View Full Version : Navalised Typhoon

Stuck On The Ground
7th Jul 2005, 00:26
Is it true that BAES has offered a navalised Typhoon as an interim until JSF is ready?

What would be the consequences?

Surely we can't afford not to be involved in the JSF jamboree?

It seems a bit surreal that Typhoon is being offered as an alternative to a delayed project.

What about the carriers - they haven't been designed with catapults have they?

And no, I'm not a journo - just a long time surfer who finally had a question that he was brave enough to ask.

7th Jul 2005, 00:42
A naval version of Typhoon was touted years ago. I did not know that it had surfaced again. There's an old adage that there has not been a single aircraft designed for land and adapted for sea that has been successful (speak to any Seafire pilot trying to put down that narrow track undercarriage on a pitching/rolling deck.)

There was also banter that the landing speed required would give Typhoon such a large AoA (and therfore nose attitude) that a camera would need to be fitted to the nose leg and projected onto one of the displays to enable the pilot to see the deck, obscured or restricted due by the approach AoA. It would be good to get a Typhoon driver to comment on this. If true, this would not be the optimum way to bring an aircraft onboard.

The JSF program is fine as long as politically we don't get ousted from the technology side of the deal. Nobody disputes that the aircraft will be fit for the stated purpose, the politics of source code access may be a tough issue.

The CVF design is set with the ability to retrofit catapults and cables as required by future platforms, fitted for but not with.

Good questions, keep being brave.

7th Jul 2005, 00:44

The navalised Typhoon was offered as an alternative to the JSF some time ago. I can recall seeing information in various sources (complete with pretty BAE-generated graphics showing Typhoons of 899NAS landing on a carrier) from about 1999/2000.

I don't know if BAE has offered to resurrect the programme, but it would be extremely unlikely that it would be an interim project - it would almost certainly be an alternative to JSF, and would demand that the CTOL design CVF is chosen. MoD are currently revisiting the decision to go with the STOVL variant of JSF if Jane's DW is to be believed. I suppose that you could end up with navalised Typhoons alongside JSF, but I can't quite see it given the expense that would be involved.

Also, the question of whether a navalised Typhoon would actually work hasn't been resolved! (some say it would be hopeless, others that it wouldn't be so difficult - Jackonicko knows more about this and may answer if he passes by).

I'm sure others, more knowledgeable than I am, will be able to give a fuller answer.

Edit to add - see, I told you they would!

7th Jul 2005, 07:15
See here. (http://navy-matters.beedall.com/jca.htm)

A navalised Typhoon in the colours of 899NAS

"The only STOBAR aircraft type to be considered by the FCBA/JCA studies was a marinised Eurofighter Typhoon EF2000. Initial pre-feasibility studies were undertaken in early 1996 by British Aerospace's (now BAE Systems) Military Aircraft and Aerostructures Department to consider a Eurofighter Typhoon (N) (possible service name - Sea Typhoon). These looked promising and in 1997 a further 27 month contract was let to study in more detail both catapult-launched (CTOL) and STOBAR variants, these would have in common a strengthened undercarriage and an arrestor hook, and possibly a larger thicker wing with power folding and more powerful vectored thrust EJ200 engines. Both variants would have required a large conventional carrier design equipped with an angled flight deck and arrested wires for landing.

The UK was not the only potential customer for a navalised Typhoon, Eurofighter GmbH (the consortium which builds and sells Typhoon) is reported to have briefed the Italian Navy during 2000 about a low-cost, reduced weight, arrestor landing/angled deck variant of the Typhoon that could operate from the Italian Navy’s new 25,000 tonnes carrier, Conte di Cavour, which is due to enter service in 2006/7. The company has also offered another customer (probably India) a “more radically modified naval version of the aircraft”, presumably the STOBAR variant studied for the UK.

BAE Systems continued with varying amounts of enthusiasm (apparently depending on its likely JSF workshare at the time!) to push Typhoon (N) as an alternative to JSF, stressing the Typhoon's higher speed, range and payload, although admitting it would be less stealthy. A Typhoon (N) would also have the advantage of considerable commonality with the 232 Eurofighter Typhoon's already planned for the RAF.

BAE Systems suggested that costly airframe strengthening and a new undercarriage for Typhoon (N), as traditionally required for aircraft "navalisation" of a land based aircraft, could be avoided by using sophisticated computer controlled precise landing systems and other aids to reduce arrested landing stresses to within existing Typhoon limits - which are far below those currently normal for hard carrier operations. Apparently even giant fans blowing air over the aft flight deck and in to the final landing approach were considered! But these BAE's idea's do not seem to have been accepted by the MOD, indeed they would appear to be a rather risky cost reduction measure which have become a source of major problems in the future, e.g. preventing flight operations in heavy seas or leading to costly repairs of prematurely fatigued aircraft.

