News: Eurofighter Typhoon to improve agility

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Source: Defense News

Eurofighter Typhoon has been tested in a new configuration that significantly improves agility and weapons carrying capability.

Addition of modified fuselage strakes and wing leading edge root extensions as well as other changes are said to have improved lift, angle of attack and roll rate capabilities compared to the standard aircraft. Airbus stated that modifications have improved maximum wing lift by 25%, resulting in an increased turn rate, tighter turning radius and improved nose-pointing ability at low speed.

According to test pilot Raffaele Beltrame, angle of attack value was 45% higher than on a standard aircraft, and roll rates were up to 100% higher. Handling qualities have also improved, providing more maneuverability, agility and precision. As standard aircraft could achieve angle of attack of no more than 70 degrees, this suggests maximum angle of attack of 100 degrees in new configuration, comparable to Rafale, Gripen, F-22 and Flanker series. Roll rate improvement is most significant at high angles of attack, as in that regime control surfaces tend to lose effectiveness due to diminishing air flow unless air flow is reinforced by high-lift devices, such as LERX. Improvement has also increased air-to-ground stores flexibility.

Airbus completed 36 sorties from its Manching, Germany, facility using the IPA7 instrumented production aircraft. None of the Typhoon operators have yet signed up for improvement, which could be included on new production aircraft as well as retrofitted to already produced fighters.

Wing LERX is an aerodynamic device which improves wing lift and response to control inputs at high angles of attack by creating strong vortex flow over the wing. It is already used by F-16, F-18 and Rafale aircraft, and will also be featured on Gripen E/F fighter which is still in development. Rafale and Gripen E/F combine wing LERX with close-coupled canards which have similar effect to LERX itself.

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59 replies

  1. Mmm… it’ll be interesting to see how the new version compares to the Rafael. Will it equal or even surpass the Dassault aircraft? Time will tell. Looking forward to your analysis on this Picard (no pressure! haha) Kind regards 🙂

    • I’m happy. I like to see NATO improve its capabilities. Especially when it sounds like it will not be expensive. An improved Typhoon is good for all of Europe and North America.

      It also might lessen chances of Putin becoming more adventurous in the skies above Eastern Europe.

      I also hear that Gripen is coming out with a considerable update in 2018. Sweden is not technically in NATO but we all know on who’s side Sweden & Finland would be on. Czech’s and Croats might get update too.

      Although honestly I don’t think there is realistically a threat to NATO. I would not advocate spending large funds on a warplane today. Especially for nations with limited funds that could better utilize those funds on services for population or lower taxes.

      • ” Sweden is not technically in NATO ”

        They will be soon. The option is being seriously discussed in Stockholm, and a lot of members of both the executive and legislative feel that Sweden needs to abandon its neutrality, because it’s no longer an option.

        • I don’t know all the technicalities associated with being a member Vs a proxy member. But, when it comes to Russia, Sweden and Finland are clearly not neutral.

          Putin is pushing those two countries toward NATO.

          Thank You Vladimir!

          Just like ISIS is pushing many in ME toward the West.

    • I am also looking forward to analysis and discussion on this.

      I’ll probably sit most of this one out. Not much I can add.

    • Given the poor results the Eurofighter had against the Rafale during ATLC in the Emirates : Typhoon of the RAF lost against french Rafale 4-0 and 3-1. I hope the next confrontation will be less humiliating with the new version.

  2. Those strakes above and behind the Canards, seem placed in that position to mimic the affects of close-coupled canards. Coupled with the LEX it seems that somebody in the Eurofighter consortium is jealous of the Rafale and is trying to modify the Typhoon to obtain similar aerodynamics.

  3. I’m being told those numbers are totally irrepresentative. Roll rates + 100% for eg could be true in a certain portion of flight enveloppe (normally aimed to be where there were most difficulties, like slow speed low altitude), but leading to unchanged or even worsened caracteristics in other parts of the enveloppe. That being said it is considered “a success”.

    It’s not a new airframe though. This is a patch. That means they aknowlege there were real design limitations which needed a fix, as far as planned specification book was concerned.

    Most surprising thing told to me is, although those numbers hints at better dogfighting skill, they are actually entirely aimed at helping AtG configurations, mostly managing disymetric ordinance loading and launch. Upgraded AtA capacity would thus be a mere side effect.

    Now what I got no answear to was, who’s going to buy it? IMO Germany is on the first line, with no other jets to ensure AtG role after Tornados. Spain could be interested too. If GB had balls, they should consider reducing indution of F-35 to the advantage of this AMK package for their Typhoons.

    • “Roll rates + 100% for eg could be true in a certain portion of flight enveloppe (normally aimed to be where there were most difficulties, like slow speed low altitude)”

      Correct. Level flight roll rate – which is the number you see most often, and is the highest roll rate achievable – will remain unchanged. It will however improve high-AoA roll rate.

      “That means they aknowlege there were real design limitations which needed a fix, as far as planned specification book was concerned.”

      Precisely. It is funny to see them using some of solutions that were already used on Rafale.

      “Most surprising thing told to me is, although those numbers hints at better dogfighting skill, they are actually entirely aimed at helping AtG configurations, mostly managing disymetric ordinance loading and launch. Upgraded AtA capacity would thus be a mere side effect.”

      Actually, no. They are meant to improve both air-to-air and air-to-ground performance.

      “Now what I got no answear to was, who’s going to buy it? IMO Germany is on the first line, with no other jets to ensure AtG role after Tornados. Spain could be interested too. If GB had balls, they should consider reducing indution of F-35 to the advantage of this AMK package for their Typhoons.”

      Germany most likely will, as they placed greater emphasis on dogfighting when compared to UK.

      • I think UK probably feels their military alliance with US is probably primordial. Dumping the F-35 against American wishes is more damaging to UK security than buying F-35 instead of Typhoon.

        Look no one will touch the UK (NATO member, Nuclear deterence, capable military) but can’t deny that strong alliance with US does more for UK security than does having EF instead of F35.

        Ideal is to be self-reliant but that is unrealistic for most. Being closely allied to major world power is next best thing.

        That’s why most intelligent Israeli’s want to kill Bibi. Although, would not be surprised if this is all a ploy/negotiating tactic.

        I know its hard for many to admit (easy for me to admit cause I live here) but US is clearly worlds top economic and military power and will probably remain so for a good while. Buying F-35 is more strategic than tactical for most.

        China and maybe even India are likely to surpass US in the future. I’ll admit that. But, it wont be a straight short path and probably will not happen in my lifetime.

        • You are correct, but US are what I call a “poisonous friend”, they’ll help you when you need it but price will be so high you’ll be wondering wether it was worth it. Over here in Croatia, we introduced neoliberal policies due to US pressure back in 1990s, and these policies promptly destroyed what was left of our economy. Now we’re nothing more than beggars, hoping that f***ing tourism will save us.

