a bit.

    I know that this would likely mean a payoff to the French in the form of Rafale M/N but your last Strategic Review suggested you were hip deep in bed with them over the next generation combat aircraft/UCAV anyway so…

  2. Have to agree. with future radar developments passive stealth concepts may well go out of the window and typhoon may become the preeminent wester fighter? But the euro partners need to get there ass I gear and move up the development program. Its a decade into service and it can still only fire a handful of weapons.

  3. The drops upgrades on tranche 1 aircraft do not bring them up to tranche 2 aircraft standard it would be an mlu to do that. Until recently the tranche 1 aircraft have been the only aircraft able to conduct ground attack missions and the drops has built on this for tranche 1 aircraft as well as updating all manner of avionics as well as specific r2q radar updates and is country specific thought nearly all partner nations are now involved for drop 3.

    A lot of the features of the drops were incorporated in P1e for tranche 2&3 jets. P1e is now being integrated on tranche 2 aircraft at coningsby for delivery to the fleet. Formal RTS is expected next year following oeu activities. P1e is full air to ground integration and paveway 4 use among many other things. Stormshadow flutter carriage trials are imminent in Italy with sr&j trials expect next year for delivery to airforces in about 20 months time most likely the kingdom of Saudi first. Aesa radar is under ground test and should fly early next year.

    If there is absolutely 1 thing typhoon doesn’t need at the minute its more thrust its a rocket ship and in Libya quite happily sat at 40k plus with 4 x 1000lb bombs and a missile fit.

  4. The Arabs probably don’t want to depend on Europeans (or Americans) for spare parts and upgrades. The relationships are cooling, an the trade links become less crucial.

    They may look at Russian or Chinese products in the late 2010’s, at least consider their products seriously.

  5. @M&S – with an arc of instability emerging on the southern shores of the Mediterranean from the Pillars of Hercules to the Horn of the Bosporus, the Euro-zone a slow-motion train crash, a re-invigorated Russian Federation enjoying fun and games at the expense of the West and Obama Presidency frozen to the spot like a rabbit in the headlights I can’t help wondering if rumours of a “period of deep peace” might be a trifle exaggerated…however much our Government(s) might prefer to stick their fingers in their ears and go “LaLaLa…”

    Just a thought


  6. GNB,

    I have every confidence in our Government’s ability to stick its’ fingers in its’ ears and go LaLaLaLa, no matter what obvious threat is looming. Quite apart from any military threat, no Government for the last 30 years has even acknowledged the pensions and social welfare time bombs, nor thought until too late about keeping the lights on, and no one dares to talk about demographics on an island this small.

    Why should a barbarian shouting at us from an African shore make us update the jets? We should be getting over there PDQ with the DFID cheque book and a course in counselling or gender equality classes. I’m sure you and I won’t mind an extra 10p in the pound income tax, and feel good about minimising our eco-footprint while we allow the Chinese and Indians to increase emissions.

  7. Can Storm Shadow (AKA Scalp EG} or TAURUS KEPD 350 be used as an anti ship missile?
    We do not have one since the retirement of sea eagle.
    Maybe we should look at the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) and it the f35 compatible Joint Strike Missile (JSM) variant.
    Its relative lit compared to storm shadow or we could beg the Americans for Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM).

    Alarm is a brilliant missile but we are not carrying out continued development. So like sea eagle and may other British projects it has stagnated. We will end up with a variant of Harm even though it is currently less capable.

    It has always seemed odd that Eurofighter GmbH has not just tried to integrate as many weapon systems as possible. That would shorlie of helped for export is you could use weapons from all the major suppliers.

    Could the Eurojet EJ200 replace the Turbo-Union RB199 in the Tornado?

  8. @George – I’m from Yorkshire, and @RT lives in Wisbcwz…and as far as I know isn’t from the branch of the Clan MacBreeks that has their own distillery…we have a head start in the Lugubrious Stakes (2.45 at Wolverhampton, or possibly Redcar)

    Glad to have you amongst us


  9. MickP, GNB, George – as a dyed in the wool Suvverner I always knew it was grim in t’ North. I am not gloomy. I look out over pristine vistas of manicured countryside full of happy wildlife; the palm trees waft in the warm breeze; girls spend their days being slim and elegant in bikinis to the delight of all us handsome chaps… Oh here comes the nurse with another injection…

    I decided today that democracy is a slow-motion train crash, on the grounds that as a bunch we all vote for the party offering that little bit more benefit to us; benefit not necessarily affordable from the public purse. Given enough time, with successive new governments having to borrow to afford all the promises that got them elected while at the same time unable to stop any of the previous governments promised goodies, the affordability goes right out the window. There will be some here who have studied the situation in the newly formed USSR in the 1920s – I’m guessing the UK’s current level of guaranteed benefits aren’t far off the Soviet state support for all? USSR found it completely unaffordable despite a lower standard of living and vast natural resources; the UK’s national resource seems to be middle managers and call centre operatives – phew we’re saved then.

