Eurofighter Typhoon: Aircraft profile

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The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine canard-delta wing multirole aircraft.

Eurofighter Typhoon: June 2007 - The Royal Air Force assign Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties to Eurofighter Typhoon with two aircraft of No.3(F) Squadron ready to respond to any aircraft acting suspiciously or intruding illegally into UK airspace. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: June 2007 - The Royal Air Force assign Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties to Eurofighter Typhoon with two aircraft of No.3(F) Squadron ready to respond to any aircraft acting suspiciously or intruding illegally into UK airspace. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

It is being designed and built by a consortium of three separate partner companies: Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, and EADS working through a holding company Eurofighter GmbH which was formed in 1986. The project is managed by NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency) which acts as the prime customer.

Background

The operational requirements for Eurofighter Typhoon were agreed by the Chiefs of Air Staff of Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom in the form of a European Staff Requirement which was re-affirmed in January 1994.

The agreement, the basis for the project's development programme, defined the requirement for an extremely agile fighter that will dominate the skies to the mid-21st Century - a single seat, twin-engine fighter with optimal performance in Beyond Visual Range (BVR) and close combat, with significant ground attack capabilities.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon offers maximum operational effectiveness and flexibility, high survivability, extensive technological growth potential, as well as high reliability and maintainability with low operating costs.

Industrial consortia set up as part of the Project include:

. Eurofighter GmbH, set up to manage the development and production of the complete weapon system. It is owned by the four Eurofighter Partner Companies (EPC), with agreed development work shares:

BAE Systems (BAES - UK) 33 %

Alenia Aeronautica (ALN - Italy) 21 %

EADS Deutschland (Germany) 33 %

EADS CASA (Spain) 13 %

. Eurojet Turbo GmbH, set up by Avio (Italy), ITP (Spain), MTU Aero Engines (Germany), and Rolls-Royce (UK), to develop the EJ200 engine for the new fighter aircraft.

. Euroradar, a consortium brought together to design, develop and produce the advanced Captor radar, is comprised of EADS Defence Electronics (Germany), SELEX Sensors & Airborne Systems (United Kingdom), Galileo Avionica (Italy) and INDRA (Spain).

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

The NATO Eurofighter & Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) represents the Eurofighter partner nations' Governments and was established to oversee the procurement of weapon systems into the respective Air Forces.

Test Fleet

The Eurofighter Partner Companies built seven Development Aircraft (DA) for the Main Development Phase. These initial test aircraft have now completed their development tasks and have been withdrawn from the test programme.

Today, the test fleet comprises seven Instrumented Production Aicraft (IPA) and one Instrumented Series Production Aircraft (ISPA).

Germany:

The first Development Aircraft, DA1, made its maiden flight from EADS’ Manching test facility, Germany, on 27 March 1994 and was decommissioned 21 December 2005. It is now on display in the Aviation branch of the Deutsches Museum in Oberschleissheim, Munich.

DA5 made its first flight in February 1997. It contributed considerably to the Captor radar programme as well as carrying out a series of very successful test flights with the Captor Active Electronic Scanning Array Radar (CAESAR) before being withdrawn on 30 October 2007.

IPA3 flew on 08 April 2002 and is used for test and evaluation of handling qualities.

IPA7, the first Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoon, took off for its maiden flight on 16 January 2008. Its primary purpose is to achieve all clearances for Block 8 Type Acceptance.

United Kingdom:

The first British Development Aircraft, DA2, made its maiden flight at BAE Systems’ Warton site on 06 April 1994, and was retired 29 January 2007. It is to go on display at the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon.

The twin-seat DA4, the second BAE Systems Development Aircraft, first flew in March 1997 and was used extensively in the development of the avionics suite before being decommissioned on 13 December 2006. It is now used for training ground crew specialists for the Royal Air Force.

Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2006 - Farnborough International Airshow, UK - An RAF 29Sqn Typhoon, during its daily flying display at Farnborough airshow Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2006 - Farnborough International Airshow, UK - An RAF 29Sqn Typhoon, during its daily flying display at Farnborough airshow Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

IPA1 began operations on 15 April 2002 and supports envelope expansion and carefree handling testing. IPA5 is being used for avionics testing since its first flight on 07 June 2004.

ISPA1 (BT005 from the Royal Air Force inventory) first flew on 11 May 2004 and is used by the Combined Industry/Customer Test Team trialling the DASS and the helmet, as well as the integration of the Laser Designator Pod (LDP).

IPA6 flew for the first time 01 November 2007. The aircraft is equipped with Tranche 2 avionics and will work towards Block 8 avionics clearances for Tranche 2 Type Acceptance.

Italy:

DA3, based in Italy at Alenia Aeronautica, made its maiden flight from Caselle, near Turin, in June 1995 and conducted many of the firing trials of the Mauser cannon before retiring at the end of 2006. Its future purpose has not yet been determined.

DA7, first flight on 27 January 1997, was also a key player in armaments conducting many of the first missile-firing exercises before decommissioning on 30 September 2007.

05 April 2002 saw the first flight of IPA2. The aircraft continues to play a key role in communications, navigation and radar development as well as engine testing for the Tranche 2 standard EJ200.

With ISPA2, first flight on 9 July 2004, the Navigation System and the Microwave Landing System were tested before the aircraft was returned to the Italian Air Force after 55 flights.

Spain:

EADS' two-seater DA6 made its first flight in Spain on 31 August 1996. It was lost 21 November 2002.

IPA4, the first single-seat production aircraft, took off for its first flight on 27 February 2004 and is used for tests on the environmental system, communication systems and MIDS, as well as for weapons testing including Meteor trials.