        • It would be wrong to comment about things I dont know about.

          What type of policies?

          Croatia is Eurozone right?

        • “What type of policies?”

          Privatization first and foremost. Then there wasn’t sufficient time for most corporations to actually adapt to functioning on open market.

          “Croatia is Eurozone right?”

          Not yet… fortunately.

        • I was doing a little wiki on Croatia Economy. 1990’s were tough. War destroyed most of infrastructure and chased away tourism. Changing to market economy has to be hard. Its a big shift in how you think and operate it will take time. Probably one full generation. Sounds like public corruption has been big issue too. Just like it took a while after WWII it will now.

          Was economy better in 70’s 80’s ??

          I don’t doubt that US government is capable of pressuring nations (like Croatia) into making bad decisions. US like any world power is not in it to help others but for their own profit/interests. Croatia and any ally needs to understand that.

          You never make decisions against your own interests. Unless you are convinced that said decision will yield your nation the best results in the big picture.

          Alliances are good only when mutual interests exist. Alliance does not have to mean always being on same side. But, there are cases where you might benefit from a decision against your interest in order to maintain a key alliance.

          Ps. Sounds like ME is getting flooded with light weapons from Croatia (and other ex-soviet bloc nations) that were used in 1990,s wars. All the stuff that is not NATO compatible.

          I wonder if this is in secret coordination with US agencies.

        • “Was economy better in 70’s 80’s ??”

          Not much, mostly because we and Slovenes had to finance rest of Yugoslavia.

          “Alliances are good only when mutual interests exist. Alliance does not have to mean always being on same side.”

          Agreed.

          “Ps. Sounds like ME is getting flooded with light weapons from Croatia (and other ex-soviet bloc nations) that were used in 1990,s wars. All the stuff that is not NATO compatible.
          I wonder if this is in secret coordination with US agencies.”

          It is. US actually asked Croatia to send weapons to Peshmerga. And that is official stuff. We are probably sending weapons to ISIS fighters as well, through God knows what channels.

      • “Croatia is Eurozone right?”

        Nope.

        “Ideal is to be self-reliant but that is unrealistic for most. Being closely allied to major world power is next best thing. ”

        I think you should read “The Prince” by Niccolò Machiavelli. It’s a sort of instruction manual on international relation dedicated to Cesare Borgia (the prince in the title) who at that time was the military and foreign relations “point man” of the Papal State. The book is a series of advices on how a small state without a lot of military power, the Papal State at that time, can survive caught between two superpowers, at that time the Habsburg Empire and France, which used Italy as battle ground for the better part of two centuries.
        Regarding alliances Machiavelli’s advice is: under no circumstances should a small country ally with a stronger country. Such an alliance will be detrimental in the long run as the small country brings nothing to the alliance and thus has no way of determining the stronger ally to put its interests in the top priorities. Machiavelli’s advice when building alliances is for every country to bring some sort of advantage that make’s it indispensable to the alliance and thus ensures the allies will work as equal partners, with everybody’s interests treated equally if practical. If one ally is stronger then the rest then that ally will imposes its interests at the expense of everybody else.
        Coming to NATO it’s clear that the US is stronger by at least an order of magnitude then everybody else, the UK might get a sense of security in some matters but it’s interests will not be top priorities for the alliance. Case in point the Falklands war, the UK got more practical help from France (dissimilar combat training, Mirages vs. Harriers, covert operations to sabotage Argentina’s access to replacement Exocents etc.) then from the US who’s only suggestion was for the UK to negotiate with Argentina as they had no interest in damaging their relation with Argentina even to help their closest ally the UK.
        On the other hand Frances behavior in NATO and the EU can be seen as them having read The Prince and taking the advice to hart. France is trying not to be dependent on the US , while at the same time building cooperations in which every partner brings something to the table and is thus indispensable: for example the growing partnership between France and Germany in the EU and in foreign policy, their scientific cooperation with Sweden and Italy on the NEURON program and probably in the future for a 6th generation fighter, their nascent cooperation with the UK on a future UCAV project that might turn into the SEPECAT Jaguar of the 21st century and Airbus. Even their Euro-skepticism dose not stem from a fear that their paying for the poor countries in the EU (Germany) or that cheap labor from Eastern Europe will affect their jobs market (UK, Belgium, Spain) but because the EU dose not resemble their initial vision of an union of equals in which the stronger members mentor the weaker ones to lift them to their level, instead the EU has become an empire in which stronger provinces (Western Europe) exploit poorer provinces (Eastern Europe)

        • “the EU dose not resemble their initial vision of an union of equals in which the stronger members mentor the weaker ones to lift them to their level”

          Andrei with all due respect you need to wake up and stop this blind love affair of yours with France. France has never been the great benevolent country. Just like anyone else they are after their own interests and have throughout history been both benevolent (like most, usually when it suits their interests or harms their enemy) and repressive. France wants nothing more than to dominate Europe and the world. They have been trying to do so for decades just like everyone else that can would.

          I agree with Machiavelli. I stated that before in this blog. In the Washington poodle article.

          UK does bring a lot to the alliance. Militarily and economically. Maybe most important UK shares strong cultural ties with US that make America feel that we must stand with UK. As with Australia and Canada.

          I don’t agree with our need to protect any but our own interests. But, most Americans look at UK as our first cousins. UK wants to keep this feeling its in their interests.

          Rest of Europe also has much that makes US want to fight for and with them. Its not totally the scenario Machiavelli portrayed.

          For US we want to have strong allies. For allies they want to have strong US for various mutually beneficial reasons.

          I kept it rough and simple cause I cant afford to get into one of these protracted debates. I do this for fun on my spare time.

      • “Croatia is Eurozone right?”

        Not yet… fortunately.

        After what is happening with Greece and the rest of the Eurozone, it’d be best to stay away and keep your own currency.

        You are correct, but US are what I call a “poisonous friend”, they’ll help you when you need it but price will be so high you’ll be wondering wether it was worth it. Over here in Croatia, we introduced neoliberal policies due to US pressure back in 1990s, and these policies promptly destroyed what was left of our economy. Now we’re nothing more than beggars, hoping that f***ing tourism will save us.

        Privatization first and foremost. Then there wasn’t sufficient time for most corporations to actually adapt to functioning on open market.

        It’s why I think the East Asians did so well – manufacturing export-centric economy with suppressed domestic consumption is the path to long-term prosperity. Perhaps suppressed consumption alone could do the job. Not much else beats it. The destruction of American manufacturing, more than anything else I would argue is why the US is in decline.

        The big reason why Germany has done so well relative to the rest is that they’ve used the Euro to keep their manufacturing, suppressed wages at home, and squeezed out competition through an undervalued currency.

        It seems increasingly that privatization is a roundabout way to basically transfer the wealth of society into the hands of a few.

        • “It seems increasingly that privatization is a roundabout way to basically transfer the wealth of society into the hands of a few.”

