The Typhoon FGR4
On 1st July 2008 the Typhoon became the first and only current Royal Air Force fast jet to be declared Multi-Role capable. As with other fast jets in the RAF, Typhoon can deliver weapons quickly and with a very high degree of accuracy; however, it is unique in being able to utilise its own inherent air-to-air capability to fight its way to the target without having to rely on additional, dedicated fighters for protection. It is also capable of delivering a large number of weapons accurately as a close air support platform in aid of troops on the ground. Typhoon has increased significantly the RAF’s war fighting capability and is an exceptionally flexible and capable aircraft.
Typhoon can now carry out precision ground attack or air defence tasks and has the ability to support operations anywhere in the world; it already provides very capable pilots and aircraft for Quick Reaction Alert and recently deployed permanently to the Falkland Islands. The Typhoon now protects this and the UK airspace 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. The Typhoon Force in 2010 includes the latest Tranche 2 aircraft which spearhead an already potent capability and with its capacity for further enhancements (future ground attack capabilities, software upgrades, and new weapons), Typhoon will provide the backbone of RAF fast jet operations for many years to come.
The Typhoon is a multi-role combat aircraft, capable of performing the full spectrum of air operations: from air policing, to peace support through to high intensity conflict.
The Typhoon’s airframe is both light weight and durable due to modern manufacturing techniques and owing to the use of composite materials. Seventy percent of the airframe structure is made from Carbon Fibre Composite (CFC). A further 15% utilises metal (titanium and aluminium alloys), the remaining percentage being taken up by 12% Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) and lastly 3% acrylics.
The Typhoon has a delta wing configuration, this combined with the unique foreplane stability system gives the aircraft agility (+9/-3g), high lift and STOL (Short Take Off & Landing) performance whilst still maintaining a low drag co-efficient. The aircraft is equipped with the ECR90 radar and an advanced integrated defensive aids system. The pilot can carry out many aircraft functions by voice activation and ‘Hands on Throttle and Stick’ (HOTAS) commands whilst simultaneously manoeuvring the aircraft.
The Typhoon’s thirteen armament hard points (and gun) can be utilised to carry a multitude of weapons from the NATO inventory. When fully loaded the aircraft can climb to 35,000 ft from releasing the brakes in 90 seconds and climb to a service ceiling beyond 55,000 ft due to the phenomenal performance of the EJ200 power plant.
With pilot and airframe working in harmony, all the systems of the Typhoon come together to make it a high performance, extremely agile aircraft that allows the Royal Air Force to deliver combat air power wherever and whenever it is required.