During 1999-2000 a fully navalised STOBAR Typhoon seemed to be the only real competitor to JSF for the JCA order, but in January 2001 (just prior to the UK signing a MoU for the JSF SDD phase) reports appeared in the UK press that it had been eliminated on cost and safety grounds, e.g. the flight deck clearance of external weapons was considered dangerously low for the robust nature of carrier launch and landing events, and the canards dangerously restricted the pilots view during high angle of attack carrier landings.

In May 2001 Sir Robert Walmsley, Head of the Defence Procurement Agency, when asked about the possibility of a navalised Eurofighter if JSF was cancelled said: "It is not currently designed so that it could use a carrier. We could change the design but we would be faced with a huge piece of work. The materials would probably have to be changed in order to avoid corrosion; the weight of the undercarriage would have to be doubled to support carrier landing which would eat into the payload margin; and the wing roots would have to be strengthened in order to take the full inertia forces on landing. That sounds to me like a very substantial redesign. It is always possible, but it would cost a huge amount of money and it would certainly add very considerably to the cost of the aircraft".

7th Jul 2005, 10:05
There were a range of 'marinised' Typhoon designs, which varied in the extent of the modifications applied. I have a sheaf of drawings and a brief about the aircraft, waiting to form the basis of a historical type article.

The 'full up' naval version had new main gear units retracting into pods, a strengthened nose gear, and a periscopic system for high Alpha approaches. There was a considerable weight/performance penalty compared to the land-based Typhoon, though the stats still looked pretty impressive - especially compared to F-35!

I hadn't heard that anyone other than historians and half baked journos were dusting down the navalised Typhoon.

The chief benefit of the Typhoon would appear to be that it might allow uptake of the full 232 aircraft order (perhaps even more?) thereby avoiding cancellation penalties. It would also open the door to a single type fast jet force. But development would be costly.

Otherwise, any withdrawal from JSF (assuming that there was not also a cancellation of the carriers) would surely be best 'balanced' by a buy of Rafale Ms or even Super Hornets?

7th Jul 2005, 10:35
Sounds like utter bilge to me. Although I'm sure BWoS will get a handsome consulting fee to dust off the old plans and give them a fresh coat of paint before pronouncing it unviable.


7th Jul 2005, 15:31
an old adage that there has not been a single aircraft designed for land and adapted for sea that has been successfulObviously the Harrier/SHAR doesn't count then?.

7th Jul 2005, 15:41
ZH 875

Well done. I should have used the word 'conventional' prior to the word aircraft.

Landing a Harrier on metal MEXI or a metal deck is still a vertical landing and doesn't add value to the comparison between CTOL operations and CV operations for a conventional aircraft. (I'm learning, I used the conventional word.)

Surpised you didn't mention helicopters but I guess you actually knew the point I was making.

7th Jul 2005, 17:46
"There has not been a single aircraft designed for land and adapted for sea that has been successful."

In Britain:

Hawker Nimrod and Osprey?




Sea Hawk (P.1140)?

Sea Vixen (DH110)?


Elsewhere there are the Su-27K (Su-33) and MiG-29K, the Etendard, Super Etendard and Rafale........

But apart from those, and those I have omitted: "There has not been a single aircraft designed for land and adapted for sea that has been successful."


7th Jul 2005, 18:20
About the Sea Hawk, an aircraft that was never an in service land based aircraft before the basic design was taken and made into a Fleet aircraft from the outset: "The first jet aircraft from the Hawker stable and worthy successor to the various WWII fighter designs such as the Hurricane, Tempest and Fury, the Sea Hawk was very nearly stillborn but was rescued at the eleventh hour by interest from the Royal Navy."


About the Sea Vixen, an aircraft that was never an in service land based aircraft before the basic design was taken and made into a Fleet aircraft from the outset: "After proving to themselves that carrier operations were feasible for jet aircraft with the de Havilland Sea Vampire, the Navy formulated a specification for a fleet defence fighter. The RAF issued a similar requirement and de Havilland decided the requirements were so similar that a single aircraft could fulfil them both."


About the Sea Venom: "Early problems with the FAW20 [prototype Sea Venom] lead to withdrawal of the type from front-line service. The insufficient strength of the arrester hook lead to several aircraft overshooting the landing strip and falling in the drink. At this time, no ejector seats were fitted. "


However Jackonicko, my original statement was too sweeping and poorly phrased. There have been land based aircraft that have operated from ships and suggesting that they were not successful does not do them justice.

I should have rephrased it with a word that encapsulates the ease of operation around the deck of a marinised land aircraft over a purebread naval one.

Semantics aside, using a periscope on a Typhoon to see the deck is still not a good maritime design feature whichever way you package it.