          It always was that way.

        • In practice it has been the case due to corruption. But, privatization in the long-run is better than government control.

          With some rare and time-limited exceptions, governments are poor managers of resources. Not enough skin (skin=$$$) in the game for managers and bureaucracies are too inefficient.

          Free Markets and private enterprise work wonderfully better than anything else. What we need is to fight the corruption that grows within it, mostly through government.

        • Corruption is an inherent aspect of privatization, it can’t be removed. And free markets and private enterprise do work well, but only when regulated. State enterprise can also work well when properly led (see Saab), as can cooperative enterprise etc.

          Today managers and bureocrats have way too much skin.

        • I dont think corruption is inherent. But, realistically difficult to control. Corruption is more likely in government than in private. In private at least you have the profit incentive to be efficient, and effective. Corruption is the key issue for both private or public.

          There are ways to make public systems efficient by incorporating some aspects of private domain. Again it works if you do it right and control corruption.

          We can overcome some level of corruption but when it becomes systemic it consumes its host.

          I agree, you need skin in the game but like a professor of mine used to say. Its good to make a profit but when you are making a killing its probably not good.

          Many do realize that for firms to increase profits we need a stronger middle/working class but its not just about profits, its about power. Labor unions and regulation don’t necessarily hurt profits but, they do take away power that the executive class wants to keep. For example.

        • “In private at least you have the profit incentive to be efficient, and effective.”

          But large-scale private business has major connections to government, and is neck-deep in corruption (doing the corrupting, that is). And not only when dealing with government, either. Everything is allowed to get rid of the competition… unless it is not (as in, forbidden by law).

          “Its good to make a profit but when you are making a killing its probably not good.”
          “Many do realize that for firms to increase profits we need a stronger middle/working class but its not just about profits, its about power. Labor unions and regulation don’t necessarily hurt profits but, they do take away power that the executive class wants to keep. For example.”

          Agreed.

      • “Andrei with all due respect you need to wake up and stop this blind love affair of yours with France. France has never been the great benevolent country. Just like anyone else they are after their own interests and have throughout history been both benevolent (like most, usually when it suits their interests or harms their enemy) and repressive. France wants nothing more than to dominate Europe and the world. They have been trying to do so for decades just like everyone else that can would. ”

        It’s not a blind love affair. I know a little bit more history then you. You are right that they are mostly after they’re own interests, but you are wrong when you say that they want nothing more than to dominate Europe and the world. You make this affirmation because you judge their interests thru US logic (which wants to dominate Europe and the world) and you assume their interest is the same as the US. The interest of the French is to live the good life and their actions and meddling in the affair of others have mostly been to remove treats from their borders and be left alone to enjoy their lives in peace. Even Napoleons campaigns have been started just because the rest of Europe was ganging up on France and he realized that the best defense is a good offense. When involved with weaker countries they tend to prefer to not be hassled with supporting them and prefer to give some sort of initial help to the weaker country so that it becomes self-supporting. They had the same view when it came to colonialism. They believed it was their duty to educate the native peoples of the colonies and bring them to modern standards, build modern institution that would allow the colonies to become modern states. They even had measures to grant French citizenship to the natives of the colonies which was unique among colonial empires. That they went about in a very brusque manner which had mixed results and often turned their benevolent intentions into repressive actions is another discussion. But still compare their intentions and actions in the colonies with the action of the US under Manifest Destiny which was used as an excuse to massacre whole nations of native-Americans or British and German colonial policies which didn’t grant any rights to the natives and simply used the colonies for their resources.
        And you are right lets not get into a heated debate on this matter. I suggest you look up on Wikipedia about French colonialism in the 19th century and how it differed from other forms and also look up Robert Schuman who despite his name was a French statesman and a architect of the European Union and see what his intentions where with the EU.

      • Agreed. And the French are a very good case study of this 😀

  4. I think that it should be a modest improvement. We’ll have to wait until the dust settles to see the final specs.

    One problem is that it might lead to the next tranche costing even more than the current generation.

    The Rafale will still remain most likely the better dogfighter of the two, and probably the cheaper as well.

    • “The destruction of American manufacturing, more than anything else I would argue is why the US is in decline”

      I believe America is in decline internally due to social-political maladies and bad social habits being developed. In the long-run these social maladies will probably cause general decline as might the collapse of the financing/monetary policy scheme we have been working for decades.

      But, I think you are wrong to repeat the popular talking point that the US is in decline. US might today be in strongest position since late 1990’s The rest of the world is in decline much more than US if you look at numbers and our top challengers are declining too. China is going through a big downward correction (likely bigger than we are being allowed to notice), Russia is sinking itself and the EU (not rival but a competitor) is still stuck in recession US has climbed out of. Not too mention currency and debt issues.

      You need to be more fiscally responsible (in southern Europe mostly) but ECB could probably get away with monetizing all (or some of) that debt without much issue. US has created around $4 trillion in currency in last 6 years without dollar even feeling it.

      This might still be an inflation issue as most of that $4 trillion is still parked in banks and once firms and people start to feel good about taking loans and investing all this cashflow might become a problem.

    • I’d argue that the maladies damaged manufacturing – it’s all about the corporate profits and the very rich these days.

      As far as the US in decline, the issue is that it is losing manufacturing leadership and leadership in other fields. It’s infrastructure too is aging rapidly. By extension, economic prosperity follows that.

      • Mostly I agree.

        Unfortunately, Its an issue of the one eyed man in the land of the blind. Its like Baseball. If are successful 40% of the time you are the greatest.

  5. Picard,

    ” “Roll rates + 100% for eg could be true in a certain portion of flight envelope (normally aimed to be where there were most difficulties, like slow speed low altitude)”

    Correct. Level flight roll rate – which is the number you see most often, and is the highest roll rate achievable – will remain unchanged. It will however improve high-AoA roll rate.”

    With the right tactics, couldn’t even such partial remedying of the Typhoon’s roll-rate (the Typhoon’s main drawback as an air-superiority fighter if I am not mistaken) very considerably make up ground as a dogfighter vis-a-vis the Rafale? I am just trying to think intuitively here, but if the highest roll-rate is at increased AoA, apparently up to double the current level flight rate, the Typhoon pilot swiftly pitching, aided by the long-arm canards before rolling at a more favorable AoA, or always combining a pitch with roll to change direction, would not the Typhoon be able to perform much more like a ‘fast-transient’ in Boyd’s terminology, its major failing currently? While the Rafale is clearly still superior in a horizontal turning fight, the Typhoon’s excellent climb-rate/acceleration, high pitch-rate, low wing-loading and high thrust-to-weight ratio have always seemed to me to indicate a fighter that should seek to dogfight primarily in the vertical plane rather than the horizontal anyway. If the Typhoon pilot understands his aircraft and can make use of a doubled roll-rate in certain conditions in air-combat maneuvering to change between maneuvers more rapidly, then how competitive a dogfighter can the Typhoon be against the Rafale? An analysis of the potential implications of these upgrades on the Typhoon’s ultimate performance potential as a dogfighter would certainly be much appreciated, particularly vis-a-vis the other Eurocanards.