Radar

In mid-1996, trials were started for the integration of a new radar system into the Eurofighter aircraft. The Captor radar, developed by the Euroradar consortium, was initially tested in a BAC1-11 host aircraft off the coast of the UK, before being integrated into the main test programme and installed in prototypes DA4 and DA5. Production standard Captor radars are being delivered to the Eurofighter Final assembly lines in German, Italy, Spain and the UK since 2003.

In 2007, a series of very successful test flights with the Captor Active Electronic Scanning Array Radar was conducted with DA5 in Germany. The Euroradar consortium had previously tested this antenna in ground rigs and flown it in a BAC 1-11 trials aircraft.

Eurofighter GmbH and NETMA had agreed to use DA5 for this series of antenna test flights, using funding provided by the German Procurement Agency BWB through NETMA. The new antenna emphasises and demonstrates the policy of continuous capability enhancement in the Eurofighter programme, and production embodiment of this feature could be available for Tranche 3 or as a retrofit in Tranche 2 aircraft.

The Production Programme

With the flight test and qualification clearance programme well underway, the four nations signed a further contract in early 1996 in preparation for the production phase, which included a re-orientation of the requirements of the four partner Air Forces. This contract also formalised a change in the work share for the production phase of the programme, following revisions in the four Air Forces' procurement requirements.

The final aircraft requirement figures, agreed in January 1996, are 232 aircraft for the UK - and a 37,5% work share, 180 aircraft for Germany - and a 30% work share, 121 aircraft for Italy - and a 19,5% work share, and 87 aircraft for Spain - and a 13% work share.

The four nations reaffirmed their commitment to the Eurofighter project in December 1997 when the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) covering Production and Support were signed by the four defence ministers in Bonn. NETMA and Eurofighter GmbH subsequently signed production and support contracts for the initial purchase of 620 aircraft on 30 January 1998.

On 18 September 1998, the Supplement 2 agreements to the production contract were signed in Munich. This fixed-price contract covers the production of the first Tranche of 148 aircraft.

Work on the first sub-assemblies for the first series production Eurofighter aircraft had commenced in late 1998 and deliveries to the customer started in Summer 2003. Eurofighter Typhoon entered service with all four nations in Spring 2004.

On 14 December 2004, the Tranche 2 production contract was signed for 236 aircraft and, on 14 December 2007, Eurofighter GmbH submitted the Tranche 3 proposal to NETMA.

In July 2003, Eurofighter GmbH signed the first export contract with Austria for delivery of 18 aircraft to start in 2007. This contract was revised in 2007 calling for delivery of 15 aircraft of Tranche 1 standard. In 2007 a second export contract for the delivery of 72 aircraft to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was signed on governmental level with the United Kingdom.

Source: Eurofighter program

Detailed background:

Source: wikipedia.org

The series production of the Eurofighter Typhoon is underway, and the aircraft is being procured under three separate contracts (referred to as "tranches"), each for aircraft with successively greater capabilities. The aircraft has entered service with the UK Royal Air Force, the German Luftwaffe, the Italian Air Force, the Spanish Air Force and the Austrian Air Force. Saudi Arabia has signed a GB£4.43 billion (approx. €6.4 billion c. 2007) contract for 72 aircraft.

History

Development

The UK had identified a requirement for a new fighter as early as 1971. A specification, AST 403, issued by the Air Staff in 1972, resulted in a conventional "tailed" design known as P.96, which was presented in the late 1970s. While the design would have met the Air Staff's requirements, the UK air industry had reservations as it appeared to be very similar to the F/A-18 Hornet, which was then well advanced in its development. The design had little potential for future growth, and when it entered production it would secure few exports in a market in which the Hornet would be well established. Simultaneously, by 1979 the West German requirement for a new fighter had led to the development of the TKF-90 concept. This was a cranked delta wing design with forward canard controls and artificial stability. Although the British Aerospace designers rejected some of its advanced features such as vectoring engine nozzles and vented trailing-edge controls, they agreed with the overall configuration.

In 1979 British Aerospace and Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm presented a formal proposal to their respective governments for the ECF, the European Collaborative Fighter or European Combat Fighter. In October 1979 Dassault joined the ECF team for a tri-national study, which became known as the European Combat Aircraft. It was at this stage of development that the Eurofighter name was first attached to the aircraft. The development of different national prototypes continued. France produced the ACX. The UK produced two designs. The P.106 was a single-engined "lightweight" fighter, superficially resembling the JAS 39 Gripen, the P.110 was a twin-engined fighter. The P.106 concept was rejected by the RAF, on the grounds that it had "half the effectiveness of the two-engined aircraft at two thirds of the cost". West Germany continued to refine the TFK-90 concept. The ECA project collapsed in 1981 for several reasons including differing requirements, Dassault's insistence on "design leadership" and the British preference for a new version of the RB199 to power the aircraft versus the French preference for the new SNECMA M88.

As a result the Panavia partners (BAe, MBB and Aeritalia) launched the Agile Combat Aircraft (ACA) programme in April 1982. The ACA was very similar to the BAe P.110, having a cranked delta wing, canards and a twin tail. One major external difference was the replacement of the side mounted engine intakes with a chin intake. The ACA was to be powered by a modified version of the RB199. The German and Italian governments withdrew funding, however the UK Ministry of Defence agreed to fund 50% of the cost with the remaining 50% to be provided by industry. MBB and Aeritalia signed up with the aim of producing two aircraft, one at Warton and one by MBB. In May 1983 BAe announced a contract with the MoD for the development and production of an ACA demonstrator, the Experimental Aircraft Programme.

In 1983 the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain launched the Future European Fighter Aircraft (FEFA) programme. The aircraft was to have Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capabilities. In 1984 France reiterated its requirement for a carrier-capable version and demanded a leading role. The UK, West Germany and Italy opted out and established a new EFA programme.

