Typhoon in the UAE

David Cameron will land in Dubai ahead of the Dubai Air Show this week there is much speculation that a deal with the United Arab Emirates for 60 Typhoon has been struck. Following on from success in Oman and potential future/additional orders from Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia the possibility of a Middle East Typhoon ‘operators club’ is an interesting one to ponder, what it might mean for development and weapons integration for example.

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.dubaiairshow.aero”]

Whilst we are wondering about the possibilities, or worrying that Dassault or a US company might pip Eurofighter to the post, have a couple of videos

 

 

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Overseas
Overseas
November 14, 2013 10:41 am

Certainly in terms of the market that the UK was given/took when the Eurofighter partners looked at exports, they’ve done remarkably well.

One impressive selling point a couple of years back was that regional (GCC) government dignitaries attending the Dubai Airshow, instead of seeing a Typhoon stripped down for a light aerobatic performance (as all other jets were) came flying in fully loaded, and properly demonstrated how it handled when not in ‘fancy dress’ mode. Sure, it didn’t come to a halt in the sky, or do insane falling leaf tricks, but demonstrated how it moves will carrying several thousand pounds of ordinance to a great deal of nodding of heads from those in caps and uniforms.

M&S
M&S
November 14, 2013 2:34 pm

It’s still an airshow loadout because they simply switch internal fuel for blivets. This is and the fact that the jet is never more than about 6,000ft from either end of the runway makes the whole display pointless as ‘CAPing the Beacon’.

Tactically, if you still have that much crater maker ordnance on the airframe when called upon to engage in maneuvering combat, you’ve made a _severe_, late-commitment, mistake and will, at best, be dumping your guidance lock on your CPU-123 while you madly reach for the master jettison button, praying for another second to clean the jet before missiles start flying as a cluster of dark object fall highlights your position to everyone looking.

Such is the reality of ACM and even simple S2A defeat and when idiots in F/A-18s do it wrong, they set up a miss perception of events that (ODS, 1991) would have put them in a situation where _had their missiles missed_ they would have likely been too late to become competitive maneuverers with a pathetic little MiG-21 QRA.

Because that’s how bad the differential A2G/A2A loaded performance is.

You fight the air mission by the profile you fly. And you don’t do even BFM level maneuvering while loaded with millions of dollars in PGMs, let alone while guiding them, which is where the terminal threat is highest.

Meaning _someone else_ had better have popped the S2A and the DCA before you send in the dumptruck.

This is essentially what makes the second video laughable because, IMO, the SA-10s ARE the number one mission targets and will remain so until neutralized down to the last engagement radar and TEL at both battery sites, no matter what airbase/warehouse target you are assigned.

As for the DAS suite, my knowledge is a little rusty but since Monopulse measures angle off and a 300ft differential in range is sufficient to treat as a separate target cell, it is unlikely that even a ‘smart’ TRD is a capable Monopulse defeat system. This was a big deal back in the day because the Italians flat out refused to put the TRD techniques generator in their pod, they wanted a fully functional Crosseye/Crosspol capable jammer on both wingtips because they wanted to be able to steer threats ahead of the airframe, not behind it.

And they got what they wanted.

TRDs are terminal defeat aids once the missile is in air and yet they are not terribly good at remaining in-plane without the target when forced to orthogonal roll defense. An F-16C.50 pilot dragging an ALE-50 over Serbia the night the B-2s stripped every available asset and got ‘chased’ from about 15K to 5, over mountains, with shot after shot totally ignoring his tow bird and continuing to come right in on him.

Which is why Jaffing is seldom used in combination with TRDs, last I heard.

In this, it is important to note that the Serbs were getting track quality data from _ATC_ radars as well as using a variety of taped decoys and this pilot saw all manner of ‘tanker, no APG-63, no HAWK (!)’ radars on both his ALR-56 and ASQ-213 displays so it’s likely the EWMS wasn’t putting out anything near good-music.

Which highlights the fact that you are never more than a single tape away from being behind the eightball when dependent on soft-kill as onboard defeat.

That Gainful would have been fired in pairs if it was an SA-6B and it would have likely had an IR homer in the mix. Waiting for a weapon to come between you and your TRD is asking for trouble as blast and frag can dent the airframe and the difference between a proxikill and a direct impact is a small one if you are already maneuvering hard because the airframe can come apart around you due to the added stress, especially if it DCFs.

As I said before, putting a hotter engine in for a hot’n’hi climate and bigger tanks for added range in a theater which could overlap Europe, twice, is a good idea here because they are basically component change and straight up qualification clearances rather than say new plumbing and structural flex mode certification for the whole airframe as CFTs imply.

The notion that Eurofigher has a 750nm combat radius because you add 2,000lbs of gas and pulled the cannon is ridiculous. It was 350nm as a Cold War interceptor with a centerline and clean A2A load off 9,800lbs internal.

It ain’t gonna break the laws of physics now that it’s a dirty multirole jet.

Typhoon without an ARM is a bad idea. If you can’t or won’t update ALARM and won’t buy foreign as Armiger or AARGM, then consider investing in a UOR conversion of a percentage of your standing purchased stockpile of Meteor airframes with a lot of GPS+IIR seeker fits.

If your DAS geolocation capability is within .5` and your 3D Range Known capability further take the slant down to a half mile graze, you should be able to cue an ASRAAM seeker into a target restrictor zone in time to zap the warm radar.

As IIR Meteor is a given anyway, once RFLO threats like PAK-FA and J-20 become standard, think of it as a ‘practice run’. But get an ARM on that aircraft and stop pretending that ‘DAS can do it!’ (sung to the beat of ‘The Waterboy’) when Growler could not.

I would not be too proud of Litening III. If nothing else, it needs a supersonic capable (i.e. non gimbled hemispheric head) optics cover because that is how you will be tossing GBU-22 or 38 for max standoff. IMO, the best SALH seeker is one which can take an _initial_ spot point and then do an edgelock transfer to a video or IIR seeker. This would allow the pilot to designate X# of target aimpoints, drop his spread of weapons and then go oblique, letting GPS fly the weapons on an optimum ballistic arc for the general target footprint basket before flash-illuminating 1-2-3-4 as the weapons come down so that late steer minimizes control-surface loss of ballistic range. In fact, ideally, this would be done by a trailer aircraft making full use of a third generation QWIP array, long after the dropper aircraft had left the area.

None of these capabilities are innate to the LITENING or the GBU-22. I believe they are present on the EOTS and GBU-54.

The difference is one of 6-8nm designation as you drop vs. 15nm release standoff and potentially 20-25nm designation.

On Cockpits, while the cockpit is sufficient, it is no more nor less than the equivalent Gripen, Rafale or other (F-22) period platform and could use with a good wide-view display with touchscreen capabilities.

I myself have a lot of doubts as to the efficacy of HMSS because it requires head-swivel to bring 1:1 spatial overlay symbology into view. That might be okay for missile approach warning or sneaky handoff from the IRST in a passive intercept condition where you have to physically -steer- the jet towards or away from a threat as target. But for the majority of missions as threats, if you wait until you can see the whites of a missile motor pluming up at you, you’re screwed.

If you don’t want to risk the leans looking down at a Big Picture display with portalling, at night, that’s fine. But at least consider adding global displays to the helmet so that you can get a gods eye perspective understanding of projected threats.

From watching the pilots play I-Pad with the touch screen displays at Boeing and Lockheed, like a bunch of little kids on Christmas morning, investing in a new cockpit display system overall (on the road to ‘Typhoon multirole’, new production, as much as an MLU) would be another one of those ‘fighter upgrade features are merely toys designed for more discerning boys’. If they can do this on the ASH, you can do it on the Typhoon.

Just like a hotter engine, you are appealing to the ‘exclusive to this year model!’ mindset of some pretty primitive psychologies.

Speaking of individualization, I still believe that the Eurofighter would do well with new camouflage too.

If you are going to have a lot of sales in the ME, consider sending a specular analysis team to do high and midlevel photometric color surveys because the light over there looks different, at different levels, because of all the dust and pollutants which just hang in the sky.

Compare and contrast the UAE F-16E with the standard Tricolor Gunship on the USAF F-16Cs.

The Other Chris
November 14, 2013 2:38 pm

Mental Note to Self: Invent a built in keyboard fire extinguisher to deal with overheated/melting keyboards.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
November 14, 2013 5:20 pm

Right, listen up chaps, I’ve got this idea for an advert. Now the brief is to produce a video that shows off the various elements of Typhoons DASS in a hypothetical scenario, just so people can get to grips with the basic layout and systems. But then I thought “sod it, lets just show the plane bombing the SAMs instead”. What do you think?

Deja Vu
Deja Vu
November 14, 2013 6:21 pm

M&S please provide a glossary,as I would like to understand what on earth you are talking about but not all of us are propeller heads or indeed are up to date . I attach my best guess where possible.