    • “With the right tactics, couldn’t even such partial remedying of the Typhoon’s roll-rate (the Typhoon’s main drawback as an air-superiority fighter if I am not mistaken) very considerably make up ground as a dogfighter vis-a-vis the Rafale?”

      It could, but I doubt it will be able to do more than match Rafale. Typhoon’s canards are simply too far forward to have proper effect on the wing. If you take a look at Gripen and Rafale, canard is just in front of the wing, and in Rafale’s case overlaps LERX. And it is canard tip vortices that have most effect on roll performance as they energize outboard portion of the wing.

      “I am just trying to think intuitively here, but if the highest roll-rate is at increased AoA, apparently up to double the current level flight rate, the Typhoon pilot swiftly pitching, aided by the long-arm canards before rolling at a more favorable AoA, or always combining a pitch with roll to change direction, would not the Typhoon be able to perform much more like a ‘fast-transient’ in Boyd’s terminology, its major failing currently? While the Rafale is clearly still superior in a horizontal turning fight, the Typhoon’s excellent climb-rate/acceleration, high pitch-rate, low wing-loading and high thrust-to-weight ratio have always seemed to me to indicate a fighter that should seek to dogfight primarily in the vertical plane rather than the horizontal anyway.”

      Entirely correct. That being said, difference in climb rate / energy management between Typhoon and Rafale is not that large (315 m/s vs 305 m/s), likely because while Typhoon has higher TWR, Rafale has lower wing loading. Typhoon’s main advantages are its higher cruise speed and ceillings, and cruise speed difference is only Mach 0,1, though addition of LERX has a potential to increase Typhoon’s cruise speed and maybe climb rate, so gap in these areas will likely increase. Horizontal turning capabilities are not very different between two aircraft either, Rafale’s only major advantage is precisely in transient performance and that gap will be reduced by Typhoon’s upgrade package.

      “If the Typhoon pilot understands his aircraft and can make use of a doubled roll-rate in certain conditions in air-combat maneuvering to change between maneuvers more rapidly, then how competitive a dogfighter can the Typhoon be against the Rafale?”

      I can’t say precisely. Typhoon is still (slightly) larger, heavier and aerodynamically disadvantaged, but I would expect overall performance to be close.

      • “Entirely correct. That being said, difference in climb rate / energy management between Typhoon and Rafale is not that large (315 m/s vs 305 m/s), likely because while Typhoon has higher TWR, Rafale has lower wing loading. Typhoon’s main advantages are its higher cruise speed and ceilings, and cruise speed difference is only Mach 0,1, though addition of LERX has a potential to increase Typhoon’s cruise speed and maybe climb rate, so gap in these areas will likely increase. Horizontal turning capabilities are not very different between two aircraft either, Rafale’s only major advantage is precisely in transient performance and that gap will be reduced by Typhoon’s upgrade package.”

        This is all very interesting. It seems to me that if these aerodynamic upgrades were mated to the addition of the EJ230, the Typhoon would see further boosts in thrust-to-weight ratio, acceleration and climb-rate, cruise speed and sustained turn-rate, and potentially begin to gain clearer margins of superiority over the Rafale in some aspects of air-to-air combat to compensate for the Rafale’s aerodynamic advantages. Such an upgraded Typhoon seems to have the potential to be the first fighter to be a genuine peer to the Rafale.

        • Its a very interesting argument to have. But although not as cool, sortie rate, maintenance, basing, runway needs, and on-ground survivability are probably just as if not more important than AtoA characteristics. And, training/experience is probably the most important thing of all.

          In AtoA combat, superior aircraft have not often proven to be huge factor. But, superior pilots have always dominated.

          Biggest problem for German & Japanese toward end of WWII was not lack of aircraft but lack of well trained and experienced pilots and increasing skill/experience of Allied pilots.

          In Korea Mig-15 flown by Russians (as far as we think we know, data is murky) did much better against American F-86 Sabres than did Migs flown by Chinese or N. Koreans.

          In Vietnam Mig-17’s were regularly defeating F-4’s because US training had ignored WVR fighter tactics. Regardless, top US pilots made most of kills as did top Vietnamese pilots.

          On top of fact that RoE took away US pilots ability to attack BVR (maybe for good reason since IFF was so poor) or attack enemy airfields. Even pursuing into North was disallowed mostly.

          In Gulf wars Israeli pilots have dominated extensively not because their aircraft were so much superior but, because Arab pilots were inferior.

          In know I am probably preaching to the choir Picard but thought I would mention.

        • And you are entirely correct. Which is why I believe Gripen, not Rafale, to be overall the best fighter aircraft in the West.

          Can’t wait for Gripen E.

        • I think I agree.

          Gripen is just a very smart design in so many ways.

          Rafale is a very good design (probably better than F-22 overall) with very good avionics/sensors. But, like with most big economies in the end it got too fancy and too pricey and too complicated.

          F-22 is also very good I think but too many state of the art components make it too difficult and expensive to build and maintain and therefore is limited in sortie rate and operation from dispersed sites. Not to mention limits in training.

          Once in the air in equal numbers I still think F-22 (pilot qualities being equal) overall should be able to most often defeat any other fighter in air today. But, you just cant overlook all of the deficiencies.

          I do want to mention that 25-50 years from now the scientific and engineering work and learning that was developed through F-22 & F-35 program will pay its dividends.

          Gripen (and Rafale partially) have also hopefully contributed to that learning and with the next design we in the west take all the supporting factors into account when developing a warplane.

          DoD is already begining work on 6th Gen fighter and LRS-B is already well into development.

      • ” I am just trying to think intuitively here, but if the highest roll-rate is at increased AoA, apparently up to double the current level flight rate, the Typhoon pilot swiftly pitching, aided by the long-arm canards before rolling at a more favorable AoA, or always combining a pitch with roll to change direction, would not the Typhoon be able to perform much more like a ‘fast-transient’ in Boyd’s terminology, its major failing currently?”

        If you don’t mind me butting in … The maneuver you describe might help the Typhoon in rolling faster it might even help it roll faster then the Rafale, but you see that’s not the entire point of success in a dogfight. It’s not just who maneuvers faster but who maneuvers faster with the minimum amount of energy lost. And in this regard Rafale and Gripen and any other close-coupled canard aircraft will reign supreme. The maneuver you described for the Typhoon has the disadvantage that by increasing pitch one also increases drag, and at the same time reduces the component of thrust parallel to the direction of drag, that is the component of thrust that contracts thrust and allows the aircraft to accelerate. The result is that the aircraft will loose speed even if it has a distinct T/W advantage and thus lose energy. The problem is compounded in a long-arm canard or a classical (with tail-planes) aircraft by the fact that to perform a high-G turn, the aircraft needs to generate a lot of lift so it needs to maintain a high AoA, and thus drag, after it has rolled and until it completes the turn. By the time the aircraft comes out of the turn it would have lost a lot of energy which can only be recovered by increasing engine thrust and thus fuel consumption.