In Turin on 2 August 1985 Italy, West Germany and the UK agreed to go ahead with the Eurofighter. The announcement of this agreement confirmed that France, along with Spain, had chosen not to proceed as a member of the project. Despite pressure from France, Spain rejoined the Eurofighter project in early September 1985. France officially withdrew from the project to pursue its own ACX project, which was to become the Dassault Rafale.

Also in 1985 the BAe EAP was rolled out at BAe Warton, by this time also funded by MBB and BAe itself. The EAP first flew on 6 August 1986. The Eurofighter bears a strong resemblance to the EAP. Design work continued over the next five years using data from the EAP. Initial requirements were: UK: 250 aircraft, Germany: 250, Italy: 165 and Spain: 100. The share of the production work was divided among the countries in proportion to their projected procurement - British Aerospace (33%), DASA (33%), Aeritalia (21%), and Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA) (13%).

1986 also saw the establishment of the Munich based Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH to manage development of the project and EuroJet Turbo GmbH, the alliance of Rolls-Royce, MTU Aero Engines, FiatAvio (now Avio) and ITP for development of the EJ200. The aircraft was known as Eurofighter EFA from the late 1980s until it was renamed EF 2000 in 1992.

By 1990 the selection of the aircraft's radar had become a major stumbling block. The UK, Italy and Spain supported the Ferranti Defence Systems-led ECR-90, while Germany preferred the APG-65 based MSD2000 (a collaboration between Hughes (of the USA), AEG and GEC-Marconi). An agreement was reached after UK Defence Secretary Tom King assured his West German counterpart Gerhard Stoltenberg that the British government would underwrite the project and allow GEC to acquire Ferranti Defence Systems from its troubled parent. GEC thus withdrew its support for the MSD2000.

Eurofighter Typhoon: February 2008 - A Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon from No.3(F) Sqn roars through the Talyllyn Pass, part of Low Fly Area 7, in Wales. Photography: Tom "TJ" Hill Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: February 2008 - A Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon from No.3(F) Sqn roars through the Talyllyn Pass, part of Low Fly Area 7, in Wales. Photography: Tom "TJ" Hill Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Testing

The maiden flight of the Eurofighter prototype took place on 27 March 1994. Dasa chief test pilot Peter Weger took the prototype on a test flight around Bavaria. The 1990s saw significant arguments over work share, the specification of the aircraft and even participation in the project.

On 9 December 2004, Eurofighter Typhoon IPA4 began three months of Cold Environmental Trials (CET) at the Vidsel Air Base in Sweden, the purpose of which was to verify the operational behaviour of the aircraft and its systems in temperatures between -25 and -31°C.

In May 2007, Eurofighter Development Aircraft 5 made the first flight with the CAESAR (CAPTOR Active Electronically Scanning Array Radar) demonstrator system, a development of the Euroradar CAPTOR incorporating Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology.

The maiden flight of Instrumented Production Aircraft 7 (IPA7), the first fully equipped Tranche 2 aircraft, took place from EADS' Manching airfield on 16 January 2008.

When developed, the production version of the CAPTOR-E radar is being proposed as part of Tranche 3 of the Typhoon from 2012. Tranche 2 aircraft use the non AESA, mechanically scanned Captor-M which incorporates weight and space provisions for possible upgrade to CAESAR (AESA) standard in the future.

Production

The first production contract was signed on 30 January 1998 between Eurofighter GmbH, Eurojet and NETMA. The procurement totals were as follows: UK 232, Germany 180, Italy 121, and Spain 87. Production was again allotted according to procurement: British Aerospace (37%), DASA (29%), Aeritalia (19.5%), and CASA (14%).

On 2 September 1998, a naming ceremony was held at Farnborough, England. This saw the Typhoon name formally adopted, however initially for export aircraft only. This was reportedly resisted by Germany; perhaps because the Hawker Typhoon was a fighter-bomber aircraft which served with the RAF during the Second World War against German targets. In September 1998 contracts were signed for production of 148 Tranche 1 aircraft and procurement of long lead-time items for Tranche 2 aircraft. In March 2008 the final aircraft out of Tranche 1 was delivered to the German Luftwaffe, from that date on only Tranche 2 jets will be delivered. Costs increases

In 1988 the Secretary of State told the UK House of Commons that the European Fighter Aircraft would "be a major project, costing the United Kingdom about £7 billion". It was soon apparent that a more realistic estimate was £13 billion, made up of £3.3 billion development costs plus £30 million per aircraft. By 1997 the estimated cost was £17 billion; by 2003, £20 billion, and the in-service date (2003; defined as the date of delivery of the first aircraft to the RAF) was 54 months late. Since 2003 the Ministry of Defence have refused to release updated cost estimates on the grounds of 'commercial sensitivity'.

Political

In late-1990 it became apparent that the German government was not happy about continuing with the project. The Luftwaffe was tasked to find alternative solutions including looking at cheaper implementations of Eurofighter. The German concerns over Eurofighter came to a head in July 1992 when they announced their decision to leave the project. However, on the insistence of the German government sometime earlier, all partners had signed binding commitments to the project and found themselves unable to withdraw.

In 1995 concerns over workshare appeared. Since the formation of Eurofighter the workshare split had been agreed at the 33/33/21/13 (United Kingdom/Germany/Italy/Spain) based on the number of units being ordered by each contributing nation. However, all the nations then reduced their orders. The UK cut its orders from 250 to 232, Germany from 250 to 180, Italy from 165 to 121 and Spain from 100 to 87. According to these order levels the workshare split should have been 39/24/22/15 UK/Germany/Italy/Spain, Germany was however unwilling to give up such a large amount of work. In January 1996 after much negotiation between UK and German partners, a compromise was reached whereby Germany would take another 40 aircraft from 2012. The workshare split is now 43% for EADS MAS in Germany and Spain; 37.5% BAE Systems in the UK; and 19.5% for Alenia in Italy.

