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Typhoon Upgrades

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Typhoon Upgrades

Old 12th Aug 2019, 16:16
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Well, they were T.1s, but then were ugraded to become T.3s.

They haven't all been scrapped. Only eight of them. I'd have thought the two seater would be quite a useful thing, but I guess the sims are busy these days.
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 14:36
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Timelord View Post


One you missed: “It would be even better with a navigator”

Which of course it would!

Two brains are better than one!!

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Old 13th Aug 2019, 15:24
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Rhino power View Post
Physical differences between the 3 different build tranches, Tranche 1 Typhoons are significantly different enough internally to Tranche 2/3 that upgrade further than the current Tranche 1 Block 5 (which does include air-to-ground capability, contrary to what some folk believe) is not viable. This is purely from memory so may well not be 'totally' accurate, but I understand that the internal avionics racks/bulkheads, amongst other things, are where the issue arises...

-RP
Hi there,
Civilian pilot but very interested in military aviation, I understand what you are saying but how would the Eurofighter T1 be different to earlier model F16 from NATO countries that have been upgraded to a standard comparable (as I understand) to F16 block 50/52?

thanks
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 16:01
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Weemonkey

That is a timeless question and one that is very hard to answer.

Once you have more than one person you then have CRM to worry about. Some brighter minds work better on their own and can find it hard to communicate their thought processes.

Also, modern jets can look after the flying side to the extent that the single mind can easily manage the systems.

Many years ago, before cockpit ergonomics were really considered, I would agree with you. Nowadays though I think the single person crew concept in a fast jet is far more preferable.

I am not the leading expert though and others may well disagree.

BV
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 18:35
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
That is a timeless question and one that is very hard to answer.

Once you have more than one person you then have CRM to worry about. Some brighter minds work better on their own and can find it hard to communicate their thought processes.

Also, modern jets can look after the flying side to the extent that the single mind can easily manage the systems.

Many years ago, before cockpit ergonomics were really considered, I would agree with you. Nowadays though I think the single person crew concept in a fast jet is far more preferable.

I am not the leading expert though and others may well disagree.

BV
I consider myself qualified to comment here! Some considerations:

1) The Typhoon autopilot can hold a level turn but will not adjust it to maintain position over a target (due to target motion or wind) and takes no account of the need to keep the targeting pod unmasked by the airframe or stores. Thus at least some of the pilot’s attention is required on these tasks in the classical ‘CAS wheel’.

2) Even with a more intelligent autopilot that could take care of the above tasks (anyone know if F35 has the capability?) then there is going to be a certain amount of lookout needed for other aircraft and threats such as SAMs and AAA. Threat warning systems have weaknesses and blind spots, while collision warning systems don’t work if other aircraft aren’t squawking Mode 3/S, which can often be the case on operations. And, where ground activity is focussed in a small area, the number of aircraft packed into the CAS stack can be eye-watering. All it takes is for another player (maybe not autopilot equipped) to drift a mile laterally or 500 feet vertically out of their block and you have trouble. Situational awareness datalinks aren’t currently robust enough to replace lookout and in any case don’t provide the audio cues necessary to allow complete focus elsewhere.

3) If only the ergonomics of Typhoon’s targeting pod controls or its weapon programming interface lived up to contemporary ideals!

4) For all the old AD vs Mud banter ‘the targets don’t move, how hard can it be?!’, air-to-surface targeting in real operational situations is beset by issues that demand extended periods of near-exclusive focus on the ground picture. Tracking moving targets through areas where buildings or vegetation restrict visibility is one example (incidentally, also requiring attention to be paid to aircraft positioning at the same time to keep the line of sight clear). Monitoring for traces of civilian activity is likely to be a requirement of rules of engagement... blink (or fly the aircraft for a second) and you might miss it. And there are no IFFs yet capable of mitigating blue-on-blue when things get hectic.

Put all the above together and I would still choose two seats for the type of air-to-surface ops that we’ve tied ourselves up in for the last 20 years. Of course Harrier, A-10 and F-16 show that it’s possible with one seat, but the question is which of the above areas do you compromise in? Each of the aforementioned 3 aircraft has the advantage of better ergonomics than Typhoon (and in the first 2 instances, no other substantial roles to train for), but taking that forward my worry about ‘sensor fusion’ is that it’s only as good as its programming and depends on on-board computers that by the very nature of military procurement are a long way behind the state of the art.* The advantage of a second human is to be found in the processing of incomplete, conflicting or unexpected information. Moreover that human can be reprogrammed by reading or briefing, in contrast to the computer which needs expensive and time-consuming work.