7th Jul 2005, 18:21
T-45 Goshawk?

(with extra words to make it post properly)

7th Jul 2005, 18:24
But carrier based aircraft have made excellent transition to dry land. Phantom and best of all, Buccaneer.

7th Jul 2005, 18:27
"The 'full up' naval version had new main gear units retracting into pods, a strengthened nose gear, and a periscopic system for high Alpha approaches."

That sounds like an utter monstrosity. A bit like the old HS.1154(RN), after the F-4 fans in the FAA had finished mucking about with it. That one even had a podded main gear - with tiny four-wheel bogies in one incarnation.

The speculation about the dumping of STOVL is not surprising. I don't see how F-35B is going to be operating routinely with Storm Shadow, for instance, except on a fairly cool day. The bring-back isn't there. Also, the F-35C has much greater range.

7th Jul 2005, 18:34

T-45 is unfortunately a really bad example. A disaster from start to finish. There isn't enough space on Pprune to list the problems marinising that jet.


Absolutely. Coming the other way is effortless. F-4 and Bucc, two of the most over engineered and effective aircraft ever to grace the skies.


Naval Typhoon does sound messy. Your available-in-the-free-press unclassified comments about F-35B are valid. F-35C makes more opertaional sense but the reality is that the politicians have the vote. Keeping UK Plc employed in the greatest proportion is a big priority.

7th Jul 2005, 18:38
Add the Sea Fury (a navalised Tempest) arguably the best piston engined carrierborne fighter ever built.

7th Jul 2005, 18:41
Not sure I'd cite the Sea Vixen as a good example of anything except a jet-propelled death warrant.

True: there is no cheap and fast way to adapt a land-based aircraft to a carrier, because the cat, arrest and landing loads are large and very specific and go to the inmost parts of the structure. So-called "carrier derivatives" of land-based aircraft either didn't work very well or were like the FJ Fury - completely different aircraft.

There are other issues, too.
A carrier aircraft doesn't worry too much about crosswinds.
Approach speeds are more restricted, which means higher AoA and a need for over-the-nose visibility.
Control response on approach is more critical (look at the tail and high-lift devices on a Hornet versus an F-16.)

Clearly, a carrier-based aircraft can operate ashore easily enough (although the Bug has a tendency to roll into a ball if you fubar the landing) but it carries a weight penalty. An F-16E is smaller than a Super Bug but has better performance all round, and the Foat Wuff team has managed to exceed the Bug's performance without going to a new airplane.

The F-4 worked well, but give me a break - it was twice the size of anything else at the time.

The Rafale is the first computer-aided compromise design. The layout works well for both CV and CTOL, and the extra structural beef required is incorporated in the smallest possible number of parts.

7th Jul 2005, 19:01
I like the idea of a navalised Typhoon, because the RAF can have the lot when some future government cans the carriers.

Now where have I seen that before?

7th Jul 2005, 19:32

Sea Fury. Now you're talking, as you may have worked out from my log in name.


I agree with you. I think. OK, I actually didn't quite get some of the references to F-16E (did you mean FA-18E) Foat Wuff and Bug/Super Bug?


Maybe we should stop talking about the potential disasterous marinisation of the Cold War dinosaur, some politician will make it like 1978 all over again and your dream (nightmare?) will come true.

Oggin Aviator
7th Jul 2005, 19:46
Bug/Super Bug?
I'm assuming Hornet / Super Hornet

7th Jul 2005, 20:34
FB11 (Sea Fury?),

Point taken, posted then looked it up on the web! MD must have been thrilled to work with BWoS on that project.

A now better informed CBA

7th Jul 2005, 21:55

I admit to being a tad pedantic here, but I think that you will find the Sea Fury was a navalised Fury not a Tempest, there is a small clue in the name..................................

7th Jul 2005, 22:01
And what was a Fury, Proooooooooooooone?

7th Jul 2005, 22:23

Anorak on,

The Fury was an aeroplane sufficiently different from the Tempest to be given a different name, just as the Tempest itself was sufficiently different from the Typhoon.

Hawker Typhoon
Hawker Tempest
Hawker Fury
Hawker SEA Fury.

Anorak off.

(Stuck in office overnight as I have to be somewhere important at 0830 tomorrow morning in Central London)

7th Jul 2005, 23:14
A fresh Ppruner and I've caused a verbal punch up between pr00ne and Jackonicko. Sorry fellas, my fault for dragging the thread off track.

However, here are a couple off links that do back up the idea that the Fury/Sea Fury did come from a stable of a different lineage to the Tempest/Typhoon, that of the FW190. You learn something new every day.