The next major milestone came at the Farnborough Airshow in September 1996. The UK announced the funding for the construction phase of the project. In November 1996 Spain confirmed its order but Germany again delayed its decision. After much diplomatic activity between the UK and Germany, an interim funding arrangement of DM 100 million (€ 51 million) was contributed by the German government in July 1997 to continue flight trials. Further negotiation finally resulted in German approval to purchase the Eurofighter in October 1997.

Technical

On 21 November 2002, DA-6, the Spanish two-seater prototype crashed due to a "double engine flame-out", said to be specifically related to the experimental trial standard of engine being used by that aircraft. The aircraft went down but the two crew members escaped unhurt.

Production

The Eurofighter Typhoon is unique in modern combat aircraft in that there are four separate assembly lines. Each partner company assembles its own national aircraft, but builds the same parts of all 620 aircraft.

* Alenia Aeronautica – Left wing, outboard flaperons, rear fuselage sections

* BAE Systems – Front fuselage (including foreplanes), canopy, dorsal spine, tail fin, inboard flaperons, rear fuselage section

* EADS Deutschland – Main centre fuselage

* EADS CASA – Right wing, leading edge slats

Production is divided into three "tranches" (see table below) with an incremental increase in capability with each tranche. Tranches are further divided up into batches and blocks, eg the RAF's Tranche one twin seaters are batch 1 T1s and batch 2 T1As.

Exports

In 1999, the Greek government agreed to acquire 60 Typhoons in order to replace its existing second-generation combat aircraft. However, the purchase was put on hold due to budget constraints, largely driven by other development programs and the need to cover the cost of the 2004 Summer Olympics. In June 2006 the government announced a 22 billion euro multi-year acquisition plan intended to provide the necessary budgetary framework to enable the purchase of a next-generation fighter over the next 10 years. The Typhoon is currently under consideration to fill this requirement.

On 2 July 2002, the Austrian government announced the decision to buy the Typhoon as its new air defence aircraft. The purchase of 18 Typhoons was finalised on July 1, 2003, and included 18 aircraft, training for pilots and ground crew, logistics, maintenance, and a simulator. The future of this order has recently been questioned in the Austrian parliament. On 26 June 2007, Austrian Minister for Defense Norbert Darabos has announced a reduction to 15 aircraft. On 12 July 2007, the first of 15 Eurofighters was delivered to Austria and formally entered service in the Austrian Air Force.

After unsuccessful campaigns in South Korea and Singapore, on 18 August 2006 it was announced that Saudi Arabia had agreed to purchase 72 Typhoons. In November and December it was reported that Saudi Arabia had threatened to buy French Rafales because of a UK Serious Fraud Office investigation into the Al Yamamah ("the dove") defence deals which commenced in the 1980s. However on 14 December 2006 Britain's attorney general, Lord Peter Goldsmith, ordered that the Serious Fraud Office discontinue its investigation in the BAE Systems' alleged bribery to senior Saudi officials in the al-Yamamah contracts, citing "the need to safeguard national and international security". The Times has raised the possibility that RAF production aircraft will be diverted as early Saudi Arabian aircraft, with the service forced to wait for its full complement of aircraft. This arrangement would mirror the diversion of RAF Tornados to the RSAF. However, The Times has also reported that such an arrangement will make the UK purchase of its tranche 3 commitments more likely. On 17 September 2007 Saudi Arabia confirmed it had signed a GB£4.43 billion contract for 72 aircraft. 24 aircraft will be at the Tranche 2 build standard, previously destined for the UK RAF, the first being delivered in 2008. The remaining 48 aircraft will be assembled in Saudi Arabia and delivered from 2011. Saudi Arabia considers to order 24 additional jets in the future, more recent reports suggest that number may be as high as 60.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2007 - A Royal Air Force XI Squadron Eurofighter Typhoon prepares to carry out the first in-service bomb drop with a laser-guided Paveway II weapon at the Aberporth weapons range, Wales. UK Crown Copyright. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2007 - A Royal Air Force XI Squadron Eurofighter Typhoon prepares to carry out the first in-service bomb drop with a laser-guided Paveway II weapon at the Aberporth weapons range, Wales. UK Crown Copyright. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

In March 2007, Jane's Information Group reported that the Typhoon was the favourite to win the contest for Japan's next-generation fighter requirement. The other competitors then were the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-15E Strike Eagle. On 17 October 2007, Japanese Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba confirmed that Japan may buy the Typhoon. Although the F-22 was in his words "exceptional", it was not "absolutely necessary for Japan", and Typhoon was the best alternative.

During the 2008 Farnborough Airshow it was announced that Oman is in an "advanced stage" of discussions towards purchasing a number of EF Typhoons as a replacement for its Jaguar aircraft.

Other potential customers of the Typhoon are Bulgaria, India, Pakistan BAE Systems itself reports that Typhoon is "actively being promoted in a number of other markets including Greece, Switzerland, India, Turkey and Japan". EADS had also invited India to join the Eurofighter program in April 2008; India is yet to take a decision in this regard.

Airframe and avionics

The Typhoon features foreplanes, and lightweight construction (82% composites = 70% carbon fibre composites + 12% glass reinforced composites).

The fighter achieves high agility at both 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 manoeuvre envelope.