        With close-coupled-canard, an aircraft need not pitch to high to gain a lot of lift, simply moving the canards will generate vortices which will increase lift. To perform the same high-G turn as a classical or long-arm-canard aircraft, the close-coupled-Canard aircraft will need to reach much lower values for the Angle-of-Attack and thus correspondingly lower levels of drag and lose of thrust in the direction parallel to drag. The result is that the aircraft will not loose as much velocity, will come out of the turn at a much higher velocity and will not need to abuse the afterburner.

        So the modifications will help the Eurofighter in decreasing its transient times, but it will still not be as fast as Gripen or Rafale.

        “Gripen is just a very smart design in so many ways. ”
        “DoD is already begining work on 6th Gen fighter”

        Funny you should mention that, but Avaition Week’s Bill Sweetman, one of the F-35s most ardent critics, considers the Gripen E to be the first of the 6th generation of fighters as defined by DoD: modular systems, low price, high maneuverability, very good EW. Check it out: http://aviationweek.com/defense/saab-s-new-gripen-future-fighters

        • What you say is true, but sometimes it is actually advantageous to loose a large amount of energy…. assuming one can recover it quickly. That being said, most of the time it is not a good idea – as saying goes, fuel is life. BTW, total amount of fuel means little in terms of combat endurance, fuel fraction is more indicative but best way of measuring endurance is number of maneuvers that can be done for certain percentage of fuel (exact percentage would depend on mission, configuration etc…).

      • @Andrei

        “If you don’t mind me butting in …”

        Not at all.

        “The maneuver you describe might help the Typhoon in rolling faster it might even help it roll faster then the Rafale, but you see that’s not the entire point of success in a dogfight. It’s not just who maneuvers faster but who maneuvers faster with the minimum amount of energy lost. And in this regard Rafale and Gripen and any other close-coupled canard aircraft will reign supreme. The maneuver you described for the Typhoon has the disadvantage that by increasing pitch one also increases drag, and at the same time reduces the component of thrust parallel to the direction of drag, that is the component of thrust that contracts thrust and allows the aircraft to accelerate. The result is that the aircraft will loose speed even if it has a distinct T/W advantage and thus lose energy. The problem is compounded in a long-arm canard or a classical (with tail-planes) aircraft by the fact that to perform a high-G turn, the aircraft needs to generate a lot of lift so it needs to maintain a high AoA, and thus drag, after it has rolled and until it completes the turn. By the time the aircraft comes out of the turn it would have lost a lot of energy which can only be recovered by increasing engine thrust and thus fuel consumption.

        With close-coupled-canard, an aircraft need not pitch to high to gain a lot of lift, simply moving the canards will generate vortices which will increase lift. To perform the same high-G turn as a classical or long-arm-canard aircraft, the close-coupled-Canard aircraft will need to reach much lower values for the Angle-of-Attack and thus correspondingly lower levels of drag and lose of thrust in the direction parallel to drag. The result is that the aircraft will not loose as much velocity, will come out of the turn at a much higher velocity and will not need to abuse the afterburner.”

        I had recalled that the Typhoon’s most glaring deficiency in its performance statistics was its mediocre roll-rate and thus transient performance (most of the rest seem excellent), and was trying to tease out the extent of the impact of these aerodynamic changes on improving that glaring drawback. I was simply trying to get an estimation in my head of the maximum potential of these improvements on the ACM performance that can be brought out of the Typhoon airframe. You summed up very well the superiority of the close-coupled canard layout over long-arm canard and traditional tail-plane in real-world Air Combat Maneuvering very well here, and I don’t doubt it (I did though immediately think of the point Picard mentioned in response that bleeding off energy rapidly can be advantageous in a dogfight if it can be regained rapidly, and if the Typhoon is upgraded with the EJ230 it ought to be a near-outstanding energy fighter). Nevertheless, in my view the Typhoon ought to fight the Rafale or Gripen in the vertical rather than the horizontal, and that brings me back to my original question of trying to gauge whether the Typhoon, fully matured in both aerodynamics and engines, has aspects in which it can, when playing to its strengths, very reliably take on the likes of the Rafale or Gripen.

        • “whether the Typhoon, fully matured in both aerodynamics and engines, has aspects in which it can, when playing to its strengths, very reliably take on the likes of the Rafale or Gripen.”

          I think that answer would be yes.

  6. @Picard

    I saw yesterday a number of articles crowing that IAF Sukhoi 30MKI pilots claimed to have completely trounced RAF Typhoons 12-0 in WVR combat in the UK-India Indradhanush exercises. I would be interested in getting your take on the conflicting reports.

    http://www.globalaviationresource.com/v2/2015/08/06/military-exercise-indian-summer-indradhanush-2015/

    “We operated the exercise on a ‘Crawl, Walk, Run’ basis” said RAF Wing Commander Moon. The ‘Crawl’ Phase was familiarisation sorties, getting used to UK airspace and simple 1v1 sorties. Then we built up to 2v1, 2v2 and BVR, followed by the escalation into large force exercises with 8v8 BVR engagements.”

    Unlike previous exercises, the Indian SU-30MKI’s were permitted to use their full-potential including both N011M radar and thrust-vectoring. “We both have our strengths, the Typhoon is a ‘high-rate’ fighter and the Flanker is a high-alpha, slower-speed fighter” said Wg Cdr Moon.

    “It (the Flanker) is an incredibly impressive fighter but the Typhoon is a good match for it” – RAF Flt LT Mike Highmoor.

    “The Typhoon is a good aircraft, a very powerful aircraft. The RAF pilots are really amazing, and flying against the Typhoons we’re learning a lot of new lessons, which we will take back to India. Of course, we’re also giving some good points back to the Typhoon pilots” – IAF Sqn Ldr Amit Gahani.

    IAF Grp Capt Ashu Srivastav, leader of the Indian contingent said; “I have to be politically correct; both have got their plus and minus points, but I am going to say that the Flanker has more plus points due to its super-maneuverability and its BVR system is very good. We are highly maneuverable in close combat and employ the TVC whenever we need to, generally speaking we use it when we feel that the opponent is in a position where it cannot maneuver but we can, so we use TVC to still get the shot.” Srivastav was “keen to sing the Typhoon’s praises saying the Typhoon was extremely good in high rates of turn and that has been great to see” before adding with a wry-grin “but we have a counter for that…!”

    RAF Challenge Indian Air Force ‘Whitewash’ Claims

    http://forces.tv/00317417

    “Our analysis does not match what has been reported, RAF pilots and the Typhoon performed well throughout the exercise, with and against the Indian Air Force.”