To muddy the water though, the Tempest Reunion (about 70 ex-Tempest pilots gather each year at West Wittering near Portsmouth) got the RN Historic Flight Sea Fury to fly past on the way to the Dunsfold Airshow as it's the nearest thing still flying to the Tempest. The growl of 18 Centaurus cylinders firing does stir the blood.

7th Jul 2005, 23:35
Foat Wuff is how GWB or JR Ewing would pronounce the name of the city next door to Dallas... And the Bug is indeed the F/A-18...

8th Jul 2005, 09:13
Never mind about Navalising the TypHOON, this is what needs navalising.

Here (http://www.af.mil/photos/factsheet_photos.asp?fsID=175)

8th Jul 2005, 09:28
Talking about the Sea Fury, pr00ne and others will surely remember the German-owned one that used to police the FRG low flying system in the early 70s. Apparently it was flown by a woman and could just about keep up with F-4s, etc.

Pierre Argh
8th Jul 2005, 10:00
At the risk of getting emroiled in a "spotter's paradise"... I though the Buccaneer was designed as a Naval aircraft from the outset (and only taken up by the RAF in MkII version to fill the gap left by the cancellation of TSR2 / F1-11 projects).... also the original design spec for the Harrier was as a joint RAF/RN aircraft, including a two seat, supersonic variant for the Senior Service... but I am sure you'll correct me?

Incidentally, the WWII Chance-Voigt Corsair was taken onboard by the RN, after the USN rejected it as unsuitable for deck landing (due to lack of vision around the long nose on finals... giving it to the USMC for shorebased operations instead)... the RN, out of desparation, adopted a hairy, constantly curving approach to the deck (See "Carrier Pilot" a first hand account by Norman Henson)... Not too sure todays Fleet Air Arm would want to take the similar risks just to get the Typhoon to sea?

8th Jul 2005, 10:07
The F4 was a pretty good naval aircraft! By the way, is the Sea Fury being flown by Jonah still?

John Farley
20th Jul 2005, 11:37
also the original design spec for the Harrier was as a joint RAF/RN aircraft, including a two seat, supersonic variant for the Senior Service... but I am sure you'll correct me?

Only gently. That was the P1154. After the Kestrel Tripartite evaluation the UK went to the P1127(RAF) which was later named Harrier.

Moe Syzlak
20th Jul 2005, 12:43
Just to drag this thread towards the actual subject-I was involved in some of the rig (sim) trials on the navalised Typhoon (or Eurofighter as it was then)in the late 90s. As I recall some of the problems encountered included, but were not limited to the following:
-The alpha required to give a suitable approach speed and to put the ac near the backside of the curve led to the obscuration of the landing area -hence the periscope "idea"
-At these alpha levels the roll response diminished markedly
-A decent boarding rate was only possible using an almost dead-beat auto-throttle emulation-it is very doubtful that this could actually be engineered for real-given the very low drag of the ac.
Most things are possible if enough money is thrown at them-e.g. T-45 (another light, high performance, low drag, ac forced onto a boat) but the issues here are not insignificant. Oh and I used to fly F4s, the only benefit I recall from flying an ac designed for carrier ops-given the carrier was now razor blades- was that it weighed 38000 lbs empty/clean and you could bring the hook up after use! Good fun tho'.
Lastly, if we buy the carriers, where are we going to go in these boats and what are we going to do-and why?

Now back to that fascinating Sea Fury vs whatever debate....zzzzzzzzz

20th Jul 2005, 13:52
More background on the Tempest/(Sea) Fury debate here - stay awake Moe!:

The Sea Fury owes much of its design to a navigational error. In June 1942, Luftwaffe pilot Oberleutnant Arnim Faber landed his Focke-Wulf FW 190A 3 at RAF Pembrey, apparently thinking he was at a Luftwaffe coastal airfield. Quickly pouncing on this intact example of the bothersome German fighter, the British used their windfall to good advantage. Specification F.6/42, for a new high-performance fighter, was issued shortly thereafter, and incorporated lessons that the “boffins” learned from their examination of Faber’s aircraft.

At the time, Hawker Aircraft’s chief engineer Sydney Camm and his team were developing a lighter, smaller version of the venerable Tempest. In January 1943, Hawker management decided to revise this design to meet the requirements of Specification F.6/42. The project was then called the Tempest Light Fighter, or Centaurus. Two months later, the Government wrote specification F.2/43 specifically for the Hawker project. In April 1943, Camm realized that, with a few minor changes and an engine upgrade, the F.2/43 project aircraft could also meet Royal Navy Specification N.7/43 for a carrier-based interceptor. So the Royal Navy’s requirements were combined in Specification F.2/43. After Hawker decided to abandon the land-based version of the Tempest Light Fighter to concentrate on the Royal Navy’s requirements, the resulting aircraft was named Sea Fury.