Combat Performance

Message posted by Nimrod on March 14, 2007 at 20:59:49 PST:

Taken from

Combat performance
Its combination of agility, performance, stealth features and advanced avionics make it one of the most capable fighter aircraft currently in service. Compared to its rivals, Typhoon's cockpit and man/machine interface are claimed to be significantly advanced and intuitive, resulting in a lower pilot workload, building on the early glass cockpits pioneered by aircraft like the F/A-18 and Mirage 2000, looking similar, but working in a much more intuitive and effective way, with given operations requiring fewer pilot inputs. The conventional HOTAS-concept was enhanced with a direct voice input system to allow the pilot to perform mode selection and data entry procedures.

Eurofighter Typhoon of the Royal Air Force displaying at the Farnborough Air Show, 2006. The Typhoon's combat performance, particularly compared to the new F-22A Raptor and the upcoming F-35 fighter under development in the United States and the Dassault Rafale developed in France, has been the subject of much speculation. While making a reliable assessment is impossible with available information, there is a study by the UK's DERA comparing the Typhoon to other contemporary fighters. In it, the Typhoon was second only to the F-22A in combat performance.

In March 2005, United States Air Force Chief of Staff General John P. Jumper, then the only person to have flown both the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Raptor, talked to Air Force Print News about these two aircraft. He said that "the Eurofighter is both agile and sophisticated, but is still difficult to compare to the F/A-22 Raptor. They are different kinds of airplanes to start with; it's like asking us to compare a NASCAR car with a Formula 1 car. They are both exciting in different ways, but they are designed for different levels of performance". [29]

In June 2005, Scotland on Sunday reported that, when 'attacked' by two USAF F-15E Strike Eagle strike fighter aircraft, a Eurofighter on a 'Case White' conversion training sortie was able to out-manoeuvre the attacking aircraft and "shoot them down" (i.e., achieve radar lock for a long enough period of time to accurately launch missiles, had this been real combat). [30] It is generally agreed that the Eurofighter Typhoon's performance is significantly better than that of the F-15C/D, the current air superiority fighter variant of the F-15.

While the Typhoon lacks the all-aspect stealth technology of the F-22A, the design does incorporate some low-observable features. Its actual detectability on radar is classified. Passive infrared target detection and tracking (air-to-air and air-to-surface) is provided by PIRATE (Passive Infra-Red Airborne Track Equipment), serving also as a navigation and landing aid.

The Typhoon is capable of sustained supersonic cruise without using afterburners. The F-22A is the only other current fighter with supercruise capabilities. According to EADS, the maximum speed possible without reheat is Mach 1.5 in what EF GmbH regard as a 'clean' configuration e.g., without tanks, but with four BVRAAMs and two IR AAMs. (Supercruise performance drops to Mach 1.3 with a full air-to-air weapons load, including tanks). Rafale's supercruise capabilities have been described as marginal with the current engine (the aircraft failed to demonstrate the capability during the Singapore evaluation), while the F-22 by comparison can supercruise rather faster with a full internal weapons load[citation needed].

Canards, lightweight construction (>70% carbon fibre composites) and the inherently unstable design with a quadruplex digital control system providing artificial stability, allow superior agility both at supersonic speed and at very low speed. The fly-by-wire system is described as "carefree" by preventing the pilot from exceeding the permitted manoeuvre envelope.

In 2002 the MBDA Meteor was selected as the long range air-to-air missile armament of Eurofighter Typhoon [31][32]. Due to delays in Meteor development, Typhoon will be equipped with the Raytheon AMRAAM as a stop gap measure. The current in-service date for Meteor is predicted to be August 2012.

In Reply to: No gun.... posted by Thud on March 14, 2007 at 6:16:39 PST:


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