    “Sources from the RAF state that Indian planes were being ‘bedded in’ to new terrain and effectively shown the ropes. The RAF were “introducing them to the airspace”, putting the Typhoons up against the Sukhois in something more akin to a pigeon-shooting exercise, rather than a combat exercise, so the Indian pilots could get their bearings.

    Once the IAF were comfortable flying in foreign air space the Large Force Exercises (LFEs) began and subsequently the RAF Typhoons proved more than a match for the Indian SU-30’s”

    Asked about the performance of IAF pilots in these Large Force Engagements, IAF Group Captain Srivastav told NDTV his pilots performed “fairly well” though “quantifying [the results] is difficult”.

    Given that in a previous iteration of the bilateral exercise in 2007 RAF Typhoons had clearly outperformed the IAF Flankers;

    Air Forces Monthly – January 2007

    “The MoD said it would not be putting Typhoons up against the Indian Airforce Su-30s as a one on one fight. However, it did happen and there is HUD video to prove it. Apparently two inexperienced Typhoon pilots returned with big grins on their faces, the Su-30s were toasted, all the Su-30’s air display antics amounted to nothing, the Typhoons proved too nimble and too powerful for the Russian aircraft. The Typhoons were also not clean configured.”

    as well as the fact that Typhoons of both the RAF and Luftwaffe have clearly outperformed the TVC-equipped F-22’s during bilateral exercises in WVR, while IAF SU-30s were apparently defeated heavily by US F-22’s after beating USAF F-15’s a few years ago, I found the Indian claims fairly implausible. Is it a reflection on the fact that TVC is more useful when you are at no risk of being attacked by a wingman, in (fairly unrealistic) 1v1 combat? Upon my reading of the articles it seems that the Indian;s have actually attempted to boast the success on the basis of the ‘Crawl’ phase familiarisation sorties, which seems ridiculous. The fact that the Indians have said nothing about the ‘Walk’ and ‘Run’ phases appears to me to be significant as well. At any rate, I am interested to hear what you make of the exercises and reports.

    • “I saw yesterday a number of articles crowing that IAF Sukhoi 30MKI pilots claimed to have completely trounced RAF Typhoons 12-0 in WVR combat in the UK-India Indradhanush exercises. I would be interested in getting your take on the conflicting reports. ”

      I’ll go by the link:

      http://www.globalaviationresource.com/v2/2015/08/06/military-exercise-indian-summer-indradhanush-2015/

      “‘We both have our strengths, the Typhoon is a ‘high-rate’ fighter and the ‘Flanker’s is a high-Alpha, slower-speed fighter’ continued Wg Cdr Moon.”
      – this statement is correct, Typhoon’s long ard canards do not give it advantage in slow-speed fight (Unlike e.g. close-coupled canards) while TVC is primarily useful for slow-speed fight and supersonic cruise

      “‘It’s the first time I’ve flown against a ‘Flanker’ this morning and it’s fascinating to see another air force do its thing in a different aeroplane. Flying against an aircraft which is equally comparable to the Typhoon isn’t something we get to fight against on a regular basis in the UK. It’s very exciting. It’s an incredibly impressive fighter but the Typhoon is a good match for it.’”
      – Flankers are maneuverable aircraft (for their size at least), though a lot depends on fuel load. That being said, higher fuel load does give Flankers more flexibility in that area.
      – “Typhoon is a good match” does not indicate trouncing.

      “‘Comparing the two fighters I have to be politically correct; both have got their plus and minus points, but I am going to say that the ‘Flanker’ probably has more plus points due to its super-manoeuvrability and BVR system is very good’ he said. ‘We are highly manoeuvrable in close combat and we employ the vectoring whenever we need to depending on the combat situation – generally speaking, we use it when we feel that the opponent is in a position where it cannot manoeuvre but we can, and so we can use TVC to still get the shot. We have had no restriction on IRS-T or the radar usage’. But Grp Capt Srivastav was keen to sing the Typhoon’s praises, saying ‘Typhoon is extremely good in high rates of turn and that has been great to see…’ before adding with a wry grin ‘But we have a counter for that…!’”
      – This comment, once you strip out PR bullshit, actually shows that Typhoon was superior dogfighter. Supermaneuverability can be useful in one-on-one setups, but in say two-on-two, four-on-four or many-on-many it is just a flashy way of commiting suicide. If Sukhois were able to use TVC to gain an advantage, then this means that setups were relatively unrealistic one-on-one exercises. In actual combat, roll performance + instantaneous turn + climb/acceleration rules the day.

      http://forces.tv/00317417

      “Sources from the RAF state, however, that Indian planes were being ‘bedded in’ to new terrain and effectively shown the ropes. The RAF were “introducing them to the airspace”, putting the Typhoons up against the Sukhois in something more akin to a pigeon-shooting exercise, rather than a combat exercise, so the Indian pilots could get their bearings.”
      – in other words, 12-0 score is useless for anything. That is why I maintain that exercise results are useless for gauging a fighter aircraft, unless you know setups and assumptions.

      “Once the IAF were comfortable flying in foreign air space the Large Force Exercises (LFEs) began and subsequently the RAF Typhoons proved more than a match for the Indian SU-30’s.”
      – This is believable, and fits with other evidence and with what I know about aircraft capabilities.

      “as well as the fact that Typhoons of both the RAF and Luftwaffe have clearly outperformed the TVC-equipped F-22’s during bilateral exercises in WVR, while IAF SU-30s were apparently defeated heavily by US F-22’s after beating USAF F-15’s a few years ago, I found the Indian claims fairly implausible.”

      More like “completely implausible” (a.k.a. bullshit). TVC cannot compensate for aerodynamic disadvantages.

      “Is it a reflection on the fact that TVC is more useful when you are at no risk of being attacked by a wingman, in (fairly unrealistic) 1v1 combat?”

      I do not believe that Typhoons were actually “trounced” in that exercise, but yes, TVC is only really useful in 1v1 combat.

      “Upon my reading of the articles it seems that the Indian;s have actually attempted to boast the success on the basis of the ‘Crawl’ phase familiarisation sorties, which seems ridiculous. The fact that the Indians have said nothing about the ‘Walk’ and ‘Run’ phases appears to me to be significant as well.”

      Agreed. I’d say that Typhoons were ones doing the trouncing once proper exercise started.

    • ” the fact that Typhoons of both the RAF and Luftwaffe have clearly outperformed the TVC-equipped F-22’s during bilateral exercises in WVR”

      Just as you question the Indian reports I have to question your above statement.

      There is clearly contradictory reports and some contradictory data on who won those F-22 Vs Typhoon simulated dogfights. You can’t make the above statement.