I find it very interesting that the Franco-German 6th-gen concept has 2 seats, undoubtedly under French influence (they operate a mixed fleet of single- and two-seat Rafales on operations, which tells its own story). I don’t know enough about F35 to comment, but I am confident enough to judge Typhoon well behind F15E in air-to-surface capability in the here and now. The fact that one of the Typhoon upgrades is a targeting pod with improved auto-tracking capabilities tells its own story about one of the issues found while taking over Tornado’s mantle. But then Typhoon was not intended to replace Tornado. (Nor was F35, but we are where we are; it’ll be interesting to see if its sensor fusion and ‘reprogrammability’ show the French and Germans to have made the right or wrong call with their Tornado replacement concept).

* A final thought: I think it more likely that future advances in computing will take away the ‘piloting’ task, leaving a single ‘WSO’ to monitor sensors, issue orders to unmanned wingmen, and apply human ethics to engagement decisions for his or her ‘formation’ of drones. It’ll have to be a 2-winged ‘WSO’ though, obviously ;-)

Last edited by Easy Street; 13th Aug 2019 at 19:09.
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 19:28
  #26 (permalink)  
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 20:37
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Timelord View Post
Easy Street, I think your final thought is close. Someone who knew a lot about the F35 told me that the piloting bit was very easy thanks to the automation. The difficult bit was managing all the information.
That's my understanding too. Looking ahead to advances in on-board computing capacity, artificial intelligence now reliably beats human intelligence in structured scenarios where complete information is available, such as games of chess or go. And I'd say the job of a pilot fits that definition much more closely than that of a WSO. Even the most dynamic piloting activity, air-to-air combat, sees decisions based on known 'pictures' and measurable geometries which a suitably capable set of sensors and computers stands at least a chance of mastering. For all that an air picture can be confusing, it's almost infinitely simpler than the ground picture and to that extent I can see HAL being left to do all the flying while the human concentrates exclusively on the 'military thinking', for want of a better term for it.

It's not the piloting part of the job that will keep a body in our aircraft in the long term: were it not for the fragility, vulnerability and bandwidth limitations of beyond-line-of-sight datalinks we'd probably do the 'military thinking' somewhere else and do away with the crew altogether. That leads to another thought: focussing on improving sensor fusion to ease workload might actually be a distraction from the more achievable goal of improving automatic piloting to ease workload. And I say this as a pilot...

Last edited by Easy Street; 13th Aug 2019 at 21:34.
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 23:44
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by flyburg View Post

Hi there,
Civilian pilot but very interested in military aviation, I understand what you are saying but how would the Eurofighter T1 be different to earlier model F16 from NATO countries that have been upgraded to a standard comparable (as I understand) to F16 block 50/52?

thanks
Whilst the early F-16A/B of European operators that have been upgraded to 'MLU' standard are very capable, they really are not on the same level as a Block 52 F-16, the same as the early Tranche 1 Typhoons are not as capable as Tranche 2/3. Internal arrangement, structural changes, avionics power supply/cooling etc, all have an impact. Theoretically, a Tranche 1 Typhoon 'could' be upgraded to Tranche 2/3 standard, but it just wouldn't be economically viable, or sensible...

-RP
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 09:19
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Nomad2

Sorry to burst your bubble. But apart from 1 RTP Tranche 1 twin stick going to the BAE Technical College at my old local airport. The only other survivor is the one that has gone back to the factory that built it. Some of the Jets went to a yard in Lincoln and I doubt they stayed complete for long.
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 09:24
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by unmanned_droid View Post
Did the conformal fuel tanks get binned for good?
Yes, I wondered that too - what happened to the conformal tanks?
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 14:51
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tartare View Post
Yes, I wondered that too - what happened to the conformal tanks?
Tranche 3 jets are plumbed for and have the attachment points for them, just needs the RAF/MOD to actually buy some...

-RP
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 15:06
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Of the the Tranche 1 Typhoons that were upgraded to T.3s, ZJ800/801/802/803/804/805/806/808/809/811/812/813 and 815 have all been RTP'd/scrapped, or are awaiting RTP/scrapping, only a few Tranche 1 T.3s remain in service. As far as I can tell, all Tranche 2 T.3s remain in service...

-RP
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 15:53
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
That is a timeless question and one that is very hard to answer.

Once you have more than one person you then have CRM to worry about. Some brighter minds work better on their own and can find it hard to communicate their thought processes.

Also, modern jets can look after the flying side to the extent that the single mind can easily manage the systems.

Many years ago, before cockpit ergonomics were really considered, I would agree with you. Nowadays though I think the single person crew concept in a fast jet is far more preferable.

I am not the leading expert though and others may well disagree.