    Maybe, just maybe, instead of discussing how to make our already eye-wateringly expensive defence equipment even more expensive, whether Typhoon v2.1 or FRES the diamond encrusted battlefield taxi, we should be trying to work out how to get a sound set of defence equipment on a small budget?

    Apologies for making t’North more gloomy than it was…

  10. @ Chris

    We the people of Mercia want to make it quite clear that the majority of us being north of Watford does not make us Northerners. Thank you.

  11. @Chris

    “I decided today that democracy is a slow-motion train crash,”

    Nice to see that someone else has worked that out. Poor education system + universal franchise = bankrupt nation. Dante had it right, 600 years ago: monarchy is the only system that does not, of itself, lead to slavery.

  12. GNB,

    I am now at the stage where I am older (only a year or two) than the PM. This hasn’t happened before in my life: previously, I used to look up to the grown ups.

    I look at the various candidates for 2015 and think not one of them is a proper man or has any intellect or even a sense of nation. And worse, the general electorate are bloody idiots concerned only with themselves.

    Bring back Maggie (obviously, not the real one, she’ll be all mouldy by now, but the concept). And make voting contingent upon an IQ test.

    Am now about to watch the last 2 episodes of Bluestone 42 on the iPlayer. Absolutely unrealistic in how it portrays most things, but an epicly brilliant comedy that really does capture squaddie humour. I had so many Macs and Rockets as Troopers who I once had the privilege to command.

  13. There were supposed to be larger tanks as an option however sometime roughly 2001 the option was removed to save roughly £25m. The two sized tanks (1500 and 2250) on Tornado wouldn’t really be suitable they are of a different design. Typhoon has an intergrated fuel pylon. Of course a bringing back the original larger tanks is an option. But from what I’ve seen it’s unlikely. Although it’s something that should really be done.

    The EJ200 could have more thrust as it’s not as powerful as others however it really is a nice to have. It’s fine, well infront of the F15C/D from what I saw on RF. Another important factor is reliability, having seen the PW powered F15s issues, the EJ200 knocks them for six on that front. Although not reallymentioned it’s an important asset, meaning it quite useful if your Sqns aren’t doing changing engines several times a week…

    I agree with your last para TD, it should have been done earlier. One of the issues with working with partners who fundamentally want a different aircraft from us.

  14. @ all

    I look out at the gently rolling hills of the Blackmore Vale. An unchanging green and hedged vista, with fine local ales (3 award winning breweries within 45mins drive+ many micro breweries), cheeses (6 award winning makers within 30mins drive) and what ciders! I have the occasional low-level herc, commando and light aeroplane to entertain me. So in the west country I am most definitely not gloomy.

    Our economy is largely based on financial services (I believe 40% of the worlds currency is traded in London), which leaves us awfully dependent on one sector doing well.

    We need to make things again, and do research and cutting edge stuff.

    And spend money on schools, colleges and Universities.

    And stop importing stuff! (Eg We import 80% of our wood, but have upwards of 40% forestry unused).

  15. @ AS

    Could the Eurojet EJ200 replace the Turbo-Union RB199 in the Tornado?

    Short answer no. It’s not really practical for all sorts of reasons.

  16. X, if I ever do try to stage a military coup, but get rumbled just before the deed, I am SO going to blame you for putting that link there leading to me clicking on it, and so my name popping up on one of Cheltenham’s many lists….


  17. @ Topman

    Is that because modern engines are not designed to work with rivets?

    @ Red Trousers

    My bookshelves already looks like a COIN course required reading list.

    If you are ex-forces commissioned you are already on a watch list anyway. You are probably on more than one due to your day job.