CAPing the Beacon
CPU-123
ACM
S2A Bloodhound/Rapier/Javelin etc?
F/A-18s
ODS, 1991 First Gulf War?
MiG-21 Cold War Russian Plane
QRA Quick Reaction Aeroplane
DAS
ASRAAM A missile that homes in on radar transmitters?
IIR Meteor
RFLO Roll Floor Laughing On – F presumably stands for Fighter
PAK-FA Russian Fighter*
J-20 Chinese Fighter*
ARM
Growler
Litening III
non gimbled hemispheric
GBU-22 or 38
SALH
IIR
X# of target aimpoints QWIP
EOTS
GBU-54.
The difference is one of 6-8nm designation as you drop vs. 15nm release standoff and potentially 20-25nm designation. I understand the words but the sentence defeats me nm Nautical miles or nano meters
HMSS
head-swivel
1:1 spatial overlay symbology
IRST
MLU
ASH,

* Wikipedia came to my aid, I thought J-20 was some type of bomb and PAK-FA the Football Association in a country bordering Afghanistan ;-).

tweckyspat
November 14, 2013 6:27 pm

Maybe M&S thinks we all talk like that when on mexeflote threads ?

” And the reciprocal of pi to your good lady wife”

Mark
Mark
November 14, 2013 6:28 pm

Should give people a gd run down on all the latest thing on typhoon.

http://www.baesystems.com/download/BAES_163279/air-international-typhoon-supplement

It’s quite large so wouldn’t attempt it on a mobile

Deja Vu
Deja Vu
November 14, 2013 6:40 pm

Delete HMSS and DASS from my list as the films explain them, but as for the rest.

And now I know what HMSS is I can understand Head Swivel is what you get when you don’t have an HMSS, and a 1:1 Spatial Overlay is when the icons actually coincide with the view through the visor. How is that done is the visor a translucent curved display or are the icons projected onto the visor or are they added post production on the film?

Mark
Mark
November 14, 2013 6:51 pm

Deja vu

A short video on the bae striker typhoon helmet display system

Bob
Bob
November 14, 2013 7:48 pm

Don’t hold your breath. Every rumour imaginable is being circulated: Typhoon win, Rafale win, surprise F-15 purchase, no-win to be announced and even somebody is going to get insulted again (which is a sort of win in it’s own way).

Either way, this is a big one and will go a long way to determining what will happen to the European military aerospace industry.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
November 14, 2013 7:52 pm

Wonder how much influence the 906 EAW has had. Actually getting involved with people on their own ground and letting them see how you plan and execute an “Op” gives a far greater insight into actual caps and lims than a shiny airshow flyby.

viceroy
viceroy
November 14, 2013 8:40 pm

That was not just a tiffy post…

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
November 14, 2013 8:43 pm

@Viceroy

No but it did include Typhoon in exercises.

Mark
Mark
November 14, 2013 9:02 pm

Being regular visitors to Al Dhafra for the atlc would have given them all the insight they need on typhoon airshows are for wining and dining the decision makers the rest is politics and work share price ect to see if a deal is possible

Sir Humphrey
November 14, 2013 9:56 pm

It is all to play for, but this is the Middle East and the deals are not done at airshows, but late night talks between leaders. Most countries in the region are not looking for an arms deal, they are looking for a strategic partnership which binds the providing nation into feeling obliged to support the longer term security of the nation.
To my mind what is important is that Typhoon remains in the running – I would argue that the only failure would be if Typhoon is written off – anything else is a sign that it is all still to play for…

Opinion3
Opinion3
November 15, 2013 12:32 am

Sir Humphrey has a real point there, are we improving our standing and capabilities in the ME sufficient to be noted?

The carriers will help a lot, but I fear in most other respects we look greatly diminished. Might add though Nobel Peace Prize winning Obama probably isn’t helping theUSA’s cause much.