BV
Bob thanks some pertinent points there.

My main concern is ROE and avoiding blue on blue.

I still believe the two crew concept has significant advantages in this.
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 21:02
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Generally, I think the advantages of 2 crew over 1 come in the execution of those complex or very high workload scenarios. I listened in on a 2-ship live QRA a few years ago, think it was the BMI one, and the workload of the formation lead was phenomenal, and appeared highly stressful, almost to the point of being task saturated in my opinion.

Certainly way beyond my capabilities, regardless of the amount of training undertaken!
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 21:41
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Is the canopy still leaky?
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 08:18
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Rhino power View Post
Whilst the early F-16A/B of European operators that have been upgraded to 'MLU' standard are very capable, they really are not on the same level as a Block 52 F-16, the same as the early Tranche 1 Typhoons are not as capable as Tranche 2/3. Internal arrangement, structural changes, avionics power supply/cooling etc, all have an impact. Theoretically, a Tranche 1 Typhoon 'could' be upgraded to Tranche 2/3 standard, but it just wouldn't be economically viable, or sensible...

-RP
thanks for the info!
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 12:11
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Do you still need inflating boots?

asking for a friend.....
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 14:49
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by oldmansquipper View Post
Do you still need inflating boots?

asking for a friend.....
No inflating boots required. Inflating socks instead, not many pilots used them when IWOT.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 19:27
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On a historical note. From 1996 -2000, I ran the campaign, in country, to flog the Typhoon to the Australian Defence Force. Prior to that, I spent seven years at Warton working with the excellent design teams, in a marketing sense, on potential developments. Things like Raptor and conformal tanks - among other things (such as the ill-fated attempt to equip the aircraft with deck-landing capability). All of these were put to the Aussies with some vigour. They, friends as they were, largely poo-poohed me. I failed in my quest, which was inevitable; but I had a bloody good few years doing it.

Meanwhile, I paint.

Eat your heart out Mel Hupfeld, Pietsch and others!! Good mates.

Now, in my dotage, I'm delighted to see that the aircraft is reaching its true potential. As I always maintained it would do so. So did Ned

Last edited by jindabyne; 16th Aug 2019 at 09:49.
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 08:54
  #40 (permalink)  
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AW&ST: http://aviationweek.com/defense/mult...lity-expansion

A Multipronged Plan Takes Shape For Typhoon Capability Expansion

Eight months after formally declaring Project Centurion—the name given to the RAF’s up-arming of the fighter with additional air-to-ground and long-range air-to-air weaponry—operational, a new round of upgrades is being tested for the UK fleet of Tranche 2 and 3 jets.......

The newest upgrades build on that Centurion work with tweaks to the man-machine interface based on feedback from crews using Centurion on the front lines over Iraq and Syria. The RAF also plans to introduce the Rafael Litening 5 targeting pod, which features a higher-fidelity sensor that allows targets to be identified from extended ranges. The pod is undergoing flight testing on an aircraft borrowed from the RAF, and is expected to reach the front line early next year, says Flynn.

Work is also underway to enhance the aircraft’s Passive Infrared Airborne Track Equipment (Pirate), the Typhoon’s infrared search and track sensor mounted just ahead of the cockpit. Typhoon operators have struggled with the system’s reliability, but Flynn says the team is taking a “fly-fix-fly” approach to improving the sensor’s “reliability and robustness,” with the upgrade introducing a passive nighttime detection capability.

British Typhoons will also be fitted with a new Saab-developed smart dispenser system—replacing the dispensing systems embedded in a fairing beneath the wing—whose development is expected to be completed next year. Saab officials say this will be more closely integrated into the defensive aids system and will prepare the aircraft for active decoys such as the Leonardo-made BriteCloud.......

the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) project, beginning with a €53.7 million ($60 million) 19-month study, announced at the Paris Air Show, to look at the next upgrade steps for the aircraft and its Eurojet EJ200 engine, as well as the aircraft’s avionics and defensive aids system.

This work, however, is separate from the ongoing Phase Enhancement program, the most recent of which, P3E(a), integrated the Brimstone missile.

The next step is P3E(b), which will deliver the capability to use the new Captor-E active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the first customer for which will be Kuwait...... P3E(b) also gives the aircraft the ability to drop Mk. 82 and Mk. 83 dumb bombs, a Kuwaiti requirement.

A P3E(c) enhancement program is also in the works, but few details have emerged on what it contains. The same goes for the long-awaited P4E upgrade. That is planned to be embodied in the fleet around 2024, but will likely pave the way for adding more capable versions of the AESA radar such as the so-called Radar 2 desired by the UK.......

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