  18. @x: don’t worry. What with the school fees and mortgage, there’s no chance of me drinking myself to death. Working myself to death is possible, but I cycle 80 miles a week, so I suspect I’m reasonably robust :-)

    @Hurst Lama, @RT et al, I think our problem is not a lumpen electorate, but the increasing disconnect between them and government in general. Local taxes have provided ever smaller proportions of local spending for decades, and Europe sources the majority of UK legislation, to be waved through the UK parliament with no amendments permitted. Significantly, the EU Commission has the right to propose legislation as well as enforce it. If only monkeys are required in Parliament, the best and brightest will avoid the place…

  19. Yeah, democracy sucks. It’s done no good whatsoever for the US, or Japan, or Germany, Britain, France, Italy etc. All those economies lagging behind the likes of Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, Saudi Arabia etc. What a shitter!

  20. @ Topman

    I thought they were (in)famous for having lots of rivets in their construction?

    @ wf

    Good to hear. :)

  21. @x

    Not especially so that I ever noticed. Main reason not really worth it at towards the end of Tonka service life.

  22. @Chris B – Before you set GCHQ on us, I’d hazard a guess that most of us actually agree with WSC ” Democracy is a bloody awful way to run a country, with the exception of all the possible alternatives…”

    It is living with that conundrum that makes us all so damn Gloomy..!


  23. I suggested it because you could extend tonkers life for an extra 15-20 years. it is going to take a long time to get the deliveries of f35 and the rest of the typhoon fleet. building planes is a slow process. the end of service date is not set in stone.

  24. @ GNB

    Its major flaw is that in evolutionary terms we are still sitting under trees in Africa trying not to upset the alpha males, trying to stay in the group, and too busy competing for scraps. That is to say we like to be in groups, we like to be lead, and that means government.

    probably………. ;)

  25. @ GNB,

    Indeed. There’s room to wiggle in democracy, like reducing the influence of the lords, much tighter controls over MP expenses, much much greater controls and transparency regarding lobbying and MPs interests, and possibly room for a more moderate political party, one that mixes the business advocacy of the tories with the compassion of the Labour movement, not letting either extreme become too prominent in policy. Which means it’ll never happen because nobody will fund a party like that.

  26. Chris.B, GNB & any others vaguely interested – I’m not anti democracy. It feels good to the voters and everyone believes their vote has some small impact on the direction of the state. The issue with it (and I haven’t worked out any better method of governance) is that the people – all of us – vote for what’s good for us as selfish individuals; we don’t vote for what would be best for the country. If one party stood on a manifesto of decimated benefits, pay-per-class schooling and a blanket 80% income tax for the long term benefit of the State, where the other lot offered free designer shoes to all women and free season tickets for your choice of football club – which would be voted in? The voter will not vote for the good of the state, just the good of his/her family. Only when the State is clearly fractured and at the point of implosion would the voter consider its needs, and then out of the normal selfish drivers like ‘what would befall my family if the State fell??’ Hence the description of it being a slow-motion catastrophe – it might take one century or even two to bring in so many vote-me-in give-aways that the State bankrupts itself trying to pay for them all, but the election promises do stack up – enshrined as a ‘right’ in perpetuity – I can’t recall any politician stating the benefit brought in (hypothetical example) for the 1956 general election should not be honoured by governments now as a) times have moved on; b) those who promised it have long since left Parliament; c) its application is now unaffordable.

    So I don’t know what might be more sustainable. I doubt any other form of governance would be so popular. But on the grounds that the universal vote democracy works essentially by candidates bribing voters with the promise of better more comfortable lives without demanding additional payment to cover those new benefits, this sort of democracy must eventually find the bill for all these extra comforts and benefits rampantly unaffordable. I suspect therefore there is a limit to how long such a system remains viable; that limit I propose might be in the 150-200 year mark, if all goes well. Big devaluations might keep it going a bit longer, by essentially wiping real value debt down as the currency becomes less valuable, but that is at the expense of all the savings carefully set aside by conscientious citizens.

    If anyone has figured out a better way to run a country, please share it with the rest of us.

    Apologies for running way off topic.

  27. @ Chris

    Although hard to believe I think you are hard on the Politicians. Your entire theory stands or falls on the premise that the political parties do not care about the country and will promise anything to achieve power whereby they will immediately be crippled by their promises which will ruin the country.