M&S
M&S
November 15, 2013 1:26 am

@Deja Vu,

@Deja Vu

CAPing the Beacon
Combat Air Patrol Of The Airfield Beacon. If you are so short ranging that you are defending the airspace over your airfield, well, think 11 Group and Kenley or North Weald. OTOH, it will at least be a very short walk back to base. Which is why jets like the MiG-21 and MiG-29 are made fun of.
CPU-123
The British Mk.13/.18 mated to a Paveway II laser guided bomb kit.
ACM
Air Combat Manuevering
S2A Bloodhound/Rapier/Javelin etc?
Right. Surface To Air.
F/A-18s
ODS, 1991 First Gulf War?
One of the most common, real world, examples given of the ‘self escorting fighter’ happened in Desert Storm. A flight of F/A-18s were making their way to a target in Iraq when they got a late call from an E-3 warning them of approaching threats. Two turned into the threat bearing to give the rest of the flight a chance to clear which is fine but they were still carrying 2 330 gallon tanks and 4 Mk.83 bombs which, together with the period F404’s lackluster thrust, the day temps and the F/A-18s notorious dragrise through the Mach means that they were not dominant in terms of who had first-pole on missiles. Couple this to some ham handedness on the section leader’s part (firing AIM-9 and then AIM-7, both of which went home but both of which also signaled his position and are indicative of the short = slow, first shot, ranges) and the Hornets were in a bad way from the get go because they were arrogant about the threat they faced.
Now this was only a MiG-21MF section which likely means AA-2-2 and AA-8 neither of which are really effective outside 4nm FQ and with questionable front-quarter capabilities. If the jets were mounting AAS-38, they could likely see this.
But when you can track both missiles through the target, visually, you also risk the equivalent Pyrrhic Face Shot. And that’s not good tactics because you are carrying too much ordnance to be defeating a face shot with hard breaks and orthogonal roll terminals (‘just add burner!’).
MiG-21 Cold War Russian Plane
See Above. It’s a piece of junk by modern standars with the visibility of a jail cell and a weapons system which wouldn’t pass muster as a range-only system in the Western World (though the Indian Bison and the Rumanian jets are vastly improved with western upgrades). It which was designed so poorly that effectively 1,500lbs of gas was unusable in the early models because of CofG issues. Which means that you are only going to see it as a GCI or ground control intercept vectored attacks where the tactics as approach axes are fixed to either a high-fast with splitess rollaway or a snapup and Immelman conversion type attack, also followed by an unload into clutter.
Because they literally don’t have the fuel or weapons for more than one pass.
Take out the GCI radar or the comms or simply mix up your own tactical gaming with things like multi axis approaches and decoys and all’s they can do is stumble about, looking for targets visually.
QRA Quick Reaction Aeroplane
Quick Reaction Alert. Also called a GLI or DLI as Ground/Deck Launch Intercept and PDI or Point Defense Intercept/or
DAS
Defensive Aids Suite
ASRAAM A missile that homes in on radar transmitters?
128X128 Imaging IR seeker, common to ASRAAM and AIM-9X could theoretically also be used as a ‘SHARK’ or Silent Hard Kill ARM replacement weapon (Armiger in fact is IIR terminal homing out of the box). But it has to be mounted on something which can hold at least Mach 3 to 30nm. Which is why, along with ready made, low drag, conformal launchers, you want to use Meteor as the basis of your weapon, not an SRM. The key here is to be able to get such good, 3D range known, input (not just .5` azimuth but something you can program a trajectory as seeker eyes-open acquisition window around) that you can push the weapon on a silent midcourse without having to worry about side/backlobe behavior and terrain scatter/decoy effects of a ‘pure’ anti radiation weapon (which requires a lot of integration test for every new threat or mode you run up against).
IIR Meteor
Imaging Infrared BVRAAM, currently non-existent but certain to become an important variant if the progression towards high end radar stealth continues. Will likely require a cooled seeker window but will have an advantage (on the Gripen and Typhoon) of having a sophisticated, two way, seeker to go along with a decent IRST so that the radar provides only the threat update cueing as missile uplink and the weapon says “Here I am! And this bearing line line along which I am looking!” If you can imagine a wire guided torpedo analogy with the weapon having lots of thrust but a narrow field of regard and so being reliant upon an offboard track handoff, you’ve got the picture. The thing to keep in mind here is that, at some point, the target is going to pick up the inbound shot, either through an optical or radar MAWS or through IRST as a motor firing bloom. But you can delay this by firing from so far out (using the ramjet total impulse theory) and a ‘slow burn’ approach at advantaged altitude (above or below the IRST FOV), that by the time the threat is detected, the weapon is <10nm out.
Like the torpedo running on parent track until the target hears the prop noise and you cut-wire, if you can lower the impulse threshold to just the bare minimum to keep the motor lit, you can probably defeat or delay the plume-warning (though Typhoon itself uses Plessey MMW actives) on a MAKS type sensor until the very last second. Which is important if the threat can lower the nose and run away at Mach 1.5+ until it fades from your radar altogether.
RFLO Roll Floor Laughing On – F presumably stands for Fighter
Radio Frequency Low Observables.
PAK-FA Russian Fighter*
J-20 Chinese Fighter*
ARM
Anti Radar Missile.
Growler
EA-18G dedicated Jammer aircraft. The S-300 is not to be fooled with. Nobody in the right mind would try to 'thread the needle' between two such sites, even in a LO platform like an F-35 or B-2. You would either go the long way around both sites, take one out or put both off one side of the airframe so that you didn't risk what is called a '7-11' condition whereby turning to defeat one threat puts the other into low-aspect, high probability kill parameters while you have no energy, altitude, expendables or ideas with which to respond to SAM #4-5-6. Because these weapons ARE LAUNCHED IN MULTIPLES. They have been since Vietnam and now, with TVM/GAI capable weapons, they threat of saturation attack is just too great to be handled by single fighters. And I mean even F-22s would treat these threats with maximum respect.
Which brings me to my other point. You would never see these sites just sitting there with their engagement and low level tracking radars flipped on to provide you a neat little 'Here I Am!' indication. You would see a Tall King or a Nebo or something like that waaaaay off in the background. And occasionally you would see little gap filler sector radars pop on probably at the sound of jetnoise or an observer corps radio alert, to make sure nobody was 'cheating', trying to thread the needle using terrain masking.
No, unless those sites are fixed by a drone (and in OAF they were moving every 2hrs, tops) their is _no way to know_ where they are. Which means that while they are a monster of a thousand eyes and can afford to lose a few, YOU are but a single jet who won't know you are in the snake pit until something lights up, right at your feet.
Litening III
One of the later versions of the Israeli Rafael targeting pod, now license produced by Northrop Grumman in the States and EADS (?) in Europe. I was actually being generous, I think you are still stuck with the AAQ-28 standard pod which is actually Litening II. Still better than TIALD but not the latest greatest thermal well, image stabs or diode pumped laser
non gimbled hemispheric
Look at the AAQ-33 Sniper Pod. See that chiseled nose? That allows the jet to perform supersonically without shocks bursting over the pod head inducing severe image jitter. For a long time ACM with targeting pods was verboten (or at least 'unacknowledged') in the States because it was very hard on the pod, even though it gave superior EOID out to 12nm or more, even with the early LANTIRNs. It is not at critical on the Eurofighter for ACM because of the PIRATE IRST, which I assume has an optical channel. However; it is important if you are doing high threat A2G precision strike work because at Mach 1.25-1.3, even a non-glidekit (JDAM-ER/SDB) or boosted (AASM) bomb will loft upwards of 15nm vs. the normal 6 or so.
GBU-22 or 38
Guided Bomb Unit. GBU-22 is what I believe you folks call the 'Paveway IV' as a 500lb laser/GPS weapon. GBU-38 is the 500lb class, 'pure' JDAM with only inertial/GPS homing. If you fit a laser seeker and control conduit to the nose, it becomes a GBU-54.
SALH
Semi Active Laser Homing.
IIR
Imaging Infrared.
X# of target aimpoints QWIP
Think of it as the difference between a rifle on semi auto and a machine gun. If you release a gaggle of PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions) into a target matrix, each with an individual DMPI or Designated Mean Point Of Impact, with conventional laser designation, you have to have sufficient separation between munitions and/or laser frequency codes to be able to switch targets (after initial impact) with the munitions behind still having enough time of flight as altitude and range remaining to make the shift. This is dumb because it mean that you have to drop, wait, drop, wait, drop, wait drop. And for every lag in your munition release schedule you have fly a little closer and your designation turn remain a little shallower as you essentially orbit the target. None of which is healthy in an active defense environment. Now, it is possible, particularly for later targeting pods with their own vs. the aircraft IMU or Inertial Measurement Unit, to store multiple aimpoints in the pod memory and have the pod simply auto-slew between them as the equivalent of navigation fixpoints. I know this because targeting pods are frequently used as replacements for ground mapping radar to take offsets from known (presurveyed) locations and update the aircraft IMU in GPS-dark conditions (which _will happen_ when we have to kill the signal to keep the threat from exploiting it for their own PGMs). The problem is that laser homing strike munitions arethemselves still trained to look for reflections from the target like 'volunteers' staring at the hypnotist's watch. This is really unnecessary (as the recent JCM program Trimode seeker has shown) because once the SALH aimpoint has been designated, a vidicon or IIR secondary channel can scope out the graticule (a box like reticle) to the nearest edge-contrast and 'lock on' based on pixel-counting from where the laser spot was laid. Essentially then you should be able to drop a cluster of PGMs from a lead aircraft, let that aircraft roll off and have the trail aircraft, using high powered diode-pump laser designator and a Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (i.e. late generation staring focal plane array) designate targets ONLY as the bombs tip over into the basket of their terminal approach. Locking each weapon up, with discrete laser codes, for it's own, independent, attack. Such a system allows you to saturate intelligent flak (3P and AHEAD) as well as SHORADS (Short Range Air Defense) and probably APS (Active Protection Systems).
EOTS
Electro Optical Targeting System
GBU-54.
See above.
The difference is one of 6-8nm designation as you drop vs. 15nm release standoff and potentially 20-25nm designation. I understand the words but the sentence defeats me nm Nautical miles or nano meters
See above. Nautical Miles.
HMSS
Helmet Mounted Sighting Systems. A display does not necessarily generate weapon aiming quality imagery. A sight, by definition, must.
head-swivel
The human head weighs about 10lbs. Add in a 5lb helmet and, at 6G, which is the maximum a pilot can shift his visual field of regard without risking severe cervical spinal column injuries, your head weighs about 90 pounds.
Add to this waves of sweat leaching from your skin and rolling down in front of eyes which are seeing the world in increasingly dark shades of grey from oxygen loss and the whole idea of HOBS as an exercise in high off boresight shooting while dynamically maneuvering the jet like some kind of aerial Bruce Lee quickly becomes laughable. Most dogfight missiles are worthless at more than about 40-45` offboresight because it takes _so much_ energy to zero out the airframe energy before zipping off to engage a target 'over the shoulder' or across the circle that it's not even funny. And in the next 10 or so years, TADIRCM or Tactical Aircraft Directed IR Countermeasures (lasers in scabbed fairings the same size the laser warning apertures in the video) will make it very hard for EO weapons to even get close.
1:1 spatial overlay symbology
A synthetic display can be very useful for providing relative indications on a bunch of threats, simultaneously. So that you know which one is more lethal at what point around the compass arc of your airframe. But there are still times when, provided you have nearly perfect stereoscopy and at least 20:10 vision, the ability to _see_ a threat and maneuver precisely against it in real perspective terms is more useful because, in pie-slice degrees or radial line step separations of range (on an threat warning receiver plan position indicator or 'bullseye' display) the increments are scaled to fit the display rather than the real world.
This is also changing because systems like EO-DAS provide better machine vision, 360 globally, than humans can ever manage and are not task saturated when multiple threats are fired at them from multiple bearings. Half of human combat psychology is fighting the most dangerous/immediate threat and /hoping/ that you are so 'energetic' that you at least do nothing to aid any other shooters until you have defeated numero uno.
Real life, vs. guided, all aspect, weapons, this wishful thinking no longer applies.
IRST
IR Search Track.
MLU
Mid Life Update.
ASH,
Advanced Super Hornet. With a new touch-screen cockpit, similar to the F-35s and taking advantage of the advanced crew station (separate cockpit processors on individual data busses) cockpit architecture, the fully moded out APG-79 AESA, ATFLIR, Late model F414-GE-400 engines with enhanced thrust, MAWS (Missile Approach Warning), CFT (Conformal Fuel Tanks) and EWP (encapsulated Weapons Pod = low drag multicarriage with some signature reduction). Essentially everything the F-35 is but with two crew and no Stealth.

The Typhoon is an artifact of another era. But unlike the F-22 which the USAF has foolishly isolated as a 'Not A Pound For Air To Ground' platform, to protect the inferior JSF, the Tiffie has had decent, if somewhat adhoc, strike capabilities added to it which gives it roughly the capabilities of an F-16C.40 with LANTIRN or an F/A-18 with early AAS-38. The problem is, particularly on the export market where both Sweden and France are already into their second generation (or 'Gen 4.5' if you prefer) Gripen and Rafale, with the kinds of capabilities that JSF is offering, sans stealth, for 50-70 million less cash, the Typhoon is still not a fully all-singing aircraft. It needs an AESA. It needs a late generation targeting pod. It needs some specialist munitions. It needs a network capable datalink system to talk up and down to the ground, with wide-pipe imagery. It needs more gas. It needs a better cockpit to fuse the multisensor on/offboard data into an integrated display mode on a wide-field screen. It probably needs two crew to handle the boat rowing and duck shooting as systems management effort. It may need more structural beefing and will certainly need more power to support the weight of all of the above.

And showing cute little videos which don't reflect real life needs as salesmanship in a world where the other European competitors are already taking the next step is risking the very customer base you are selling to.

Right now, Typhoon has two major strengths:

1. Meteor as a 100km LRAAM.
2. Best of Class power.

It is an air to air sportscar which appeals to the basic fighter pilot mentality as air sovereignty needs of a lot of customers. But Saudi is still going to the U.S. for the F-15SA. And Typhoon was never really in the running for the Indian or Korean or Japanese markets because they wanted more for their money than to have to go out and by a strike adjunct to the Air Dominance platform they just bedded down at 90-120 million, each.