Roll control is primarily achieved by use of the wing flaperons. Pitch control is by operation of the foreplanes and flaperons, the yaw control is by rudder. Control surfaces are moved through two independent hydraulic systems that are incorporated in the aircraft, which also supply various other items, such as the canopy, brakes and undercarriage. Each hydraulic system is powered by a 4000 psi engine-driven gearbox.

Navigation is via both GPS and an inertial navigation system. The Typhoon can use Instrument Landing System (ILS) for landing in poor weather.

The aircraft employs a sophisticated and highly integrated Defensive Aids Sub-System named Praetorian. Threat detection is provided by a Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), a Missile Approach Warning (MAW) and a Laser Warning Receiver (LWR). Protection is provided by Chaff and Flares, Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) and a Towed Radar Decoy (TRD).

Praetorian monitors and responds automatically to the outside world. It provides the pilot with an all-round prioritised assessment of Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface threats. It can respond to single or multiple threats.

The aircraft also features an advanced Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) based on the TERPROM Terrain Referenced Navigation (TRN) system used by Tornado but further enhanced and fully integrated into the cockpit displays and controls.

Cockpit

General features

The Eurofighter Typhoon features a "glass cockpit" without any conventional instruments. It includes: three full colour Multi-function Head Down Displays (MHDDs) (the formats on which are manipulated by means of softkeys, XY cursor and voice (DVI) command), a wide angle Heads Up Display (HUD) with Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR), Voice & Hands On Throttle And Stick (Voice+HOTAS), Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMSS), Multifunction Information Distribution System (MIDS), a Manual Data Entry Facility (MDEF) located on the left glareshield and a fully integrated aircraft warning system with a Dedicated Warnings Panel (DWP). Reversionary flying instruments, lit by LEDs, are located under a hinged right glareshield.

The pilot flies the aircraft by means of a centre stick and left hand throttles. Emergency escape is provided by a Martin Baker Mk.16A ejection seat, with the canopy being jettisoned by two rocket motors. Voice Control

The Typhoon DVI system utilises a Speech Recognition Module (SRM), developed by Smiths Aerospace (now GE Aviation Systems) and the then Computing Devices (now General Dynamics UK). It was the first production DVI system utilised in a military cockpit. DVI provides the pilot with an additional natural mode of command and control over approximately 26 non-critical cockpit functions, to reduce pilot workload, improve aircraft safety, and expand mission capabilities. An important technological breakthrough during the development of the DVI occurred in 1987 when Texas Instruments produced their TMS-320-C30 Digital Signal Processor (DSP). This greatly advanced the packaging of DVI from large complex systems to a single card module. This early advance allowed a viable high performance system. The project was given the go ahead in July 1997, with development and pilot assessment carried out on the Eurofighter Active Cockpit Simulator at BAE Systems Warton.

The DVI system is speaker-dependent, i.e. requires each pilot to create a template. It is not used for any safety-critical or weapon-critical tasks, such as weapon release or lowering of the undercarriage, but is used for a wide range of other cockpit functions. Voice commands are confirmed by visual or aural feedback. The system is seen as a major design feature in the reduction of pilot workload and even allows the pilot to assign targets to himself with two simple voice commands, or to any of his wingmen with only five commands. g protection

In the standard aircraft, g protection is provided by the "Full Cover Anti-g Trousers" (FCAGTs). This specially developed g suit provides sustained protection up to 9 g. The Typhoon pilots of the German Air Force and Austrian Air Force, however, wear an improved hydrostatic g-suit called "Libelle" (Dragonfly) Multi G Plus, which also provides protection to the arms, reducing arm-pain and theoretically allowing for more complete g tolerance.

Design Process

The design of the cockpit had involved the inputs from both test and operational pilots from each of the four partner nations from the feasibility and concept stage and throughout the design process. This has necessitated the use of specially commissioned lighting and display modelling simulation facilities and the extensive employment of rapid prototyping techniques.

PIRATE Infrared Search and Track

Eurofighters starting with Tranche 1 Batch 5 have the PIRATE (Passive Infra-Red Airborne Track Equipment) IRST (Infrared Search and Track System) mounted on the port side of the fuselage, forward of the windscreen. The PIRATE system was developed by the EUROFIRST consortium. Galileo Avionica (FIAR) of Italy is the lead contractor, Thales Optronics of the UK (system technical authority) and Tecnobit of Spain make up EUROFIRST.

PIRATE operates in two IR bands, 3-5 and 8-11 micrometres. When used with the radar in an air-to-air role, it functions as an Infrared Search and Track system (IRST), providing passive target detection and tracking.

In an air-to-surface role, it performs target identification and acquisition. It also provides a navigation and landing aid. PIRATE is linked to the pilot’s helmet mounted display.

The first Eurofighter Typhoon with PIRATE-IRST was delivered to the Italian Aeronautica Militare in August 2007.

Performance

The Typhoon's combat performance compared to the new F-22 Raptor and the upcoming F-35 Lightning II (only 1% of F-35 the test programme completed in April 2008) fighters being developed in the United States and the Dassault Rafale developed in France, has been the subject of much discussion. In 2008, the UK is dicussing a pullout from the F-35 project and instead the acquisition of a naval Typhoon with thrust vectoring.

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,

“ 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. ”

Further, "The Eurofighter is certainly, as far as smoothness of controls and the ability to pull (and sustain high G forces), very impressive," he said. "That is what it was designed to do, especially the version I flew, with the avionics, the color moving map displays, etc. — all absolutely top notch. The maneuverability of the airplane in close-in combat was also very impressive."

The Typhoon is capable of supersonic cruise without using afterburner. This is referred to as "supercruise". According to the official German Luftwaffe and Austrian Eurofighter website, the maximum speed possible without reheat is between Mach 1.2 and Mach 1.5. Air Forces Monthly gives a maximum supercruise speed of Mach 1.1 for the RAF FGR4 multirole version.

