The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter, developed by the Eurofighter GmbH, which was founded by EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems in June 1986. It is equipped with the EuroRADAR CAPTOR.
Presenting itself as an alternative to 5th generation fighters, the Eurofighter typhoon is arguably the second most capable air superiority fighter in service second only to the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. It was based on the British Aerospace EAP. At first it was called European Fighter Aircraft (EFA), later it was renamed to Eurofighter 2000 and finally to Eurofighter Typhoon. In Austria and Germany it is often called Eurofighter and not Typhoon or Eurofighter Typhoon. Primarily, the Typhoon was designed to be an Air Superiority Fighter to counter newer, more advanced fighters, like the MiG-29 or the Su-27 of the Warsaw Pact, but with the end of the Cold War it modified into a multirole fighter.
The aircraft was designed to offer superb performance in all key areas. Its unique delta canard design bestows next generation maneuverability for both the supersonic and subsonic regimes. To improve performance in WVR, the aircraft integrates the ASRAAM missile with the HMD as well as
eyeball tracking to allow offbore missile shots. The aircraft relies on a large wing a comparatively low weight to further its maneuverability and high altitude
performance. The powerful engines allow the aircraft to achieve a thrust to weight ratio of approximately 1.15 when fully loaded, enabling excellent acceleration, and the ability to supercruise at approximately Mach 1.5. The Typhoon, with its highly capable CAPTOR radar, combined with reduced RCS features, gains a sizable detection range advantage over essentially all non stealth aircraft. The typhoon also features the PIRATE passive sensing system, which combines features of an IRST and a forward looking infra red system, and allows it to detect aircraft from dozens of miles away without risking the possibility of compromising itself with its radar emissions.
The Eurofighter typhoon can be considered the paragon of 4th generation jet fighter design philosophy. A very potent aircraft, it has nevertheless received much criticism, for its high cost, and the dubious logic of introducing a legacy generation fighter as a mainstay aircraft.
Development of the Typhoon began in 1983, when the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France initiated feasibility studies for a European fighter Aircraft (EFA), which led to the issuing of Initial Staff Requirements that December. The following year France technically withdrew, in order to pursue development of the Dassault Rafale, making the withdrawal official in 1985, prior to the founding of the Eurofighter company, and commencement of project definition, agreed by Germany, Italy and the UK. This was completed in September 1987, with the finalisation of the EFA European Staff requirement for Development, which called for a relatively light but technically sophisticated single seat fighter.
|Empty weight||11,000 kg|
|Normal takeoff weight||15,500 kg|
|Max takeoff weight||23,500 kg|
|Maximum speed||Mach 2.35 (2,495 km/h)|
|Cruise speed||Mach 1.5 (without external armament)|
|Service ceiling||16,765 m|
|Rate of climb||315 m/s|
|Thrust to Weight||1.26 (Combat configuration, 50 % fuel, 6 BVRAAMs, 2 WVRAAMs)|
|Wing loading||58.34 Ib/ft² (Combat configuration)|
- World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. Flie 893 Sheet 10 (A-Z of Aircraft:E - Eurocopter EC665 Tigre and Tiger (continued) to Eurofighter Typhoon)
- World Aircraft & Systems Directory - First Edition. Brassey's (UK) Ltd. 1996. ISBN 1 85753 198 1 Page 159