Greenert and Co. are pushing hard to make sure the F-35C is not bought. It may well come down to whether the jet can catch a wire. If the F-35C variant drops out of the production package, the JSF becomes a 200 million dollar airframe and death spiral losses of export customer base will surely follow.
The best that can be hoped for at that point is partial selloff of the technical data package and a Canadair style (F-104) manufacture of a stripped down variant which will be all but useless in it's intended role as there are simply too many other aircraft out there which outperform 'except for stealth' which the U.S. will not part with the underlying technology base on.
If the U.S. dollar crumbles as an underlying global currency (and there if frankly no reason it should be so with 2.4 trillion in issuance and only about 1.2 trillion in market value) the U.S. economy will shatter and the country fragment.
At either of those two, IMO increasingly likely, tipping points, the British had better have a fallback position prepared which either includes secondary purchase of a foreign airframe (Rafale as a carrier capable naval strike fighter is the only logical solution) or/and developing a MUCH more robust, multirole, capacity on the Typhoon as Tranche 3, 4, 5.

Bluenose
Bluenose
November 15, 2013 11:34 am

@M&S

‘1. Meteor as a 100km LRAAM.’

Only if it has a radar that can properly make use of it… :)

An IR Meteor, while an intriguing possibility, is probably a long way off unless dedicated funding can be found.

Disagree with you, somewhat , old chap, about the pointlessness of HMS for off-boresight launches. True, the range of the missile will be adversary affected by the huge energy losses required to reorient itself against a target far off the launchers flight-path, but it still offer s useful widening of your launch window against someone with more energy / better position / higher alpha ability than you. Not a panacea, but I’d rather have it than not.

Also not sure TADIRCM / DIRCM will be on fighters before the medium / long-term, but it’s possible an embarrassing incident might accelerate this.

Despite the abilities it has picked up fairly recently, Typhoon’s weakness is still the limited GA loading; no near-term SDB / Brimstone-like capability and Storm Shadow / Black Shaheen at some future stage if everyone coughs up. Rafale’s still got it on this front, even if in the longer term Typhoon might well be the better bet.

LouisB
LouisB
November 15, 2013 11:40 am

In depth and knowledgeable appraisal, although somewhat pessimistic. Typhoon – echo’s many rumours circulating over previous twelve months or so. Not even a ‘fitted for but not with’ concept it seems. Ah well, fingers crossed.

Challenger
Challenger
November 15, 2013 12:32 pm

If the UAE goes for Typhoon then will the 60 they order keep the production line running past 2017?

Might we see a domino effect in the region as well with Bahrain, Qatar and others following suit to slot into a regional block of operators?

martin
Editor
November 15, 2013 1:35 pm

@ Challenger –

” If the UAE goes for Typhoon then will the 60 they order keep the production line running past 2017?”

would expect 60 aircraft to extend the production line for atleast another two year’s unless we do as with Saudi and sell them some of our orders. If we can get Saudi, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain to buy it then it go stay into production well in the the 2020’s with the possibility of eventually winning more orders.

I agree with Sir H that gulf nations are looking for long term strategic alliances. While we may be some what diminished so is every one else they can work with and other than the USA the UK and France are really the only game in town. The Saudis have the money and inclination to back more than one western horse and I think the rest of the Gulf will as well.

Topman
Topman
November 15, 2013 1:50 pm

No great surprise with a sales push out in ME. Plenty of exercises out there as well, expect to see more of both in the future.

Challenger
Challenger
November 15, 2013 2:34 pm

It seems that two major advantages of a UAE order and possible follow on Middle Eastern purchases are that it would (as you say) keep the production line going into the 2020’s, buying valuable time for more potential business, and also provide the impetus (or more importantly the cash) for continued development, weapons/systems upgrades and integration etc.

All told it’s sounds like this could be a real tipping point for the whole program.

Bob
Bob
November 15, 2013 3:56 pm

The current Typhoon production rate is being settled at 35 per year so a 60 aircraft order would put another two years on the line unless they further reduced the production rate.

Peter Elliott
November 15, 2013 4:44 pm

On the Tranche 1 Typhoons I hear a lot about [a] how the airframes now have high hours and [b] how the basic design of the airframe precludes them ever being fully upgraded to tranche2/3 standard.

But can anyone comment on how much obsolescence there is in the electronics? Are the radars, comunications, combat systems, cockpit etc the same as what is now being installed on the new aircraft? Or have things moved on?

If the equipment fit is basically the same is there any merit in tearing down retired Tranche 1s and ‘pulling through’ the recovered components to reduce the cost of a replacement batch to Tranche 3s?

Aero-Engineers out there please feel free to shoot me down…

Alex
Alex
November 15, 2013 5:14 pm

I can report that we’ve deployed the ultimate argument: we’ve sent the Red Arrows. They flew over my hotel pool yesterday, tight vee, speed of heat, roughly parallel to Sheikh Zayed Road. Can’t imagine anyone will actually buy Typhoon because of that, but if it works anywhere it would be Dubai.

Topman
Topman
November 15, 2013 5:22 pm

‘If the equipment fit is basically the same is there any merit in tearing down retired Tranche 1s and ‘pulling through’ the recovered components to reduce the cost of a replacement batch to Tranche 3s? ‘

An RTP program you mean? Far better value in trying to sell them which you wouldn’t if all the equipment was ripped off to increase spares holding. Some of it is the same some not. It’s a mixed bag really.

Peter Elliott
November 15, 2013 5:38 pm

@Topman

Tell me what RTP stands for please.

I was starting from the premise that the airframes themselves are approaching their fatigue life – which would presumably makes little point in selling them as extant units. I’m guessing we would simply scrap/recycle the fatigued out fuselages themselves.

And the aim is not to increase spares holding for the exisitng fleet. Its to fit the parts to brand spanking new airframes with fully updated design and 0 hours on them.

Its basically a form of cost avoidance on new build. A bit like we are talking of doing with T23/26 warships.

Maximises the value of our investment in the design, keeps the line open a bit longer to attract export orders, hopefully at a marginal unit cost somewhere below that of a 100% totally new plane.

Thats the idea anyway.

Topman
Topman
November 15, 2013 5:47 pm

RTP= Return to parts, it’s a program to remove any useful parts from an aircraft before scrapped. Eg at Leeming now with the Tornado fleet.

They aren’t close to their max FI. Parts themselves have a life so you’d be adding parts with hours on them to zero hour airframes. You could do it, but I’d prefer new parts on new aircraft and the decision is made to scrap then use them to increase parts holding. Many of the contracts I suspect will have been placed for the production line items anyway.

mike
mike
November 15, 2013 5:53 pm

Elliot

RTP: Reduce To Produce/Parts

Stripping of spares and also removing fixed parts within the airframe for spares… effectively a complete strip of any useable parts until the airframe shell remains, and recycling that.

The Tornado F3’s, most Tornado Gr’s and most of the VC-10’s went through this.

(EDIT: Topman beat me to it c: effectively the same as what happens when we scrap warships)

Peter Elliott
November 15, 2013 6:09 pm

Thanks Topman – interesting perspective.

Tornado is at the end of its life so we’re basically building up a squirrel store to eke out the life of the remaining airframes. By the time the last squadron stands down we will then have a warehouse full of stock that is basically obsolete.

[What happens to it then? Does anyone buy it? Do we write it off? Or eventuallly gift it to enthusiast restorers?]

Typhoon is still in production. And, depending on how things go down in Arabia, may still be in production when the original Tranche 1 frames start to retire. Which to me means that some of those recovered parts will potentially have a greater strategic and financial value as a result. Which is why it might just make financial sense to put them to work rather than onto a shelf.

El Sid
El Sid
November 15, 2013 6:19 pm

@Alex
Don’t forget that Hawk is our biggest aviation export, and they usually accompany Typhoon as part of the package – eg Oman bought 8 Hawk alongside their 12 Typhoon.

Schedule is here :
http://www.raf.mod.uk/reds/teamnews/index.cfm?storyid=C58A1F07-5056-A318-A82F59083904E65B
The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is to display in Dubai as part of a major Middle East tour. The team is also expected to perform at Al Ain and in Abu Dhabi, both in the United Arab Emirates and in Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. Visits will also be made to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Spot the countries with shopping to do…

• November 7 – Qatar
• November 10 – Bahrain
• November 13 – Oman
• November 16 – Dubai
• November 17 – Dubai Air Show
• November 18 – Dubai Air Show
• November 19 – Dubai Air Show
• November 20 – Dubai Air Show
• November 21 – Dubai Air Show
• November 21 – Dubai Seafront
• November 24 – Abu Dhabi
• November 26 – Kuwait
• November 30 – Al Ain Air Show
• December 1 – Al Ain Air Show
• December 2 – Al Ain Air Show

Mark
Mark
November 15, 2013 6:26 pm

Just cause tonka is leaving raf service in a couple of years doesn’t mean there will be none left flying. The Germans are planing for at least another decade don’t know about the Italians and Saudis.

Sir humphrey
November 15, 2013 6:26 pm

The reds are indeed in town. I’m looking forward to seeing them several times over next few days. ;-)

Topman
Topman
November 15, 2013 6:32 pm

The RTP program is managed, it’s envitable that we will have some spares left over. However failure rates, expected hours to be flown, OSD etc are all taken into account so we shouldn’t be hording too many spares at the end.