      Even in the analysis on this site (which is dominated by Europeans and anti, TVC/stealth/USAF people) the discussion was non-conclusive. I have read many online reports that are somewhat contradictory. The only thing that is clear is that nothing is clear.

      • “Even in the analysis on this site (which is dominated by Europeans and anti, TVC/stealth/USAF people)”

        – There is a bit of that on many aerospace forums (anti-USAF perspectives, criticism of TVC and stealth seems rooted in hard analysis at this stage), but the US military has form on exaggerating its own capabilities. The Office of Naval Intelligence has had exaggerating US naval capabilities to shape perceptions as one of its primary missions since the Second World War; a valid counter-intelligence/psychological warfare activity, and one at which it has been highly effective. I believe that it was Admiral Zumwalt who confessed in retirement that US admirals (including himself) knew that they didn’t have anything like the capabilities or guaranteed dominance which they testified before Congress to possessing during the Cold War, but that they felt under immense pressure to hold the line in public. I doubt that the USAF hype around stealth aircraft has not been in much the same vein.

        “There is clearly contradictory reports and some contradictory data on who won those F-22 Vs Typhoon simulated dogfights.”

        – Quite, and I accept that we can’t “know” on the basis of the remarks of unattributable sources. My sentence was based on inferred analysis. The USAF claims of F-22 success were all attributed to using TVC as a sort of ‘trump-card’ to counter the Typhoon’s turning ability and acceleration/climb-rate. The point is that that indicates that the fight was 1-v-1, sort of a “laboratory experiment” between fighters which is largely academic in its outcome; the use of TVC in air combat maneuvering (which will never really be 1-v-1) likely means death. The Typhoon’s apparent advantages were stated as being in aspects such as acceleration/climb-rate; attributes which are of major significance in wartime WVR combat. In the factors one looks for in determining the superiority of an air superiority fighter in air war, the Typhoon appears both on paper and in practice to have margins of superiority in some of them, while it is doubtful that TVC is of any use in WVR fighter combat. It is thus not invalid to infer that the Typhoon clearly outperformed the Raptor in the oft-referred Red Flag Alaska USAF/Luftwaffe for instance, almost regardless of the score-line in any 1-v-1 face-off if the Raptor’s only attributed advantage is found lying in TVC. There is a good bit of cumulative evidence (even if one can of course quibble individually) on the Typhoon’s competitiveness against the Raptor.

        international AIR POWER REVIEW” – year 2006, issue 20, page 45. – ISNB: 1-880588-91-9 (casebound) or ISBN: 1473-9917

        “More recently, there have been repeated reports that two RAF Typhoons deployed to the USA for OEU trails work have been flying against the F-22 at NAS China Lake, and have peformed better than was expected. There was little surprise that Typhoon, with its world-class agility and high off-boresight missile capability was able to dominate “Within Visual Range” flight, but the aircraft did cause a surprise by getting a radar lock on the F22 at a surprisingly long range. The F-22s cried off, claiming that they were “unstealthed” anyway, although the next day´s scheduled two vs. two BWR engagement was canceled, and “the USAF decided they didn´t want to play any more .

        – When this incident was reported on a website frequented by front-line RAF aircrew a senior RAF officer urged an end to the conversation on security grounds”

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/1818077.stm

        “The US Air Force has already begun to take delivery of another superjet, the F-22 Raptor. This is very stealthy but costs twice the price of the Eurofighter, and reports suggest that RAF’s Eurofighters have flown highly successful missions against the F-22 during recent exercises in the US.”

        http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2007/09/12/2932307.htm

        “The RAF’s 17 Sqn OEU has routinely deployed two aircraft and around 30 personnel to the USA to operate alongside US fighters including the Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor. “The vast majority of this work is about making sure that the integration of the two platforms is working,” says Walker. Asked how the fighters compare, he says: “If you want to say that stealth is a determining factor then Typhoon stands second to the F-22. But I think that as we do more work, the Typhoon will more than hold its own. It’s the balance of how you use it, rather than what it is.”BAE Typhoon project test pilot Mark Bowman sees even less of a capability gap. “The F-22 is three times the cost, but you would struggle to see any advantage in the cockpit design – the cost is there to maintain stealth,” he says. “Typhoon is most likely equivalent, if not better.”

        Air Forces Monthly – January 2007

        “During the Typhoon’s visit to the US in 2005 it was pitted against the F-22, this was not officially confirmed. The Typhoon could not see the F-22 but could detect that it was being painted by the F-22 and took “appropriate” measures with defensive aids. In one on one combat the Typhoon did the same job as on the Su-30, the F-22 could not handle the Typhoons close in and were shocked. It did not go all the Typhoon’s way but the Americans had a sobering encounter, with the F-22 sacrificing much for stealth”

        None of the contents of these reports are inconsistent with known facts, or beyond credibility. I think that it is fair to draw a reasoned conclusion if there is explicable, cumulative evidence which is consistent with the conclusions of a comprehensive and well-grounded theoretical analysis; the reports of Typhoon performance against the F-22 is consistent with the analysis here, there are no real surprises in them. There is not much strong evidence to reject them that I am aware of. On the other hand there is serious grounds to dismiss the Indian reports.

        • Unfortunately as is too common lately I will not be able to hold my end of the bargain in this argument. I don’t have the time to properly counter your argument.

          I will add some points,

          “Criticism of TVC and stealth seems rooted in hard analysis at this stage”

          There is hard analysis to the other point too. Just depends what site you are on, what circles you traverse in, and what you are looking for in your analysis.

          All military’s at different points either talk up their capabilities (for points you mentioned) or talk down their capabilities and talk up the enemy when trying to convince people of need for additional funds and/or equipment. There is also the factor of not telling your opponent everything you can do.

          Also, If you look at all the numbers the F-22 has quite a bit of advantages even without use of TVC.

          T/W, W/L, Body Lift, no external stores, smooth flowing surfaces (good for stealth and for drag reduction), bigger control surfaces, fuel load, higher ceiling, faster cruise speed, Etc.

          Stealth will play a role in BVR. Unless those that say RWR will trump LPI AESA and radar will remain off in combat are correct.

          F-22 does need HMCS for high off-boresight capability and it needs a good AA IRST. Those are components that need to be added to have airplane reach its potential.

          For some odd reason USAF does not feel need to update the F-22. But, if things start getting dangerous out there (more realistic possibility of engagement with Russia or China) I expect that F-22 will get quickly updated and factories re-opened.

          Su-30 on paper does not seem to match up with Typhoon but it all depends on pilot skill in how they use aircraft.

          I am no Aerospace engineer but one thing I have learned is that in fighter design every positive comes with negatives and every design has advantages and disadvantages.

          If the pilot knows how to properly use the advantages and avoid the type of engagements that highlight its disadvantages you can even up most fights.

          That’s why the focus on modern cockpits that remove operating load from pilot and sensor fusion for improved situational awareness without much thinking and attention. These allow more focus on positioning, maneuvering, and ability to choose whether to (or how to) engage, or not engage.