  28. The MOD occasionally feels the need to broadcast that they have a fair few muppets (HC3, FSTA etc.) but really you can’t help feeling that industry itself should be investing their own money to improve the saleability of the products.

    It makes no sense to me.

  29. @APATS
    “Your entire theory stands or falls on the premise that the political parties do not care about the country and will promise anything to achieve power whereby they will immediately be crippled by their promises which will ruin the country.”

    Yup. sounds about right. Just look at what has happened since 1945, and in more recent times it has got worse not better – just look at that PR spiv Cameron,.

    “If anyone has figured out a better way to run a country, please share it with the rest of us.”

    “It is only when a monarch is reigning that the human race exists for its own sake and not for the sake of something else. For it is only then that the perverted forms of government are made straight, to wit, democracies, oligarchies and tyrannies which force the human race into slavery” (Dante Alighieri circa 1300)

    I know Churchill said that democracy was a terrible system until one looked at the alternatives. Whilst the Great Man spoke a lot of sense he was also given to coming out with complete tripe.

  30. @HL

    Quoting a writer from 1300 really is not much of an argument. The thing about a Monarchy is that when they had absolute power they had a habit of becoming tyrants who were hard to dislodge.
    Total power based on birth is an offence to human nature. the fact is we currently enjoy the best solution going.

  31. We must be careful how we use the word democracy.

    Mrs. Powel “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

    Benjamin Frankln “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

    Benji didn’t say democracy for lots of very good reasons.

    The new PM of that country that came second at HQ on Saturday uses the term crowned republic which I find interesting.

  32. “… industry itself should be investing their own money to improve the saleability of the products.”

    BAE invest its own money? Actually put up front cash not backed by a taxpayer guarantee? It would be the end of civilisation as we know it. The thin end of the wedge. A Bennite solution. Quite impossible.

  33. I am with Russell brand

    The modern political process is now irretrievably corrupted by a number of factors, too numerous to mention.

    Note I do not attack democracy as such but our current setup has run into the sand (as they all do eventually). I just hope we can renew it without to much (as in any) bloodshed.


    Personally I do not believe there is any such thing as a ‘country’ beyond the interests of the people living in it. They are the country, it is not some abstract concept of ‘tradition’ etc. It is noticeable that most torturers and mass murderers justify their actions as ‘saving their country’.

    The people living in their country being murdered and tortured generally do not feel ‘saved’

    Those who call for some form of non democratic rule always assume that the non democratic rule would be agreeable to their sensibilities. A touch of terry Pratchette’s

    ‘The patrician believed in one man one vote, and he knew exactly who the man with the vote should be’.

  34. @APATS

    “… we currently enjoy the best solution going.”

    If you say so, old boy. John Stuart Mill’s warning about the tyranny of the majority doesn’t cause you any alarm then (even though under our present parliamentary rules it turns out to be the tyranny of a very small minority – how many swing voters in how many marginal seats).

    The fact that something was said 700 years ago does not make it wrong. As a, part-time, Buddhist I know there are teachings from 2,500 years ago that are spot on and as relevant today as they were then.

  35. @HL
    Well as many posters have admitted they cannot, offer a better solution.

    part time Budhist? So sometimes enlightened? Relevant is not another word for practicable.

  36. @ Chris,

    As much as I think the Lib Dems have their heart in the right place, I don’t vote for them because they would scrap Trident. This decision is of no immediate benefit to me, unless you count the very exceptional chance that it might disuade someone from dropping a large bomb on me. But I consider it in the long term national interest. I think you need to give people more credit for their voting trends.

    Besides, Kings and Queens of England have an even longer history of enlarging their own pockets at the expense of the common man, and to a greater degree.

    We could try a Demarchy (essentially a lotto for MP positions).

  37. @GNB,
    Socialist Liberalism ‘freeing the Arab Springers’ is only a cover for a much wider grand coup de tat as world government sir. Having said that, it is relatively clear to those who remember a certain CIA chappie telling Gadhafi that “You’re the drowning man, I’m the life guard…” that there is no honorable surrender for the likes of Assad or Khameini and he in turn has made it very clear in interviews that he considers U.S. sponsored terrorism, to include Obama authorized, preemptive, WMD use, to be a Mark of our Satanic intent and he will die, in Syria, defending the land he was born in.

    I find that a far more honorable ‘instability’ than the extremist sharia sects now rising in the former Egyptian, Libyan and Tunisian territories, as the real terrorists move in, in the shadows.

