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Typhoon in plaudit shocker!

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Typhoon in plaudit shocker!

Old 15th Aug 2004, 14:01
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Trailfinder,

You think that describing Typhoon as an achievement is funny, and then you ask "In what respect"? Its respects, old boy, plural.

1) Performance. (Including RCS, agility, supersonic agility, and weapons performance).
2) Capability (Already. The radar is f***ing amazing already - flipping, that is, of course).
3) Potential.
4) Cost and cost of ownership.

I can spell the word phenomenal, and I'm happy to use it!

Europe has produced arguably the best combat aircraft of its generation. Only the F-22 promises to be better (do you think that the F-22 or F-35 programmes have somehow been any less trouble prone? If you do it can only be through ignorance.)

"The chief of staff of the US Air Force, General John P. Jumper, praised the Eurofighter Typhoon after a test flight in the much-maligned jet, which has been in service just 11 weeks with the German Air Force.

"I've flown all the air force jets. None was as good as the Eurofighter," he said, according to an account by the German Air Force of his Tuesday try-out of one of the two-seater jets based at Laage Air Force Base near the Baltic coast city of Rostock.

The general praised the jet fighter for its agility, manoeuvrability, acceleration and precise navigation."

Or:

Lt. Gen. Bruce A. Carlson, a former USAF director of operational requirements who said that "Typhoon will easily outstrip the capabilities of the Su-35 /-37, as well as the F-15, and ..... is considered second only to the F-22 in capability. Typhoon is more maneuverable and has better radar detection capability than the F-15 and is harder to detect on radar."

Or:

March 2004

Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, UK Chief of Air Staff

“I have been looking forward to it for a long time and it was hugely impressive – if I had a message for RAF personnel it would be ‘if you can get on Typhoon – get on it!’”

“We have a lot of work to do as we bring this weapons system into service, and those involved in the programme should be proud of their contribution. We now need to keep it going, because I have no doubt that if we get this right, this aircraft is a world beater.”

Or:

14th May 2004

Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge KCB CBE RAF

“The performance of the aircraft was stunning. The radar is nice as is the display. The aircraft is at the beginning of its life, there is a lot to do to turn it into a combat aircraft, but it’s great to fly”

Or:

4th June 2004

Air Marshal Glenn Torpy, DCinC STC

“This is the performance we’ve hoped for for many years, the aircraft’s getting off to a really good start with Case White and it’s looking hopeful for the future. Typhoon is a great pilot’s aircraft”.

Or:

Sqn Ldr Dicky Patounas, who will take command of the Red Arrows next season, took his first flight in Typhoon on Wednesday 19 June, before joining the Red Arrows to flypast RAF Cranwell in celebration of the beginning of the Red Arrow's 20th season. He took off from Warton with Wg Cdr David Chan, OC 17 (R) Sqn, and on his return commented:

"It is an excellent aircraft. It flies beautifully. It has a huge amount of power allied with superb handling and agility. I was pleasantly surprised with the feedback the aircraft gave me. I was expecting a 'sterile feeling' machine however, this was not the case at all. With the Typhoon you can tell exactly what is going on with the airframe. These characteristics combined with the sensors we are going to receive, will make the Typhoon a first class weapons system."

You're probably one of the ill-informed twits who still think that the radar is having problems, based on Foxhunter-fed prejudice and old, long out of date reports from early development work during the last century.
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Old 15th Aug 2004, 17:43
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Jacko

I have read this forum for some time and having read a number of your posts over time I recognise you know your subject. My apologies if the flippancy of my last post irritated you, in hindsight perhaps 'funny' was ill advised.

Just because I don't conform to your view/understanding of the situation does not make me either a twit or ill informed. A tad rude I thought.

Of course RAF senior ranks are going to praise EF - what else are they going to say? 'Actually chaps, after all this time, money and effort we've decided we don't want the aircraft after all'? And as for the Sqn Ldr - it was a press release, of course its going to be positive.

I don't consider myself to be ill informed on this issue. What makes you so sure of yourself on this? Do you have access to info beyond the public domain and what industry churns out? I suspect not - and if you don't have all the information, how can you be so sure?

Anyway, time will tell. Potentially quite some time.

TF
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Old 15th Aug 2004, 18:31
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Comparing the Typhoon to the F15 is comparing a 1970s product with what may yet be 2007 into service - why do it?

Of course the aircraft has good performance - fighters always needed it until we ordered our last bomber to do a fighters' job.

Stealthy it is not - that is a lamentable weakness in a modern product.

If the radar works at all it is a great technological leap for our procurement system.