It could be sold to the remaining users of the Tornado, however I suspect they have enough in the main. Once life-ex the best anyone will do is make one taxiable even that is unlikely. they are too costly for museums and the such like to run. Flying once out of military service would be out of the question.

Like I say I doubt there’s any holes in the production aircraft being made now or in the future to put those spares into. So they would be little else place to put them. I doubt particularly many export customers would be happy with components already into there fatigue/finite life on a new aircraft either.
Don’t assume they have little value on shelf, they are unlikely to stay there, having enough spares is an important (often unestimated, trust me on this !) factor.

Topman
Topman
November 15, 2013 6:35 pm

@ Mark

Last time I looked the GAF were looking at somewhere beyond 2030. Their last Tonka pilot is probably in nappies right now…

I think the IAF were looking at 2021.

dave haine
dave haine
November 15, 2013 8:01 pm

A RTP programme is common, when operating legacy aircraft- witness the septics, and their buying up all the knackered 707 airframes about to keep the EC3 fleet going, and their hanging on to timex E135 airframes.

It also means that some airframe parts can be refurbished and re-lifed. Which in theory means you could life-extend tonka’s, if you want. Stuff like hoses and connectors, you wouldn’t bother as they should be standard parts that it would be as well to buy new.

But for new airframes, To be honest, it’s not worth it, even if there’s hours left in the old parts- refurbing costs and it doesn’t zero hour the part. Either sell the old airframes, or store against future need.

Mark
Mark
November 15, 2013 8:42 pm

Thanks topman

This maybe a nice addition for typhoon

BriteCloud is a manifestation of new design concepts and technologies being applied to decoy RF-guided missiles and fire control radars away from fighter aircraft. The same size and shape as a flare, dispensed from a standard 55mm flare cartridge and powered by batteries, BriteCloud draws threats away from the host platform, generating large miss distances. With the technology behind BriteCloud already proven in tests, the system is scheduled for a number of qualification missions and flight trials to guarantee full operational capacity.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/149254/saab-picks-selex’s-new-active-decoy-for-gripen.html

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
November 15, 2013 8:58 pm

@M&S
“An F-16C.50 pilot dragging an ALE-50 over Serbia the night the B-2s stripped every available asset and got ‘chased’ from about 15K to 5, over mountains, with shot after shot totally ignoring his tow bird and continuing to come right in on him.”
A single seat fighter with one air crew that had the capability to look at where the missiles were going? No chance.

M&S
M&S
November 16, 2013 1:36 am

APATS,

He was wearing NVD and saw the weapons from the moment of launch at the effective horizon. SAM shots are _incredibly_ bright under goggle, no problem seeing them at all. The Serbs were using the civilian radars (untouched to that time) to provide general tracking and then doing EOCG or RFCG from surveyed sites that were moving so often we couldn’t kill them.

His HTS display was blinkered by dozens of decoy emitters which reported everything from tanker beacon to AWACS and he could not get an RK HARM off which meant he was ROE’d out of options after several prior AGM-88s had gone wild.

Evasion after evasion technique _did not work_ with simple repeater jamming off the decoy and the orthogonal roll (the fighter equivalent of the Corkscrew in a Lanc) took so much energy that he ended up bleeding way below threat floor with the shadows of the mountains providing very poor indication of CFIT clearances.

The SA-3 chased him, one of the missiles blowing so close behind as to bend the trailing edges of one of his stabs and shed static wicks IIRR.

ALE-50 is stupid. But even -55 and the BOP smart decoys have serious limits on maintained geometry and effective techniques transmission orientation because the very distance needed to create tracking cell expansion becomes an inhibitor to repeat-thru IBG and gate steal techniques if the bird is snaking behind a jet doing extreme evasives. It obviously does nothing at all if the threat as a night capable EO head.

M&S
M&S
November 16, 2013 2:35 am

@Blue Nose,

“Only if it has a radar that can properly make use of it… :)”

Which no planar array can, however slick the 2-way datalink may be, which is why it’s a crying shame that _Ferranti_ based kit is in the Gripen as ES-05 Raven and the Typhoon, with equal or better aperture size is sitting there with 90s tech as Blue Vixen/ECR-90. I absolutely do not understand how BAe could remain serious about exports and still allow this, I suppose it has something to do with Operations Useless Dirt 1 & 2 putting a squeeze on government techbase investment but nonetheless, -someone- paid for ES-05 and Sweden has 1/7th your population.

You simply cannot put out enough power off a fast enough mechanical scan, to support update of multiple weapons in flight on multiple threats. You end up with a pseudo-Tomcat mini-TWS volume going DTWS-as-STT by PRF bar stack which is fine as far as it goes but gives the threat an awful lot of PRI and dwell time clue-in that you’re after _him_. As all his buddies scatter outside the volume limits (if they were ever in them) intelligent scan assignments and fast drive hydraulics don’t mean much when the threat formation starts putting 10+nm and 20Kft between themselves.

Since the missile configuration begs high-to-low (orthogonal and bunt) tactics due to AOA sensitivity on the inlets and low control power to keep the pointy end forward as you rake the nose to track in response to apparent negative lead changes, you face a situation where, no matter how good the weapon is in getting (way out) there, if it is defeated, you have another 120-200 second runout on the sequel and that’s just too long in a mixed fight condition where everyone is headed -> <- thatta way.

"An IR Meteor, while an intriguing possibility, is probably a long way off unless dedicated funding can be found."

Long Lance is the only way I feel confident of seeing IR go. At short range, the dominance of the missile agility and indefatigability of the staring seeker vs. expendables makes the modern merge environment an arena fraught with 'spin the cylinder, five bullets in' peril.

"Disagree with you, somewhat , old chap, about the pointlessness of HMS for off-boresight launches. True, the range of the missile will be adversary affected by the huge energy losses required to reorient itself against a target far off the launchers flight-path, but it still offers useful widening of your launch window against someone with more energy / better position / higher alpha ability than you. Not a panacea, but I’d rather have it than not."

It's self cancelling, if both sides have it, neither wins the hipshot reaction fight and two fireballs fall earthwards. OTOH, if one side has IRST and one side has Helmet, IRST shooter wins. Because he sees wider and further than Mk.1 Eyeball does and can tailor tactics with a stood off radar platform to keep his RF silent approach oblique and below-sill invisible.

Luftwaffe Typhoon consistently beat Raptor in mid level maneuvering combat when loaded for airshow and maximizing the IRST cue /through/ the Helmet to bring the IRIS-T to bear. But that's not a fight, it's a mistake. Because the AIM-9M-9 is the only SRM weapon with enough lift to be useful in the F-22's rarified air at 50K and without IMU or widebore seeker to do LOAL, it's not enabled by the JHMCS, even if Raptor had it because of the sidebay masking issues.

Blk.2 AIM-9X fixes all these things but is a tiny weapon with the same Mk.36 motor and inadequate body lift to compensate for the much smaller surfaces. Which means you come down to use it and that's right where the Typhoon wants you. At equal fight entry weights, Raptor is more than a match on the EM graphs for the Typhoon but not having IRST, it cannot generate weapon quality handoffs for it's missiles using offboards in a dynamic fight. Active radar, close in, 'spoils the surprise' factor of a much higher entry position and the Raptor ends up bleeding down to where the Typhoon fights best with the HMSS making up for the slight variance in turn rates.

Closing to the merge on a Typhoon with both light entry weight as angles fight edge and HOBS to cut the corner becomes an exercise in stupidity and you cannot rely on other people's dumbinance to make your kit look good. If Raptor/T-50/J-20 refuses the fight, the Typhoon had better have an option to kill it which doesn't rely on cued-ARH.

As an example of how things can change: fighting in the high blue, especially _at night_, quickly reverses things because now nobody has good vision and ACM play under goggles is restrictive (most squadrons are not trained to it because of cervical stress, vertigo issues on a single seat platform and the need to quickly remove them during ejection) and so the HOBS missile holds dominance only if it is cued by IRST (which can see further than the eye under all circumstances, with similar FOV slew to the missile…).

If you'll remember awhile back, the F.3s that pushed a Sentry real hard up in Goose Bay, I think it was and broke through the HAVCAPs to get the kill with ASRAAM? Everyone was 'so shocked' that a camel-not-a-racehorse missile could go that far. Well duh, that's why it was designed clean with a monster motor. But imagine what that kind of capability would be like if it had a Meteor class propulsion backend.

The key in justifying this is to acknowledge the Mach point issue.

Meteor is a 100km weapon, regardless of what the shooter airspeed is (though it may well be a 200km weapon if boosted, it's more likely a matter of NEZ extension as the motor throat opens up and burns hotter to sustain the impulse levels of a higher Mach transit).

The AIM-120C7 and probably the D are both more dependent upon shooter boost. And a Mach point in the 1.4+ regime means that you are now casting a bow shock sufficiently hot to be seen by the PIRATE. Probably in excess of 30nm.

By 20-30nm, I expect Captor to see Raptor (as standin for PAK-FA and J-20), regardless and so the ability to stuff him with a shot that rides the IRST boreline 'and becomes' RF ranged = lead known equates to an ability to catch the SSC threat between a too-fast = too soon IR detection threshold and too slow = outpoled motor impulse condition of rocket vs. ramjet.