    Our own status as nations flooded with ethnic populations who make no contribution to our high tech societies and whose TFRs vastly exceed our own ensures that any material profit we traditionally make from ‘settling disputes’ and forging ‘trade agreements’ in these places with military force will be vastly exceeded in value by the losses and debt we incur at home.

    And true Authoritarian nations like China and Russia look on, encouraged by our attempts to uplift the unsaveable, with the eager glee of the inheritors watching the insane stab themselves to death.

    The only real power to ‘gain’ in the Mediterranean Power Grab is still playing the one-side-against-all Machiavellian game without realizing that the fewer agencies there are to blame for the Big Problems of the region as the planet, the more all eyes will turn. And Iran already has nuclear weapons, she just doesn’t have the Al Shahabs to send them, reliably, with.

    Someone has truly taken to heart Milton’s old jibe.

    If I have one thing to say it would be that the more you concentrate on remaining English, the more the non-English will stand out in their loud cries and spoon banging and the sooner the revolution will come to your peoples with the higher percentage population chances of remaining who you are when the last men are counted, still standing.

    But in any event, English warriors in the sky pay a lower price than English soldiers on the ground in terms of commitment and the selling of arms as mercenary force.

    “If there is absolutely 1 thing typhoon doesn’t need at the minute its more thrust its a rocket ship and in Libya quite happily sat at 40k plus with 4 x 1000lb bombs and a missile fit.”

    Thrust is of course as much about ‘minus drag’ as anything and hence a compression ratio that keeps thrust up at high altitudes can make an aircraft seem spritely.

    That said, SFC remains an issue as a function of throttle setting to achieve a given cruise index, quickly, and there are also limiters in terms of material degradation that come from an excess of thrust and an absence of high temp airframe capabilities to sustain SSC above Mach 1.3 _with full fuel and SEAD ordnance aboard_.

    The Libyan threat environment was not a credible mark of necessary capability. And capability for it’s own sake as something that is blatantly sellable as /performance/ to fighter pilots is always welcome.

    Don’t take my word for it, look at the F-16C.40 and what happened when a brand new engine with 3,500lbf more oomph than the weakened F100-PW-200 got it’s thrust trust bit into by all the weight increments of ‘multirole’ in a fighter that didn’t even have a full set of LANTIRN for three years after intro.

    You walk into a trade show with brochures that sell the world on the fact that the Typhoon is now running on a 23.6Klbf engine with 15.9Klbf in military thrust (essentially F100-PW-220 level performance in an F414 sized carcass mass) -and- it has all the whizbang mud pounding stuff and you will get two kinds of customers come scrambling to your booth:

    1. Men who want to win wars.
    2. Fighter Pilots who want to survive doing so.

    There is _no such thing_ as too much thrust.

  38. Ok time for another rant!

    Governments have always used their arned forces to achieve political aims, fact. Over the pasr decades our illustious leaders have comitted our military to numerous operations either under UN mandate or not but have realy achieved little or nothing except being able to gain heavily spun PR wins. Hundreds of service men and women have dies for this and the only possitive I can see comming out of all this is that having had their fingers burned the politicians may be a lot more hesitiant about commiting troop again on foreign soil.

    If this is the case though it throws up serious doubts about to size and composition of FF2020. We simply will not be able to afford to conduct persistent operations in the future. It may seem so on paper but our forces will have had their resources cut to the bone meaning we will lack sufficent attrition replacements, spares and ammunition to conduct such operations. The UOR system will not be able to cope with anything but the smallest operation and as the MOD is going to get its fingers burnt by the Treasury over the UORs for Iraq and Afghanistan it will refrain from all but the most urgent needs.

    So what are we going to do in the future. Well a variant of Libya is probably the template. No boots on the ground but ISTAR and air support for other 2nd or 3rd Tier nations. Yes we will continue to use Special and Ranger style forces for individual targets but we are really going to retain the bulk of the army to defend sovereign assets. Forget Peacekeeping etc. The UN is broke and although it works in a few areas, it is going to be less effective now that it was at the height of the Cold War. Trillions have been spent on Peacekeeping and I cannot remember a really successful outcome. As for peacemaking, well GW1 was a limited success as all the gaine were wasted in its aftermath. Korea ended in a draw and look what has happened in the Congo since the UNs intervention in the 1960’s.