The real crunch is cost - no sane man would spend so much when he could have got F16 off the shelf many years ago for a bargain price.

We've written a future for our forces of having to be dependent on the USA in any major action so why not have true inter-operability?
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Old 15th Aug 2004, 19:22
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Stealth (in its all-aspect LO sense) is almost an irrelevance today. Bistatic radar, new methods and means of detection, the assymetric nature of most modern air campaigns all combine to make 80s style stealth technology something that's 'gosh wow' for small boys and spotters, but of less relevance generally. ALMOST.

Low frontal RCS (together with supersonic acceleration, agility and good gimbal limits) is still of huge importance though, and I'm assured that in this key area, Typhoon is bloody good. And the people who told me
a) should know and
b) owe BAE Systems nothing.

And this is exactly what General Carlson (not an RAF senior rank) was intimating, I'm told.

Just because I'm a journo does not mean that my knowledge is by definition limited to what's in the public domain. Journos often have sources, and we often know things that we should not, or that people would rather we did not. It was a journalist who exposed the Typhoon's fin skin problem, some years ago, another who exposed the problems with the ALRS, and another who revealed the conclusions of the release to service recommendations. Some journalists had the detail of the recent review before most uniformed chaps. My 'faith' in Typhoon isn't based on detailed classified knowledge, and I don't pretend otherwise. But I do talk to people, including people who really do have access to real knowledge, and I don't need to base my opinions on what BAE, Eurofighter GmbH and RAF PR/CC people tell me, or on the ill informed scandal and out of date rumour that is so widely disseminated, either.

You may well not be a fool or ill-informed, TF, but I could only make a judgement based on what you say, and you said: "That's the funniest thing I've heard in ages - in what context? That its managed to get this far without having the plug pulled, or being exposed for what it is - in that case yes, I would agree with you. Its not a scandal but it blinking well ought to be." If I misjudged you on the basis of that tirade, I apologise, but I don't need to explain why I leapt to that conclusion, I'm sure.

Soddim,

F-16s wouldn't have met the requirement. Regardless of the cost. There was no point in procuring it off the shelf. Today's F-15 is more expensive (comparing sticker price with Typhoon marginal costs), and is a less capable aircraft. Interoperability is surely enhanced by buying the same fighter as Germany, Italy, and Spain, and perhaps as Norway, Greece, Turkey etc.......?
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Old 16th Aug 2004, 07:35
  #25 (permalink)  
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Stealthy it is not - that is a lamentable weakness in a modern product.
I have to agree with Jacko on this - stealth isn't all it appears...




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Old 16th Aug 2004, 10:19
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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I also have to agree with Jacko.

All-aspect LO is nice to have. However,with evolving detection technology, stealth is a decaying asset - except in the head-on regime. This was the publicly expressed opinion of the previous Head of CSTO in Australia - largely, and lamentably, ignored by the rest of DoD.

soddim

You are right if you mean the early F15's - you are wrong if you mean the latest F15's.

I suspect that, when Typhoon's praises are being sung throughout European air forces and those of furtherafield export customers, the habitual homegrown opponents will still be harking back to lateness, cost, and any other points upon which they can fling their spears.

Last edited by jindabyne; 16th Aug 2004 at 10:36.
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Old 16th Aug 2004, 16:42
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Of course F16 did not satisfy the requirement, otherwise Typhoon might not have started out in life. However, when faced with the end of the cold war and rapidly changing threats, at a time when the cost overruns and delays were obvious, the logical decision would have been to buy redundant F16s and cut the losses.

I accept that is all history - but we should remember when we look at the outcome that it might well turn out to be a good aircraft but the taxpayer could have got a better deal if we really had a "smart procurement" system.

As for the limitations of stealth, yes, it is not a must have panacea, but it should have been included in the spec.

The praises of Typhoon deserve to be sung to potential export customers for they did not suffer the delays and R & D costs. I suspect at the price it will be offered and the delivery date they will get it will be a real bargain.
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Old 16th Aug 2004, 17:34
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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soddim

It was included in the spec,(the WSDPS as was).
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Old 16th Aug 2004, 21:53
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"However, when faced with the end of the cold war and rapidly changing threats, at a time when the cost overruns and delays were obvious, the logical decision would have been to buy redundant F16s and cut the losses."

1) The major delays and cost hikes had already occurred by the time the Cold War was recognised as being over.

2) Even after the Cold War, redundant F-16s did not and do not meet the requirement. Against a developed 'Flanker' threat, F-16s would lose as often as they'd win (or worse). They do not represent any improvement in capability over the F3 and Jaguar they would be replacing.