Rocket weapons can really pump their standing Mach numbers and typically beat ramjets to midrange but only so long as the motor burns and the altitude loft is there to keep the shock drag low. If you run out of impulse seconds and then have to face a 20K+ dive into much draggier air which the target _can magnify_ with it's own stoop, the combination of no missile powered flight to steer back against the proportional intercept curve and increasing LOS rate issues on the seeker and fuzing make things a bit of a mess when the target pitches back up into the lead steer.

The Raptor (class threat) is not really at risk of course because, worse comes to worst, knowing he's playing against the first team, he turn signaled 20 miles back and his wingman, in trail another +20, is doing the Shooter:Illuminator trick to update the missiles. But it highlights how radical maneuvering, either with cross track displacements in midcourse or with terminal vertical shifts can mess with an all-boost weapon.

Lofting weapons to make range comes with huge penalties.

Yet the Raptor cannot come down to equal lane levels or he'll lose dominant maneuver as Mach and as well as compress the engagement start to the straight up impulse advantage of that air breather missile, six ways to Sunday.

So he has to get tricky with things like very wide section split geometries and coat trail drags as he gooses from one side and guts from the other.

And this is where HOBS doesn't mean a damn but IRST might (and SAIRST that looks globally like EODAS /really/ might) since it let's the Typhoon driver swing his search area well off to the side as a refusal arc check before commiting to the known threat.

Since nobody has really working-in-weight-class HMD+Intensifier and the frame rate of a dedicated IRST is too low to provide decent refresh with low smear, the whole obsession with Helmet Super HOBS is a bit misplaced IMO because nobody who knows what they are doing fights visual in daylight.

"Also not sure TADIRCM / DIRCM will be on fighters before the medium / long-term, but it’s possible an embarrassing incident might accelerate this."

The one begs the other. Modern Expendables, even kinematics, do not provide enough seduction window to assuredly draw off an SFPA imaging weapon. And if they can (and have) put the system on helos, it's not a matter of power, just drag.

Provided he doesn't have to do something crazy like flat plate the airframe to unmask the aperture (see the crazy location of the MAWS on the ASH), a TADIRCM equipped jet trumps both IRST and HOBS weapons, allowing an F-5E with AIM-9P-5 entrance to a turning fight because nobody else' ALASCA/HOBS is meaning what it once did.

Indeed, I believe it is incredibly telling both that LWR are still on the Typhoon and that the MiG-29s in Luftwaffe service 'first thing' disabled the LRanger on their IRST. Because that's logically where you would put FQ directeds. Not in a stupid targeting pod (as not on a dedicated air to air platform). Somebody is really frightened of the potential of directed CM on fast jets which are pilot-vision dependent. EODAS is, IMO, as much a response to this (and perhaps a prequel to robotic UCAV visionics for controlled separation in mixed traffic conditions) as it is a MAWS/SAIRST itself.

"Despite the abilities it has picked up fairly recently, Typhoon’s weakness is still the limited GA loading; no near-term SDB / Brimstone-like capability and Storm Shadow / Black Shaheen at some future stage if everyone coughs up. Rafale’s still got it on this front, even if in the longer term Typhoon might well be the better bet."

Weapons will come along, just like LANTIRN and JDAM eventually came to the F-16C.40, long after the jets were actually in-service.

The question becomes how much an A2A dedicated airframe can take the stress of expeditionary multirole vs. what /kind/ of development pathway you are looking at.

If you want to sell Air Supremacy, the AESA + Engine + ARM are the route forward with promises of IR-Meteor coming real soon, like the MICA-IR did on the Mirage 2000-05, as an added incentive to purchase a 'Raptor killer' weapon system.

A new cockpit would be nice to have but isn't absolutely necessary and I would actually put TADIRCM ahead of it on a practical level.

If you want to sell Dual Role Fighter as a Euro F-15E, particularly with the lapse of the F-35 becoming ever more likely, IMO, you want to go with 'all of the above' + structures for heavy weapons carriage and a cockpit split like the Lot 26 F/A-18F with dual busses and significantly expanded software for sensor fusion and big picture presentation.

Rafale has a big edge on the Eurofighter in the form of AASM as a (superior on paper) alternative to SDB/JDAM and dual heavy weight pylons to go with.

You start putting 2,000-2,500lb class multirack (SPEAR-3 as SDB-II if not AASM itself) or heavyweight CM (Storm Shadow or KEPD) on the midwing stations of Typhoon and now you just about have to have CFTs because your single centerline tank is not gonna hack it, even with FSTA + 400km of reach in. And that is going to mean a LOT of qualification flights as a distinct difference in variant capability without extensive, expensive, back-to-factory updating.

In theory, you can put BRU-61 on the inner wings or centerline and keep a (bigger) tank on the midwing station, shifting a targeting pod accordingly.

But then you absolutely must have something like a conformal ARM capability to supplement LRAAMs on the fuselage shoulders because your outboard mix is likely going to be light (20km ASRAAM) or, at best, medium (60km AMRAAM) so that there isn't this giant yawning chasm between last 100km shot and first merge.

Needless to say, you are also going to be performing like a pig in quickcrete in terms of sustained Ps. Which absolutely implies that you ARM any S2A threat and dazzle any dogfight conditioned shooter. Because no matter how impressed you are with your new jets A2A mission oriented performance, physics rule the lift at drag and thrust by altitude games.

Not wishful thinking.

Pick your customer base, decide what he's missing (and not likely to get, if he's on the JSF shortlist), and the time factor before he needs to elect a replacement and dedicate your development pathways accordingly. Don't do what we have and get stuck pushing the barrow up Everest on three different airframes 'in sequence'. Push everything at one winning edge category, keeping in mind the likely competition.

Saudi F-5Es could use with an F-16 or JAS-39 replacement but the Fin is also out there and F-15SA is not being purchased in numbers to do both. All but the last few India Su-30MKI are heavyweight clods as MFFC herders without Ks-172 or R-77PD to back up Astra. Korea wants Stealth (and is largely ADGE integration locked around a U.S. solution). Japan is a missed opportunity, not on the F-4EJ but the F-15J (they still want Raptor) while unaffiliateds like Oz are still standing proud in the JSF boat, even though their knees are wet.

Canada 'doesn't do' strike in the expeditionary mode because they are terrified of bad PR and the Typhoon beats both the JSF and the Super Hornet so badly as an A2A platform it's not even a same-fight contest for the Air Sovereignty mission. But the Canadians and Australia are also both looking for real, 750n-1,000nm, radii due to their huge AOR commitments as serious overwater reliability issues (which, IMO, should have ruled out JSF from the start).

The Indians and Arabs both want decent multirole secondary mission capabilities, even though they have other platforms coming in to replace most of their legacy A2G fleets. India in particular is stuck with the Su-30 and looking at the PAK-FA as specialist heavy interceptors without the kinds of reach which Meteor and a good AESA would represent.

Typhoon can't supply but maybe half the radius, on a good day. And as you say, it needs an expanded suite of suite of ordnance _as second seat WSO Management_ to really do well as a DRF. But it could fairly easily fall into a replacement role as a AESA equipped heavy fighter with the best BVR suite in the world. _IF_ you made sure that BVR came with anti-LO as a standard. IR-Meteor and continued improvements to PIRATE could do this.

Which direction you head in as a function available R&D funds is up to you but I would advise against becoming besotted with the Spitfire image of the Typhoon extant and plotting a growth path that seriously expands upon it's baseline capabilities by both denying the 'all defeating' nature of RFLO in an EO driven 21st century world. And by assuming that JSF fails so that Typhoon as a heavy weight two seat interdictor has a real future, similar to Rafale's 2-seat option.

Martin
Editor
November 16, 2013 5:15 am

@ Peter eliott

The only issue with the tranche 1 as far as obsolescence is that the it is not possible to install the necessary cooling systems for AESA radar without a major rebuild. while not doubt some of the airframes will have had a hard life many will not have. Indeed some will be less than 6 years only and there is no reason why with a mid life upgrade these airframes cannot enjoy another 10- 15 years.

as its unlikely we will be able to afford to keep them I think the best option is selling them. Many airforces such as the Philippines have a real need for typhoon but cannot afford it and I would see these as the best financial option for us. it also increases the number of joint development partners and possible future export customers for what ever replaces Typhoon.

Mark
Mark
November 16, 2013 10:18 am

You’d almost think there’s a sales drive on with typhoon the amount of info that’s coming out!

http://www.eurofighter.com/files/pdf/Eurofighter_World_Nov_13.pdf

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/149444/typhoon’s-aesa-radar-begins-system-integration.html

“In a next step, the antenna sub-system will go to Selex Edinburgh for integration and test with receiver and processor. Final integration of the Captor-E radar into the industrial production aircraft (IPA5) is planned in springtime 2014. “

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
November 16, 2013 12:25 pm

Question 1:
Okay, so what is the actual range / combat radius of the Tiffy?