    So we need a smaller army with a much more focused role. Out should go all the heavy assets as the amount we will retain and the cost and logistical effort to get them anywhere and fight simply is not worth the returns, especially as the funds could be used far more effectively elsewhere.

    The ARMY:

    Retaining the existing Special forces and increasing their support with both the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marine Brigades both being allocated to this role. The latter formation need to be totally self contained with all the neccessary support unit permentently attached be they artillery, rotary assets, ISTAR and logistics etc. To suppliment these formations we need between two and three Medium or Cavalry brigades forming a single division. Again each of these brigades should be self contained and self sufficient. I will poinbt out that non of these formations are intended to go head to head with opposing armoured formations, these are the targets of the air component. Up to half of each Cavalry brigade should be made up of REserves and Territorials, filling out battalions rather than as separate units. A new medium platform is needed and my two choices would either be the Striker which is now doing a good job for the US Army of the Boxer with is working well fot the Dutch and Germans. I personally would swing towards the Boxer as it has greater growth potential and was partially designed to british requirements. It has greater protection and its modular design alos has benefits. FRES should be killed off as a programme and concept. If you have a recce platform that looks like a light tank then it will end up being used as one. A recce platform should avoid contact and be able to get out of trouble fast. For the the Dutch/German Fennec is ideal. If the Germans think it is good enough we shouldn’t argue. For fire support a module with the same 105mm as used on the striker MGS would do the job as would an ATGW overwatch variant. As I stated these formation are not intended to go head to head with opposing heavy armour but with air support will be able to hold their own or better. Speaking of air support, the curretn AH-1 Apaches will need to be brought up to Block III standard to ensure commonality with allied nations and I would like at least another regiment (24) purchased. Additionally the Naval wildcats need to be able to opperate in the Gunship role and therefore should able to be equipped with Hellfire, CVR-7 and fixed 25-30mm cannon. Personally I believe all Wildcats should be able to perform this roles and able to operate from ships in which case there would be no need for additional Apaches.

    The RAF:

    The Typhoon is going to be the corner stone of the RAF for decades to come supplimented by the F-35 and possibly UCAVs. Its rotary assets need to go to the Army and Navy and be integrated into the brigades supporting the Special Forces. This will give them the theater mobility they need. Strategic transport assets need to increase to allow these brigades to be moved and supported in the field long enough for seaborne assets to arrive if neccessary but as persistent ops are off the table this will be a rare occurance. Importanly all transport assets need to be able to refuel in flight (C-17) but if a probe can be fitted to the E-3 than why not the Globemaster III. We need to make maximum use of Tanking assets and scrap the current PFI aalowing other assets to carry out the tanking role and modify the current platfroms with cargo doors to allow them t be more effectively utilised.

    The Typhoon need significantly greater investment and we need a minimum of 6 frontline tranche 3 standard squadrons of at least 18 planes each as opposed to the currently planned 5 with 12 each. Its partner the F-35 will need to be operated by at least 3 front line squadrons again each of 18 aircraft. In both cases there needs to be sufficinet attrition platforms to maintain the force size. With the F-35 we come to the senior service the Royal Navy.

    The NAVY:

    The core of our future Navy will be its two new carriers. These need to be Carriers and not simply deployable runways. Funding for a new AEW&C platform should be a priority as should some form of tanker and COD platform which in reality means a purchase of the American V-22. There should ba at lease a full squadron of F-35s on board any carrier at sea increasing to a minimum of 2 if the threat level rises. HMS Ocean needs a dedicated replacement as we will need to transport the Royal Marnie Brigade and supporting assets in one go and we have to put its aviation assets somewhere. All of the above will need protecting and I strongly believe the currently planned 19 escorts are insufficent unless we refrain from all other activity. the same goes for the SSN fleet, 7 platforms is simply not enough. Therefore additional assets are obviously needed

    The Navy is going to be the UKs primary tool for intervention backed up by the RAF and limited operations by specailised ground forces. This is going to be determined by the policies of our government and what I have suggested gives them the most bang with little risk in political terms. With the USA also appearing to follow these ideas, we are going to become a sort of International Riot Squad. Other nations will have to carry the burden of the UNs persistent operations, more so than now with countries such as India, Russia, China and Brazil taking a lead under the UNs banner.