"The taxpayer could have got a better deal if we really had a "smart procurement" system."

True, of course, but it would not have done anything to stop the five year delay (and attendant price rises) which flowed from German prognostication and prevarication.

"The praises of Typhoon deserve to be sung to potential export customers for they did not suffer the delays and R & D costs. I suspect at the price it will be offered and the delivery date they will get it will be a real bargain."

I suspect that the R&D costs represent a small price for the employment and industrial capability Typhoon have provided to UK plc, to say nothing of any export earnings in the future. I suspect that while the delays and price hikes are unacceptable, the end result is that the RAF will get a superb aircraft when it needs it (and having been able to amortise the costs of its previous platforms, and get maximum VFM from them) and at a reasonable (if inflated) price. On one level it's awful that we didn't get Typhoons in 1995 for £30 m each, but getting them in 2008 for £43 m (£63m incl R&D) each still makes them a good buy.
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Old 16th Aug 2004, 22:25
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Jacko,

The argument that F16 did not meet the requirement is a bit rich because for the whole period of procurement the threat has been rapidly changing and no requirement written 20 years ago could have stood the test of time. In any case, the aircraft now plays less part in one versus one than the missile, radar and defensive aids and even those have to be capable of upgrade to take advantage of new technology and to counter fielded threats. So, provided the platform has sufficient agility and performance, it will do the job. However, if you spend so much on the platform that the numbers procured and fielded are much less than you need, you will still lose because quantity has a quality all of its own.

It's the last part of your argument that has always justified the procurement of late, over-budget and often unsuitable British manufactured weapons systems and the armed forces have had to foot the bill. If Typhoon is merely late and over-budget that is really good news but it does not alter the fact that if our industry cannot produce on time and cost the workforce should redeploy to an industry that they can succeed at.

The social security budget should not be confused with the defence vote.
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Old 17th Aug 2004, 00:34
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Soddim,

I'm not convinced that Typhoon's requirement, though written in the Cold War, isn't (fortuitously) exactly what is required today.

A multi-role, AD heavy, network-enabled platform, capable of rapid deployment and OOA ops.
Capable of beating a 'developed Flanker' threat.
Capable of delivering stand-off PGMs.
With low through life costs and low operating costs.

This requirement, though written more than 20 years ago has arguably stood the test of time!

I'd agree that quantity has a quality all of its own, but that's not accepted by HMG, who aspire only to be able to simultaneously deploy 84 FJs at readiness. Better, in that case, for them to be EF Typhoons than F-16s, I'd say. Moreover the quantity argument only holds water if the large number of airframes are sufficiently capable (and the F-16 lacks a robust modern BVR capability, isn't net-enabled, and and and....) and have low costs of ownership and low through life support costs. F-16s wouldn't meet those criteria, though Gripens might.

Normally I'd agree with you about the armed forces 'picking up the bill' and paying the consequences for late, over-budget kit, and even in this instance, I think it unfortunate that some of Typhoon's costs aren't being met by the DTI! But this time, late is actually an advantage, and the damned thing is still cheaper (unit cost) than F-15 or even Super Hornet.

Yes there have been cock-ups galore, but the end result is that the RAF's getting a great aircraft at a good price when it needs it (not when it thought it would need it, but as you've pointed out, the threat didn't develop as or when we expected....)
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Old 17th Aug 2004, 02:17
  #32 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up

On behalf of all the engineers working in the European aerospace industry I'd like to thank those who are in favour of the Typhoon for their confidence in European industry and the future. For all those historians who would rather have the F16....
well there's nothing you can really say to a bunch of conservative old academics is there? No doubt in thirty years time there will be old die-hards arguing against replacing it with whatever comes next.

The Typhoon is a brilliant piece of engineering and one can but envy all the military aircrew who will enjoy the experience of flying it - and even getting paid for the privilege!
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Old 17th Aug 2004, 16:24
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, Jacko, Typhoon is looking more and more like the aircraft we need and I fully accept the joy of having what we need in the front line again. Yes, I hope that it sells abroad because that will soak up some of the costs we would incur by cancelling tranche 3.

However, I hope our procurement process is sharper next time because my tax bill is big enough already.
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Old 17th Aug 2004, 17:24
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soddim

'------ export sales will soak up some of the costs incurred by cancellation of Tranche3?' On the contrary, most export monies disappear into Mr Brown's pot. But as the other 3 Nations are not overly involved, I doubt there'll be much in the way of contract cancellation penalties in any case.

