On August 17 2007 two Eurofighter Typhoons from the Royal Air Force Number XI Squadron intercepted a Russian Tupolev Tu-95 Bear-H that approached British airspace. On March 29, 2007, Number XI Squadron of the Royal Air Force stood up as a Typhoon Squadron. The two Typhoons were delivered just eight days before the incident, on August 9, 2007.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is one of the latest fighters to come from Europe. Development of the aircraft has been carried out by Eurofighter GmbH, based in Munich and wholly owned by BAE Systems of the UK, Alenia Aeronautica of Italy and the EADS Deutschland (formerly DaimlerChrysler) and EADS Spain (formerly CASA). The consortium was formed in 1986 with the porpouse of designing a new fighter aircraft capable of outstanding performance. On March 27 1994 the Eurofighter Typhoon prototype known at the time as EF2000 took to the sky for the first time.
The Eurofighter Typhoon was designed to be as light as possible so more than 70% of the materials used for the construction are carbon fibre composites. Like the Gripen and the Rafale, the Typhoon is a foreplane delta-wing. The fighter achieves high agility at supersonic and low speeds by having a relaxed stability design. It has a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire control system providing artificial stability, as manual operation alone could not compensate for the inherent instability. The fly-by-wire system is described as “carefree” by preventing the pilot from exceeding the permitted maneuver envelope. The Typhoon is also capable of supercruise: it can fly at speeds greater than Mach 1 without using the afterburners. This in term means that it can reach its target faster, have a greater range and also is hard to detect due to low thermal emissions.
Often compared with the American F-22 Raptor, the Typhoon, although not a true stealth aircraft like its American counterpart, was designed to be as stealthy as possible without sacrificing the agility. One of the measures taken was to use jet inlets that do not allow radars to see the front of the jet engine. The RCS of the aircraft is of course classified, but BAE Systems said the Typhoon’s RCS is bettered only by the F-22 in the frontal hemisphere and is better than the F-22 at some other angles.
Up until now 707 aircraft have been ordered: 232 for the UK, 180 for Germany, 121 for Italy, 87 for Spain and 15 for Austria. Recently Saudi Arabia announced that 72 Eurofighter Typhoons are to enter service with the Royal Saudi Air Force.
Wing Aspect Ration 2:205
Wing Area 50m²
Empty Weight 10.995kg
Maximum Take-Off Weight 23,000kg
Powerplant 2 x EJ200 Engines
Total Combat Thrust 180kn (40,000lbs)
Maximum Level Speed Mach 2
Runway Length 700m
g Limits +9g to -3g