    Where the funding for this is to come from I have a few ideas but these will be contentious in political circles. Firstly the £6Bn added to the Overseas aid budget should be transferred to defence. Secondly there should be no replacement for Trident unless it is taken back out of the core budget. The smallest contribution would come from reducing he Army but every little helps.

    (Sorry in advance for any typos)

  39. @AS

    Under those circumstances, although unlikely, then yes there would be some value in going for a re-engine option.

  40. Wild talk of coups d’etats is premature. Things were far worse at the fag end of the seventies. Does any one else remember Gen Sir Hugh Beach’s lectures on why a military coup would have been inappropriate, not that he would have used the word? He was pretty convincing at the time, but I only remember the slides.

    @RT what a legacy we are leaving to our children, but we shall muddle through, this country always does. And the grass isn’t a lot greener anywhere else.

    I must say M&S has done us proud in the TLA / acronym/project name stakes. Looks to me as though Eurofighter is like Trigger’s broom, seven new heads and three new handles, so would that make it a tranche 7 enhanced phase 3 broom?

  41. There’s nothing wrong with a parliamentary democracy, as long as sufficient oversight is built into the system.

    The problem with our particular version is that the legislature (the commons) is being allowed to neuter it’s control/oversight (The lords, and the fourth estate, the press).

    As the Commons are elected, it’s only to be expected that they will pursue popularist policies. In the past, with a more limited and more politically astute electorate, they had to be more rigorous in the development of policies. Generally the electorate knew their representatives, and would take them to task directly. The publication of satirical pamphlets and polemics, often by writers such as Swift, was an honourable, if slightly incorrigible way of getting your point across. The Lords, who not being elected, could be less popularist in their outlook, had sufficient power to amend, or send back legislation that failed to meet the needs of the nation at large. The apogee of this system was the period between William and Mary’s and Victoria’s reign. Funnily enough a period in british history where political stability allowed a very real improvement to living conditions for all, innovation and economic growth.

    We now have the situation where the commons, vote-chasing popularists, have neutered the lords to the point where there is no effective control-and now the commons have set their sights on the press (although some of their excesses need limiting).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them having a go at judges soon. (With the advent of voted in ‘police commissioners’, they’ve already opened the police to political influence). Expect leglislation to allow the commons to appoint senior judges, or to overrule the Judicial Appointments Commission.

  42. Really? Retarded export success?

    The only opportunity they have really lost is India and if you believe the rumour mill that was because EADS lead the campaign rather than BAE.

  43. @Bob

    That is a really generous assessment on your part regarding Typhoons export success and prospects in the future.

    I will never put it past governments in the middle east oil nations to buy any number of things. I have said before and will repeat here that I think the Saudi’s are half buying weapons and half buying protection with a lot of the deals they make. I guess there is a chance to sell more stuff there because they are always spending big bucks and buying from everyone (US, Europe, Russians) without much rhyme or reason.

    But the Typhoon has lost in quite a few places outside of India, depending on how you define a loss. We can quibble over if there was a direct fly off or procurement competition ect but the fact of the matter is there are only so many people you can sell fighters to an each one that goes with another option (Rafale, F-35, F-16 ect) is somewhere you are not selling your product.

    Whatever people want to say the original article is pretty spot on here. Typhoon has likely lost several chances at business because of the issues with its development road map. Early on it was the lack of air to ground capabilities. Later it has been the lack of AESA radar. Now it likely will run into the problem of by the time it gets an AESA radar it won’t be low observable. I don’t think it is at all unfair to say there have been opportunities missed and that the window is likely closing fairly rapidly for any more export success.

  44. Jeremy M H,

    Wrong. The article is nonsense. Someone who buys F-16 Block 50/52 or a Gripen is not really going to be a Typhoon customer (the Typhoon being too expensive), and someone buying an F-35 is not going to be a Typhoon customer (Typhoon is simply a generation behind that airframe).

  45. @Bob

    That is just quibbling because if you are saying the Typhoon market is so narrowly defined then that would be an equally damning statement would it not? I mean honestly…how much market does that really leave for the Typhoon?

  46. Jeremy M H,

    No, that would not be damning at all. The fast-jet market is highly stratified both vertically and horizontally. All aircraft fit into narrow market segments. Especially as the F-16 has now dominated the market since the early 80s. The Typhoon has done well to win what it has (three export customers to date plus the original partner nations)- there are still more opportunities on the table. The only criticism should be for the Indian bid.

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