Talk of 'cancellation' of Tranche3 is a little misplaced. Goodies planned for Tranche 3 will be candidates for UK's subsequent upgrade programmes. Now, how will that be financed? There are some interesting possibilities - the shared involovement of export partners could be one??
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Old 17th Aug 2004, 17:30
  #35 (permalink)  
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I just wish it was 2 seat and had 50% more range. Anyone able to say what the effect the conformal tanks will have on combat performance and if they can be be dropped? Even so, long range, commit, drop the tanks, he turns away. oh dear, ...joker - and off home we go to find another pair.

Assuming we actually buy more than one pair of tanks per airframe of course........
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Old 17th Aug 2004, 18:09
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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ORAC

I understand that the conformals will not be jettisonable, and that they will have negligible affect on performance. Tend to agree with you over 2-seats, but then I suppose those that ARE being procured could be fitted with conformals and SS, and used as the nucleus of a long reach element. Others will know better ----------
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Old 17th Aug 2004, 21:23
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MMM...maybe re-think on the cards thanks to George Dubbya.....(from todays Torygraph)

RAF worried about pullout of fighters
By Peter Almond and Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 17/08/2004)

The RAF has been trying to dissuade America from withdrawing 48 F15 Eagle fighter aircraft from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk under the planned pullout.

Military chiefs are concerned that the restructuring of US forces overseas will leave Britain's air defences vulnerable at a time when the country is axing a fifth of its own fighter force and all its Jaguar ground-attack aircraft.

The US navy's 500-strong European headquarters, close to the US embassy in central London, will move to Naples, along with 200 other staff based at West Ruislip.

However, it is the removal of 48 of the 72 F15s from Lakenheath that is regarded as a serious problem. Not only does it take away a fifth of the air power available to defend Britain, but it will also hamper combined training and could increase the risk of "friendly fire" incidents.

"It doesn't seem to make sense operationally, financially or from a coalition point of view," said Wg Cdr Andrew Brookes, an air power expert at the International Institute of Strategic Studies.

"Tornado pilots . . . need to have F15s close to them because that's who they are going to go to war with. They need to know the crews, how they think, how they operate - day in, day out."

The fear is that accountants in both the US and British defence establishments will not approve the consequent extra costs that USAF-RAF joint exercises and personnel exchanges will require.

"[The US defence secretary, Donald] Rumsfeld and his policy people do not seem to care much about allies - just protecting their own," said one senior RAF officer.
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Old 18th Aug 2004, 08:57
  #38 (permalink)  
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I just wish it was 2 seat...
Click here
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Old 19th Aug 2004, 19:49
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Yes, emitex, that one is but we have to buy a few of those so that the QFIs have somewhere to sit. If we didn't they would have to chase the new boys in single seaters - then they would have to learn to fly.

I'm with ORAC - needs a Nav to take care of the complicated bits when all is changing by the nanosecond. Won lots of fights against superior performance single seat chaps who were maxxed out with weather, darkness or simply workload.

At least you can tell the quality of the Nav's input by the tone of his voice - that's more than you can say for the automatic version.

It will be interesting to see the ECCM capability of the weapons system - presumably it will have to use a lot of automatic features. That might make it easy to defeat.
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Old 20th Aug 2004, 17:57
  #40 (permalink)  

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Jacko has certainly done much to boost the case for Typhoon in the context of tomorrow (when all the stuff is cleared) and subsequently.

But the guys are always going to have to be very careful not to get suckered in to a prolonged zooming fight with (say) a Flanker or Fulcrum or any other type that can afford to zoom until it stops. As we all realise an unstable aircraft must always be flown fast enough for the controls to stabilise it. Any attempt to fly below that speed has to be resisted by the FCS which will then necessarily fly the aircraft out of the manoeuvre – much to the amusement of the opposition on the other side of the circle.

Back in the mid 70’s when the F-14 entered service the Ace of Spades guys found life a dream as all the Stateside opposition had less T/W and/or dodgy low speed handling so they naturally chose to force a zoom as nobody else could zoom as long as they could. Once above the opposition the F-14 was allowed to lazily fall through and from this position of advantage took nice pics of the guys below as they tried to recover control of their mounts.

So feeling top of the heap they moved out towards Subic Bay. There they found Harry Blot and VMA 513 waiting for them with a silly little single seat toy. Off they zoomed - but this time were surprised that the opposition now had a better T/W than them, hung in there longer and what is more cheated by using their reaction controls at the top of the zoom to great photographic effect as the aces fell gently out. But then life is not fair and the Blot flop had been born. Sorry to digress.
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