Who flys the Typhoon FGR4
A multi-role combat aircraft, capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations, from air policing, to peace support, through to high intensity conflict.
The Typhoon FGR4 provides the RAF with a highly capable and extremely agile multi-role combat aircraft, capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations, including air policing, peace support and high intensity conflict.
- Engines: 2 Eurojet EJ200 turbojets
- Thrust: 20,000lbs each
- Max speed: 1.8Mach
- Length: 15.96m
- Max altitude: 55,000ft
- Span: 11.09m
- Aircrew: 1
- Armament: Paveway IV, AMRAAM, ASRAAM, Mauser 27mm Cannon, Enhanced Paveway II
Initially deployed in the air-to-air role as the Typhoon F2, the aircraft now has a potent and precise multirole capability.
The pilot can carry out many functions by voice command or through a hands-on stick and throttle system. Combined with an advanced cockpit and the HEA (Helmet equipment assembly) the pilot is superbly equipped for all aspects of air operations.
Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain formally agreed to start development of the aircraft in 1988 with contracts for a first batch of 148 aircraft – of which 53 were for the RAF – signed ten years later. Deliveries to the RAF started in 2003 to 17(R) Sqn who were based at BAE Systems Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire (alongside the factory where the aircraft were assembled) while detailed development and testing of the aircraft was carried out. Formal activation of the first Typhoon Squadron at RAF Coningsby occurred on the 1st Jul 2005. The aircraft took over responsibility for UK QRA on 29 Jun 2007 and was formally declared as an advanced Air Defence platform on 1 Jan 2008.
Initial production aircraft of the F2 Tranche 1 standard were capable of air-to-air roles only and were the first Typhoons to hold UK QRA duties. In order to fulfill a potential requirement for Typhoon to deploy to Op HERRICK, urgent single-nation work was conducted on Tranche 1 to develop an air-to-ground capability in 2008. Tranche 1 aircraft were declared as multi-role in Jul 2008, gaining the designation FGR4 (T3 2-seat variant), fielding the Litening Laser Designator Pod and Paveway 2, Enhanced Paveway 2 and 1000lb freefall class of weapons.
All F2/T1 aircraft have been upgraded to FGR4/T3.
Tranche 2 aircraft deliveries commenced under the 4-nation contract in 2008, in the air-to-air role only. These aircraft were deployed to the Falkland Islands to take-over duties from the Tornado F3 in Sep 09.
A total of 53 Tranche 1 aircraft were delivered, with Tranche 2 contract provisioning for 91 aircraft. 24 of these were diverted to fulfill the RSAF export campaign, leaving 67 Tranche 2 aircraft due for delivery to the RAF. The Tranche 3 contract has been signed and will deliver 40 aircraft. With the Tranche 1 aircraft fleet due to retire over the period 2015-18, this will leave 107 Typhoon aircraft in RAF service until 2030.
Weapons integration will include Meteor air-to-air missile, Paveway IV, Storm Shadow, Brimstone and Small Diameter Bomb. Additionally, it is intended to upgrade the radar to an Active Electronically Scanned Array.
Eurofighter is easily recognisable from any angle. The engine intake is mounted on the bottom of the fuselage (1). Typhoon also has canards (foreplanes)mounted before the main wing (2) and delta (triangular) mainplane (3) is very deep at the point it joins the main fuselage. A tall, sharply swept tail (4) is at the rear of the upper fuselage, with the twin engine jet pipes directly below. The two-seat version has a large bubble cockpit for the additional pilot and a deeper upper fuselage giving a more humped appearance.
The Typhoon is only the latest plane in a long histroy of cutting edge fast jets.