In 2002, the MBDA Meteor was selected as the long range air-to-air missile armament of Eurofighter Typhoon. Pending Meteor availability, Typhoon will be equipped with the Raytheon AMRAAM. The current in-service date for Meteor is predicted to be August 2012.

The Eurofighter consortium claims their fighter has a larger sustained subsonic turn rate, sustained supersonic turn rate, and faster acceleration at Mach 0.9 at 20,000 feet (6,100 m) than the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, Mirage 2000, Rafale, the Su-27, and the MiG-29.

In 2005, a trainer Eurofighter T1 was reported to have had a chance encounter the previous year with two U.S. Air Force F-15Es over the Lake District in the north of England. The encounter became a mock dogfight with the Eurofighter allegedly emerging victorious.

In the 2005 Singapore evaluation, the Typhoon won all three combat tests, including one in which a single Typhoon defeated three RSAF F-16s, and reliably completed all planned flight tests. Singapore still went on to buy the F-15.

During the exercise "Typhoon Meet" held in 2008, Eurofighters flew against F/A-18 Hornets, Mirage F1s, Harriers and F-16s in a mock combat exercise. It is claimed that the Eurofighters won all engagements (even outnumbered 8 vs 27) without suffering losses. Air-to-ground capabilities

Eurofighter Typhoon: June 2007 - The Royal Air Force assign Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties to Eurofighter Typhoon with two aircraft of No.3(F) Squadron ready to respond to any aircraft acting suspiciously or intruding illegally into UK airspace. Flying from RAF Coningsby, the aircraft shown is armed with the standard QRA fit of four AMRAAMs and four ASRAAMs, as well as carrying two 1,000L droptanks. Wing Commander Lol Bennett is in the cockpit. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: June 2007 - The Royal Air Force assign Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties to Eurofighter Typhoon with two aircraft of No.3(F) Squadron ready to respond to any aircraft acting suspiciously or intruding illegally into UK airspace. Flying from RAF Coningsby, the aircraft shown is armed with the standard QRA fit of four AMRAAMs and four ASRAAMs, as well as carrying two 1,000L droptanks. Wing Commander Lol Bennett is in the cockpit. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

The Typhoon has always been planned to be a multi-role fighter with robust air-to-ground capabilities. Earlier than scheduled the RAF integrated the air to ground capability, based on the Rafael/Ultra Electronics Litening III laser designator and the Enhanced Paveway II/III laser guided bomb under the "Austere" programme. A more comprehensive air-to-ground attack capability including Paveway IV, EGBU-16 bombs and a higher degree of automation will be achieved for all partner nations with the Phase 1 Enhancements currently in development.

The absence of such a capability is believed to have been a factor in the type's rejection from Singapore's fighter competition in 2005. At the time it was claimed that Singapore was concerned about the delivery timescale and the ability of the Eurofighter partner nations to fund the current capability packages. With the planned Phase 2 Enhancements Eurofighter GmbH hopes to increase the appeal of Typhoon to possible export customers and to make the aircraft more useful to partner air forces. Radar signature reduction features

Although not designated a stealth fighter, measures were taken to reduce the Typhoon's radar cross section (RCS), especially from the frontal aspect. An example of these measures is that the Typhoon has jet inlets that conceal the front of the jet engine (a strong radar target) from radar. Many important potential radar targets, such as the wing, canard and fin leading edges, are highly swept, so will reflect radar energy well away from the front sector. Some external weapons are mounted semi-recessed into the aircraft, partially shielding these missiles from incoming radar waves. In addition radar absorbent materials (RAM) developed primarily by EADS/DASA coat many of the most significant reflectors, e.g. the wing leading edges, the intake edges and interior, the rudder surrounds, strakes, etc. The Typhoon does not use internal storage of weapons. External mounting points are used instead, which increases its radar cross section but allows for more and larger stores. The Typhoon's current Euroradar CAPTOR is known to be extremely difficult to detect. Eurofighter operates automatic Emission Controls (EMCON) to reduce the Electro-Magnetic emissions of the Radar. The German BW-Plan 2009 indicates that Germany will equip/retrofit the Luftwaffe's Eurofighters with the AESA Captor-E from 2012.

According to the RAF, the Eurofighter's RCS is better than RAF requirements. Comments from BAE Systems suggest the radar return is around one fourth of that of the Tornado it replaces. "No official figure are available, but the Eurofighter is understood to have an RCS under one square metre." The manufacturers claim the RCS of the Eurofighter to be the smallest of all aircraft currently in production (apart from the F-22). The manufacturers have carried out tests on the early prototypes to optimize the low observability characteristics of the aircraft from the early 1990s. Testing at BAe's Warton facility on the DA4 prototype measured the RCS of the aircraft and investigated the effects of a variety of RAM coatings. Another measure to reduce the likelihood of discovery is the use of passive sensors, which minimises the radiation of treacherous electronic emissions. While canards generally have poor stealth characteristics, the flight control system is designed to minimise the RCS in flight, maintaining the elevon trim and canards at an angle to minimise RCS. This compares with the estimated RCS of the Rafale of 2 square metres, and the estimated RCS of the American F-117 of 0.025 square metres.

Operational history

On 4 August 2003, Germany accepted the first series production Eurofighter (GT003). Also that year, Spain took delivery of its first series production aircraft. And on 16 December 2005 the aircraft reached I.O.C. with Italian Air Force as air defence fighter from Grosseto air base.