Wikipedia gives the following:
Range: 2,900 km (1,800 mi)
Combat radius:
Ground attack, lo-lo-lo: 601 km (325 nmi)
Ground attack, hi-lo-hi: 1,389 km (750 nmi)
Air defence with 3-hr combat air patrol: 185 km (100 nmi)
Air defence with 10-min. loiter: 1,389 km (750 nmi)
Ferry range: 3,790 km(2,350 mi (with 3 drop tank))

** However **
I know that Wikipedia can be grossly misleading with this sort of stuff, since its standard is “citation” rather than “knowledgeable & trustworthy citation” (their AMRAAM page in particular made me scream, cry, & laugh). Not that the latter really exists in the public domain for sensitive military hardware.

And TBH I’m not that interested in the actual ranges here, what I really want to know, is how well it compares to the ~competition~.
Canada & Oz need a long range, and the MidEast also benefits from long range, so how does it compare to the F15E (and derivatives), the Rafale, or the F-35A? Or to an Su-27/35, for the Indian market?

Rocket Banana
November 16, 2013 12:33 pm

Mike,

Although it’s wiki again this link is quite useful…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_MRCA_competition#Comparison_of_the_aircraft

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
November 16, 2013 12:49 pm

Question 2:
The combat range of the F-22.

A bit off-topic, but related enough, I hope.
My understanding is that:
(1) The F-22 had supercruise as required metric – as opposed to something it turned out it could do, due to having high thrust & low drag as a part of its design.
(2) As a result, its engines, intakes, and airframe are optimised for trans-sonic efficiency, …
(3) …with the consequence that they are quite inefficient in the subsonic environment.
(4) Furthermore, whilst supercruise uses less fuel than afterburning, it is still a lot (x2 or x3?) worse than subsonic cruising.
(5) As a result of point 4, for maximum range, it still needs to fly subsonic, but as a result of point 3, it has a surprisingly short range.
(6) Specifically, “not much more than a late model F-16”.
(7) Which would make it actually worse than an Tiffy or F-15 for Canada and/or Oz, no?

(As an aside: the suggestion was that, rather than paying for supercruise, you might as well go the Mig-31 route and develop an efficient (as far as it goes) afterburner, coupled to huge fuel tanks, and afterburn all the way. )
(Apparently, the only production aircraft to have a decent supercruise range, was Concord.)

Mark
Mark
November 16, 2013 12:54 pm

Aircraft range persistence ect is very dependant on stores configuration and in particular altitude flown not to mention the sfc of there engines and of course needs to be viewed in relation to aar assets available. F15e will I would think have the longest range of the aircraft mentioned it is a very big aircraft and expensive to run but very capable. The best way to get a very rough comparison is to compare fuel fractions.

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
November 16, 2013 1:21 pm

Question 3:
So what use is RFLO (Stealth) anyway?

It seems especially hard to compare the performance of a stealth aircraft to a non-stealth one, as they are not playing the same game, and some of the pros & cons only show up when looking at the operational level. (E.g. those two RAND studies over Taiwan.)

I’ve read some interesting articles comparing the potential use of LO aircraft, to what has been learnt in the naval environment, with submarines.
The multiplier from stealth depends on the mission, but the cost is with you all the time, of course.
Executive summary:
stealth “Is Worth It” for some missions, [recon, strike, bomber/boomer,]
“Is Not Worth It” for others, [air defence, carriers,]
“cost neutral” for some, [ASW,]
and “We’ll get back to you”, for the remainder, [shore bombardment, tankers, close air support].

What are your thoughts? (As long and rambling as you like.)

CheshireCat
CheshireCat
November 16, 2013 1:34 pm

I don’t know if it’s been mentioned elsewhere in this thread (spent so long scrolling through M&S’ comments that I think I might have RSI in my thumb!), but the local news up here in the North West is very confident that UAE deal for 60 Typhoons is a done deal, as well as perhaps a few Hawks (seems to be the way these days).
Cameron would appear to be heading in that direction from Sri Lanka, so the omens might be postive?
What was more interesting to me though, was that it was suggested in the same report that this contract would ‘reopen’ the door for the Indian MRCA contest!
Can’t see the link myself, and I know you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the telly, but it would be quite something if true!

CheshireCat
CheshireCat
November 16, 2013 2:34 pm

I’ve been having a few struggles getting through to TD Towers today, but hopefully third time lucky!!

Just thought it worth sharing the perspective from the North West, where the local news are very confidently reporting BAE’s success with a 60 aircraft order for the Typhoon and perhaps even a couple of Hawks chucked in for good measure!

I guess Cameron heading out to Dubai is no coincidence . . . unless he’s a spotter looking for the odd serial number whilst he’s in the area?!

What I found more interesting in the sane report was the suggestion that this deal would reopen the door for Typhoon in the Indian MRCA competition!

Personally I can’t see the link, and for what it’s worth I think the Rafael was the right choice for India (AESA radar, naval commonality etc), but it would be quite some story if true!

Raffles, Gentleman Thug
Raffles, Gentleman Thug
November 16, 2013 3:00 pm

‘Many airforces such as the Philippines have a real need for typhoon’

Freudian slip?

Appears CMD has also popped into Dubai to ‘show support to British business and for Dubai’s bid to host the World Expo event in 2020.’ And absolutely not to help clinch a $9bn contract. Interestingly enough I’m not seeing all that much fuss being made by Dassault/Rafale.

Rocket Banana
November 16, 2013 4:12 pm

So what use is RFLO (Stealth) anyway?

Pentration through enemy detection assets.

RCS of Typhoon = 0.5-ish
RCS of F35 = 0.005-ish

So 100 times better which means it can get 10 times closer to the AWACS which is likely to be somthing like 40nm.

IMO the touted RCS of F35/F22 are more a product of the paint job rather than shape so many aircraft could beneift. I think this is especially evident with Silent Eagle.

sir humphrey
November 16, 2013 4:22 pm

If nothing else, the typhoon put on by far thebest practise display, arguably followed up by the p8!
Shaping up to be a great show!

Topman
Topman
November 16, 2013 5:15 pm

@ Sir H

Work or pleasure in dubai? If work are you planning on doing a write up on your blog about any UK angle on the show?

PS What are the hotels like for us crabs ? ;)

Sir humphrey
November 16, 2013 5:57 pm

Definitely work! All hotels are good but i’m not planning a specific piece at the moment, but will see what happens ;-)

The first TDer at the show to say hello to me wins a special prize…

Mark
Mark
November 16, 2013 6:45 pm

Low observable platforms is a mis represented area, is it low observable in what freq range at what polarisation and that’s only in radio frequency what about visual, infa red and electro magnetic not to mention noise. They all combine to offer a solution. There is many ways to skin a cat you are not in my view low observable if you need to plug the burners in for example. The b2 remains the most low observable platform in the world by some margin, and you only really need it for strike missions hence the design of f35 being weighted heavily in that direction. Do you need your whole forces low observable prob not, should technology replace pure performance prob not. The big play with f35 for airforces is not necessarily the aircraft but interoperability with the Americans and all that that entails.

AKM
AKM
November 16, 2013 6:53 pm

Mike Wheatley: “Okay, so what is the actual range / combat radius of the Tiffy?”

I have a PDF from Eurofighter with the following figures, all include a warload of 6 MRAAM and 2 SRAAM:

Supersonic Dash to 250nmi in 20 min, no loiter, internal fuel only.
Supercruise to 250nmi in 25 minutes, 30 minute CAP, internal fuel only.
Subsonic cruise to 250nmi in 30 minutes, 120 minute CAP, 3 external tanks.
Subsonic cruise to 500nmi in 60 minutes, 60 minute CAP, 3 external tanks.

I’ve seen higher figures elsewhere, so I think you can take these as good enough for planning purposes and probably includes a reasonable reserve. Obviously A to G ranges are going to be rather different.

Found an on-line copy of it here: http://tmor.rafale.free.fr/Eurofighter_Capability.pdf

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
November 16, 2013 11:58 pm

@ Mark
@ AKM
Thanks, that’s the type of answer I was looking for.

@ M&S
I’ve never worked for the MOD or any defence company, but I got most of your acronyms, and appreciate the detail you go into, if you can spare the time.

Rocket Banana
November 17, 2013 9:15 am

Subsonic cruise to 250nmi in 30 minutes, 120 minute CAP, 3 external tanks.
Subsonic cruise to 500nmi in 60 minutes, 60 minute CAP, 3 external tanks.

Interesting, I thought that was all supposed to be with 2 x 1000l tanks otherwise I’m not sure it couldn’t manage the 2000nm+ ferry range with the three tanks.

Mark
Mark
November 17, 2013 10:18 am

The Storm Shadow cruise missile will make its first flight on board a Eurofighter Typhoon during the Dubai Air Show, the Eurofighter Consortium tells Aviation Week ShowNews.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_11_17_2013_p0-637579.xml

As an aside while not military the size of large civil aircraft orders in the first day of this show is simply staggering 140b dollars worth!

WiseApe
November 17, 2013 11:06 am

Thanks for that Mark. I was under the impression that tranche 3A was fitted for but not with CFTs :-( Also, doesn’t Rafale already carry Storm Shadow in its Scalp guise?

Mark
Mark
November 17, 2013 11:36 am

Wiseape yes tranche 3a does and is fitted for but not with cft. Tranche 2 has structural provision to accept them but would require addational work. I think foreign customers will have this option before the raf

Rafale does have storm shadow capacity. I’m lead to believe with a single missile carriage when flying from a ship and twin carriage when from land.

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth
November 17, 2013 4:43 pm

Simon said: “IMO the touted RCS of F35/F22 are more a product of the paint job rather than shape so many aircraft could beneift. I think this is especially evident with Silent Eagle.”

I assume there would also be benefits from painting missiles, bombs, etc in the same stuff for aircraft that carry them externally but, perhaps not cost effective benefits?

Alex
Alex
November 18, 2013 10:06 am

One of HM Submarines was also hanging around Dubai last week, just to lighten the crab content. What with the Typhoon rotations, 9th MCMV standing up, the full Borussia Dortmund pressing game on sales, and the communications people in a secret but highly guessable location, it’s just a good thing we withdrew from east of Suez:-)

AKM
AKM
November 18, 2013 12:14 pm

Simon: “I thought that was all supposed to be with 2 x 1000l tanks otherwise I’m not sure it couldn’t manage the 2000nm+ ferry range with the three tanks.”

The 2000nmi ferry range figure is quite an old one, dating from when they were still intending to develop a 330 gal/1500 litre drop tank. It’s not clear if the 2000nmi figure was with 3000 or 4000 litres of external fuel (either 2 x 1500 & 1 x 1000, or just 2 x 1500) so I have no idea if 2000nmi is still up to date. Obviously you still see it repeated in a lot of places.

In the worst case, if the 2000nmi figure was with 4000l external, I would guess that a ferry range of roughly 1850nmi might be closer to the truth.

Bob
Bob
November 19, 2013 5:11 pm

Simon,

“IMO the touted RCS of F35/F22 are more a product of the paint job rather than shape so many aircraft could beneift. I think this is especially evident with Silent Eagle.”

I am sorry but the above quoted comment makes it abundantly clear that your opinion is utterly worthless.

TD,

Hardly surprising, its clear to anyone in the market for a 4th gen combat aircraft that the manufacturers are desperate so they may as well play them off against each other. Common sense really, its a buyers market.

McZ
McZ
November 19, 2013 6:26 pm

@Bob
“I am sorry but the above quoted comment makes it abundantly clear that your opinion is utterly worthless. ”

Can we play nice, please?
I’m sure, there could’ve been a more mature way to express disagreement.

Bob
Bob
November 19, 2013 6:32 pm

McZ,

Let me be clear, I am not disagreeing with simon, I am pointing out that he is completely wrong. This is not an issue that is for debate, it is a known fact and simon is on the wrong side of it. Under the circumstance I played as nice as I could.

dave haine
dave haine
November 19, 2013 6:39 pm

@TD

Sir Please sir, Bob’s being nasty again….

Observer
Observer
November 19, 2013 6:42 pm

He has a bit of a point you know Bob. The paint itself is also radar reflective so it has to be specially formulated as well. Hell, even the cockpit coating had to be gold(?) based as the radar returns would even get a reading off a pilot’s helmet. Of course it is not the be all/end all, but it is one of the factors.

Bob
Bob
November 19, 2013 6:51 pm

Observer,

Except that is not what the child said is it? It was quite clear that the paint is “more a product” “rather than the shape”. And in that he is completely wrong. On many, many levels.

Radar Absorbent Material is a very old technology, it was being trialled and designed into new aircraft in the 1950s, what revolutionised low RCS design was the ability to both design and manufacture airframes shaped to give a very low RCS to start with rather than simply putting lipstick on a pig.

Mark
Mark
November 19, 2013 7:02 pm

Shape and inner structure is crucial in the design of low observable aircraft, treatments also play apart in different areas as does the composition of the structure itself, as well as electro magnetic emissions, noise emissions and its physic appearance all need to to be optimised for low observable platforms however most people tend only to focus on radar cross section as historically that has been the mode most used to detect aircraft. Things then get more complicated when looking at freq ranges there polarity ect.

But purely on shape argument referring to the document I think WiseApe linked a while ago is useful starting reference for those interested http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB443/docs/area51_11.PDF the guy who wrote it knows a bit about these things a one Clarence Johnson.

mr.fred
mr.fred
November 19, 2013 7:16 pm

Bob,

Now the man may be, to re-use an amusing saying, more vastly mistaken than a man who believes that salmon are marsupials who live in trees and eat pencils. But you don’t have to be a short Richard about it.

WiseApe
November 19, 2013 7:48 pm

@TD – The fact the UAE are in no rush maybe to Typhoon’s advantage – it has a couple of years worth of orders at least, while Rafale has only the reduced French buy and the first 18 of the yet to be signed Indian contract.

How easy is it to reopen a combat aircraft production line once it has been shut down?

Bob
Bob
November 19, 2013 8:03 pm

wiseape,

You have that the wrong way round. The Typhoon line will run dry in 2017/18 with the current order book but the French government has made it clear that the Rafale line will run into at least the late 2020s just to fulfil French requirements- albeit at a very low annual delivery rate (11 per year). Despite what has been reported in some places the DGA will almost certainly sustain the line.

WiseApe
November 19, 2013 8:16 pm

@Bob – Who have they got working on that production line – French farmers?

dave haine
dave haine
November 19, 2013 8:42 pm

@ Bob

We all know that low observable platforms rely to a large extent on their size, shape and construction material. Although there are questions over the shape, witness the F117’s sharply angular shape, compared to the later rounded and softer B2 and slightly different F22 & F35.

But coatings have a part to play- the ferrite paint on the F117, ferrite foam tiles on the USS Anzio. And now we have AR1 paint- using magnetic particles suspended in a resin.

So the paint has a part to play, and I suspect an increasing one.

Bob
Bob
November 19, 2013 8:46 pm

David Haine,

Wrong. There are no “questions” around shape. the F-117 was an early effort at all aspect stealth- its approach was primitive by the standards of today.

Paint does have a part to play, but that is not what simon said. He claimed that paint was the main driver.

Rocket Banana
November 19, 2013 8:59 pm

Mark,

You do come up with some great links. Thanks.

Although it requires one to twist one’s head 90 degrees to the side there was something in that doc that I found quite remarkable… “fuel additives”!

Whilst we’re on the subject does anyone know if the 0.5 and 0.005 square meter RCS I plucked from t’Internet are likely to be frontal only, an average/sum through 360 degrees (since they’re not polars) and/or frequency dependent?

Rocket Banana
November 19, 2013 9:02 pm

All,

I apologise. When I said “paint job” I did actually mean the materials. But to be honest I only really meant the skin materials. I was not aware the internal structural materials (and reflections from the fuel within the fuel tanks itself) were of major importance too.

dave haine
dave haine
November 19, 2013 9:06 pm

@ Bob

Sorry Bob, but there are questions about what constitutes a good stealth shape- every generation of LO aircraft have been different in design philosophy.

Yet stealth warships, most designed after the advent of the B2 are angular and flat.

Looking at radar testing enclosures- some are built with spikes, some with hemispheres, some with waveforms, all of which are designed to absorb radar waves.

It is a science/art that is far from mature, so yes there are questions, I would say…

But to be honest I’m not really interested in a to & fro argument with you.

Phil
November 19, 2013 9:10 pm

Bob have you considered a job as a counsellor?

Bob
Bob
November 19, 2013 9:21 pm

David Haine,

Still wrong.

RCS reduction has been known about and worked on for decades (again, RCS reduction materials were being designed into aircraft in the 1950s), the variance you observe is evolution. The technology is mature, the boundaries are constantly being pushed but how to achieve RCS reduction is now well understood.

TD,

No it would not be fair to say materials. Materials are a contributing factor, as is paint (I would lump the two into the same category) but you also have to get the shape right. Your second paragraph is spot on though.

Simon,

You contrition is noted and respected. Many others here could learn from your example.

WiseApe
November 19, 2013 9:51 pm

Found this link over on Solomon’s site. There’s a little red cross just off the coast of Argentina. Name of the place escapes me.

http://www.eurofighter.com

Mark
Mark
November 19, 2013 10:28 pm

F117 was angular due to the computing power at the time and to an extent the construction materials avaiable. As we move to b2 f22,35 series we get complex winding curve shapes that do the same job as the angular structure only better. These require more computer power and complex composite layup to work right and take that shape. A flying wing remain the plan form optimised against the widest possible freq range. Stealth started decades ago really as soon as people started wearing camouflage it’s just a progression which has many right answers to achieve a desired effect.

Observer
Observer
November 20, 2013 4:02 am

Mark, wasn’t the optimum form a flat saucer? I think the initial stealth prototypes for both the US and UK were saucer shaped with the aerodynamic performance of a teacup. Can’t remember their designations now.

Mark
Mark
November 20, 2013 9:46 am

Observer probably but they don’t fly great except in movies. It’s along the lines of spitfire/mustang wing design of ww2 ollpictial planform best available but a tapered wing does 95% the same thing but much easier to make.

Observer
Observer
November 20, 2013 12:18 pm

Well, I did say it had the aerodynamic performance of a teacup.