On 9 August 2007, the UK's Ministry of Defence reported that No. XI Squadron of the RAF, which stood up as a Typhoon squadron on 29 March 2007, had taken delivery of its first two multi-role Typhoons. The Typhoons were declared combat ready in the air-to-ground role by 1 July 2008. The RAF Typhoons will be ready to deploy for operations by mid-2008. On 17 August 2007, two of XI Squadron's Typhoons were sent to intercept a Russian Tupolev Tu-95 approaching British airspace.

On or around 25 April 2008, the landing gear on a Typhoon from 17 Squadron at RAF Coningsby, operating at the US Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake test centre in California, USA, did not deploy, apparently due to pilot error, causing extensive damage.

Operators

* Austrian Air Force - 9 (+6 on order)
* German Air Force - 36 (+144 on order)
* Italian Air Force - 30 (+91 on order)
* Royal Air Force - 49 (+183 on order)
* Spanish Air Force - 19 (+68 on order)

Variants

The Eurofighter has so far been produced in three major versions; seven Development Aircraft (DA), seven production standard Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) for further system development, and Series Production Aircraft. These Series Production Aircraft are the aircraft now operational with the partner air forces.

The Tranche 1 aircraft were produced from 2000 onwards. Aircraft capabilities are being increased incrementally, with each software upgrade resulting in a different standard, known as blocks. With the introduction of the Block 5 standard, the R2 retrofit programme began to bring all aircraft to that standard.

Tranche 1

* Block 1 : Initial Operational Capability and basic Air Defence Capability.

* Block 2 : Initial air-to-air capabilities.

* Block 2B : Full air-to-air capabilities.

* Block 5 : Full Operational Capability (FOC) by combining existing air-to-air role with air-to-ground capabilities.

Tranche 2

* Block 8 : New mission computers required for the integration of future weapons such as Meteor, Storm Shadow and Taurus. (Differences in the build to Tranche 1 related to changes in production technology or obsolescence).

Specifications (Typhoon)

Data from Typhoon performance data, BAE Systems page

General characteristics

* Crew: 1 (Typhoon F2) or 2 (Typhoon T1)
* Length: 15.96 m (52 ft 5 in)
* Wingspan: 10.95 m (35 ft 11 in)
* Height: 5.28 m (17 ft 4 in)
* Wing area: 50 m² (538 ft²)
* Empty weight: 11,000 kg (24,250 lb)
* Loaded weight: 15,550 kg (34,280 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 23,500 kg (51,800 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× Eurojet EJ200 afterburning turbofan

o Dry thrust: 60 kN (13,500 lbf) each
o Thrust with afterburner: 90 kN (22,000lbs) each

Performance

* Maximum speed:

o At altitude: Mach 2 (2,120 km/h, 1,320 mph)
o At sea level: Mach 1.2
o Supercruise:Mach 1.2 - 1.5 depending of loading

* Range: 1,390 km (864 mi)
* Ferry range: 3,790 km (2,300 mi)
* Service ceiling 19,812 m (65,000 ft)
* Rate of climb: >315 m/s (62,000 ft/min)
* Wing loading: 311 kg/m² (63.7 lb/ft²)
* Thrust/weight: 1.23

Armament

* Gun: 1x 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon

* Air-to-Air missiles: AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-132 ASRAAM, AIM-120 AMRAAM, IRIS-T and in the future MBDA Meteor

* Air-to-Ground missiles: AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-88 HARM, ALARM, Storm Shadow (AKA "Scalp EG"), Brimstone, Taurus KEPD 350, Penguin and in the future AGM Armiger

* Bombs: Paveway 2, Paveway 3, Enhanced Paveway, JDAM, HOPE/HOSBO

* Laser designator, e.g. LITENING pod

More photos:

Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 March 2007 - The first Export Eurofighter Typhoon, AS001 for the Austrian Air Force, takes off for its first flight at EADS Military Air Systems’ Manching site, Germany. Under the terms of the contract, with German Ministry of Defence will handle all acceptance processes on behalf of Austria, hence the reason the aircraft temporarily has German Air Force markings. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 March 2007 - The first Export Eurofighter Typhoon, AS001 for the Austrian Air Force, takes off for its first flight at EADS Military Air Systems’ Manching site, Germany. Under the terms of the contract, with German Ministry of Defence will handle all acceptance processes on behalf of Austria, hence the reason the aircraft temporarily has German Air Force markings. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: March 2007 - A Eurofighter Typhoon from the Royal Air Force 3 (F) Squadron performs ASRAAM firing trials against a flare pack towed from a Mirach target drone at the Aberporth range in Cardigan Bay, Wales Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: March 2007 - A Eurofighter Typhoon from the Royal Air Force 3 (F) Squadron performs ASRAAM firing trials against a flare pack towed from a Mirach target drone at the Aberporth range in Cardigan Bay, Wales Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: May 2007 - Eurofighter Typhoon Instrumented Production Aircraft Two (IPA2) continues data gathering trials with the advanced Meteor Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile out of Decimomannu Air Base, Sardinia. The test flights were conducted carrying the Meteor missile on the outboard underwing pylon. Once the final Meteor test campaign in Spain, planned for later in 2007, is completed, the missile will have flown on all intended weapon stations on Eurofighter Typhoon. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: May 2007 - Eurofighter Typhoon Instrumented Production Aircraft Two (IPA2) continues data gathering trials with the advanced Meteor Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile out of Decimomannu Air Base, Sardinia. The test flights were conducted carrying the Meteor missile on the outboard underwing pylon. Once the final Meteor test campaign in Spain, planned for later in 2007, is completed, the missile will have flown on all intended weapon stations on Eurofighter Typhoon. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 March 2007 - The first Export Eurofighter Typhoon, AS001 for the Austrian Air Force, takes off for its first flight at EADS Military Air Systems’ Manching site, Germany. Under the terms of the contract, with German Ministry of Defence will handle all acceptance processes on behalf of Austria, hence the reason the aircraft temporarily has German Air Force markings. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 March 2007 - The first Export Eurofighter Typhoon, AS001 for the Austrian Air Force, takes off for its first flight at EADS Military Air Systems’ Manching site, Germany. Under the terms of the contract, with German Ministry of Defence will handle all acceptance processes on behalf of Austria, hence the reason the aircraft temporarily has German Air Force markings. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 March 2007 - The first Export Eurofighter Typhoon, AS001 for the Austrian Air Force, lands following its first flight at EADS Military Air Systems’ Manching site, Germany. Under the terms of the contract, with German Ministry of Defence will handle all acceptance processes on behalf of Austria, hence the reason the aircraft temporarily has German Air Force markings. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 March 2007 - The first Export Eurofighter Typhoon, AS001 for the Austrian Air Force, lands following its first flight at EADS Military Air Systems’ Manching site, Germany. Under the terms of the contract, with German Ministry of Defence will handle all acceptance processes on behalf of Austria, hence the reason the aircraft temporarily has German Air Force markings. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon and a Tornado F3. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2007 - As part of "Exercise Indradhanush 2007", the Indian Air Force deployed the Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighter to the UK. The Su-30 MKI is shown being escorted through UK airspace by a Royal Air Force 17Sqn Eurofighter Typhoon. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: June 2007 - The Royal Air Force assign Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties to Eurofighter Typhoon with two aircraft of No.3(F) Squadron ready to respond to any aircraft acting suspiciously or intruding illegally into UK airspace. Flying from RAF Coningsby, the aircraft shown is armed with the standard QRA fit of four AMRAAMs and four ASRAAMs, as well as carrying two 1,000L droptanks. Wing Commander Lol Bennett is in the cockpit. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: June 2007 - The Royal Air Force assign Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties to Eurofighter Typhoon with two aircraft of No.3(F) Squadron ready to respond to any aircraft acting suspiciously or intruding illegally into UK airspace. Flying from RAF Coningsby, the aircraft shown is armed with the standard QRA fit of four AMRAAMs and four ASRAAMs, as well as carrying two 1,000L droptanks. Wing Commander Lol Bennett is in the cockpit. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2006 - Farnborough International Airshow, UK - An RAF 29Sqn Typhoon, during its daily flying display at Farnborough airshow Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2006 - Farnborough International Airshow, UK - An RAF 29Sqn Typhoon, during its daily flying display at Farnborough airshow Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: 24 July 2006 - The second German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon squadron opens in Neuburg Donau, Germany. The first four of 25 Eurofighter Typhoons are deployed to the Main Operating Base in southern Germany of Jagdgeschwader 74 (JG74 / Fighter Wing 74). Source: German Air Force. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: 24 July 2006 - The second German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon squadron opens in Neuburg Donau, Germany. The first four of 25 Eurofighter Typhoons are deployed to the Main Operating Base in southern Germany of Jagdgeschwader 74 (JG74 / Fighter Wing 74). Source: German Air Force. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: 24 July 2006 - The second German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon squadron opens in Neuburg Donau, Germany. The first four of 25 Eurofighter Typhoons are deployed to the Main Operating Base in southern Germany of Jagdgeschwader 74 (JG74 / Fighter Wing 74). Source: German Air Force Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: 24 July 2006 - The second German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon squadron opens in Neuburg Donau, Germany. The first four of 25 Eurofighter Typhoons are deployed to the Main Operating Base in southern Germany of Jagdgeschwader 74 (JG74 / Fighter Wing 74). Source: German Air Force Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2006 - Farnborough International Airshow, UK - An RAF 29Sqn Typhoon, during its daily flying display at Farnborough airshow Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: July 2006 - Farnborough International Airshow, UK - An RAF 29Sqn Typhoon, during its daily flying display at Farnborough airshow Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: August 2006 - ’50 Years of the Luftwaffe’ celebrations, Laage - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from JG73 and JG74 squadrons of the German Air Force took part in aerial displays marking the anniversary, at the Main Operating Base at Rostock-Laage Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 December 2006 - The first Block 5 standard Eurofighter Typhoon following its first flight at getafe near Madrid, Spain Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 December 2006 - The first Block 5 standard Eurofighter Typhoon following its first flight at getafe near Madrid, Spain Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 December 2006 - The first Block 5 standard Eurofighter Typhoon achieves take-off for its first flight at getafe near Madrid, Spain Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 December 2006 - The first Block 5 standard Eurofighter Typhoon achieves take-off for its first flight at getafe near Madrid, Spain Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: November 2006 - Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from 3Sqn, 17Sqn and 29Sqn of the Royal Air Force take to the skies over the Lincolnshire coast to perform a ’Diamond Nine’ formation. It is the first time that only single-seat aircraft are used in this formation, with the lead aircraft piloted by Group Captain Bob Judson. All three squadrons are based at RAF Coningsby, UK Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 March 2007 - The first Export Eurofighter Typhoon, AS001 for the Austrian Air Force, takes off for its first flight at EADS Military Air Systems’ Manching site, Germany. Under the terms of the contract, with German Ministry of Defence will handle all acceptance processes on behalf of Austria, hence the reason the aircraft temporarily has German Air Force markings. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.Eurofighter Typhoon: 21 March 2007 - The first Export Eurofighter Typhoon, AS001 for the Austrian Air Force, takes off for its first flight at EADS Military Air Systems’ Manching site, Germany. Under the terms of the contract, with German Ministry of Defence will handle all acceptance processes on behalf of Austria, hence the reason the aircraft temporarily has German Air Force markings. Photo courtesy of Eurofighter Typhoon Media Library (www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary). Used by permission.

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