      • “All military’s at different points either talk up their capabilities (for points you mentioned) or talk down their capabilities and talk up the enemy when trying to convince people of need for additional funds and/or equipment. There is also the factor of not telling your opponent everything you can do.”

        True, but factors of aerospace performance are rooted in the inescapable laws of physics, so only a limited degree of doubt can exist once the general figures on an aircraft are known. The ability to conceal performance seems to me to be mainly applicable to technological systems.

        “Also, If you look at all the numbers the F-22 has quite a bit of advantages even without use of TVC.

        T/W, W/L, Body Lift, no external stores, smooth flowing surfaces (good for stealth and for drag reduction), bigger control surfaces, fuel load, higher ceiling, faster cruise speed, Etc.”

        https://defenseissues.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/is-the-f-22-really-superior-to-all-other-fighter-aircraft/

        I will let Picard take the final word on all of that. It is of course how all of the factors combine in the real world, the holistic outcome, that matters. No external stores appears to be a false economy when it makes the aircraft vastly more bulky. T/W, Body Lift and smooth-flowing surfaces are possibly all simply necessary compensations for the basic fact that as a fighter the F-22 is a monstrosity. The Typhoon it appears is faster climbing and accelerating, and thus a better energy fighter; its statistics combine to produce the better performance in some aspects, where its being lighter and smaller are considerable advantages. I have also come across the assertion that the Typhoon can spend longer on station (with tanks?). Nevertheless, the real question is whether the Typhoon, if and when upgraded with the aerodynamic enhancements and the EJ230 does not pass out the Raptor in a number of its current advantages, including T/W, cruise speed, etc. Picard would be the authority on such estimations, so I won’t preach from the pulpit.

        “Stealth will play a role in BVR. Unless those that say RWR will trump LPI AESA and radar will remain off in combat are correct.”

        I believe that they are right. What use will BVR prove to be in determining air superiority in fighter combat given BVR missile Pk performance? In my view air forces ought to simply dump the concept of fighters fighting at BVR altogether unless and until there is some dramatic breakthrough in missile technology (and IFF) which makes it genuinely come of age. I do not believe that effective BVR would be radar-based.

        “F-22 does need HMCS for high off-boresight capability and it needs a good AA IRST. Those are components that need to be added to have airplane reach its potential.”

        Agreed. The Typhoon needs the aforementioned aerodynamic enhancements and the EJ230 to gauge its ultimate potential.

        “For some odd reason USAF does not feel need to update the F-22. But, if things start getting dangerous out there (more realistic possibility of engagement with Russia or China) I expect that F-22 will get quickly updated and factories re-opened.”

        Complacency in my view. The trouble with a continuous narrative of superiority is that after a while those propagating it come to believe it. Rather like the Chinese believing that China is going to be a superpower, or the world’s largest economy.

        However, will F-22 increases be of any great use? It is colossally expensive, its maintenance requirements are appalling, and its sortie rate will thus be dismal, so it will result in far fewer aircraft in the air in wartime than having any other conceivable fighter. That is even before its shortcomings, whether in lacking an IRST etc. or in WVR are taken into account. It also may have limited capacity for systems upgrades; ten or fifteen years ago its software was already being described as antiquated, and it lacks an open architecture like the European fighters.

        “If the pilot knows how to properly use the advantages and avoid the type of engagements that highlight its disadvantages you can even up most fights.”

        The men are always the most important factor. I believe that I mentioned this earlier in the thread when floating the question of whether the upgraded Typhoon, with the right tactics and fighting according to its strengths, will be able take on the close-coupled canard Rafale or Gripen and still have a strong likelihood of winning.

        “That’s why the focus on modern cockpits that remove operating load from pilot and sensor fusion for improved situational awareness without much thinking and attention. These allow more focus on positioning, maneuvering, and ability to choose whether to (or how to) engage, or not engage.”

        Agreed. I am not in a position to quantify this, but I believe that the Typhoon cockpit is very highly considered.

        • We could go on forever. My views are not too far from yours and our disagreement is mostly in minor details so I will let this rest.

          I will say that expense is mostly from development costs. If production where kicked up expense of each air-frame should be manageable . The cost is also inflated by LM because they know DoD will pay.

          Real coast is in materials used and work hours required to build.

          In war a plane will lack in production only if:

          1) The raw materials used are scarce
          2) The man hours needed are great
          3) The skill needed (for labor) is high and requires extensive training
          4) The machinery used to build suffer from same production issues above
          5) The nations capacity cannot meet the needs for production

          All factors being even. Some nations have greater capacity for production. I’m not talking about design. I’m talking about production.

          For example China if they have all design plans, and tooling designs or if its a home grown design has probably greatest capacity to produce then any other nation. Chinese design capacity is still poor but if they needed to they could out produce anyone in the longer run.

          As far as maintenance, much of time spent is on stealth coating (which may not be worth maintaining in a real war). Also due to fiscal cost of aircraft, secrecy of design and equipment, and need to maintain aura of invincibility among the lay public in America, F-22 is not flown unless every nook and cranny is checked and certified. This increases maintenance time in peace. In war those factors would not really play role.

      • “I will say that expense is mostly from development costs. If production where kicked up expense of each air-frame should be manageable . The cost is also inflated by LM because they know DoD will pay.

        Real coast is in materials used and work hours required to build.”

        True, though this is true of other aircraft, whose costs would fall likewise if much larger production runs were required. I note that BAE recently stated that it believes the Typhoon may be back in with a chance for sale to India, with the Rafale deal having been reduced to only 36 certain buys, (with option for further 24) and no production in India, and the Typhoon unit cost has been brought down by 20%.

        I recognise that the F-22 has some exceptional qualities amongst fighters, but I would just question whether the F-22 represents anything like the complete aerial dominance it was hailed as guaranteeing.

        “As far as maintenance, much of time spent is on stealth coating (which may not be worth maintaining in a real war). Also due to fiscal cost of aircraft, secrecy of design and equipment, and need to maintain aura of invincibility among the lay public in America, F-22 is not flown unless every nook and cranny is checked and certified. This increases maintenance time in peace. In war those factors would not really play role.”

        I accept all of this, though if the stealth standards are dispensable (as they probably are for air-to-air combat), then the fighter’s design resulted in great drawbacks as a fighter in design for no ultimate compensatory purpose.

        • To be fair, F-22s VLO is only really relevant if it goes into deep penetration missions inside enemy IADS, which was its original mission (hunter-killer over USSR skies, well behind frontline). Reason you got all that “low RCS is ultimate factor of air-to-air combat” is that US military was attempting to justify F-22s procurement after mission it was designed for was more or less gone.

        • When I say real cost I don’t mean $$$.

          In true war industry will produce as much as it can no matter how much $$$ it costs.

          Bank money will just be created and electronically deposited into accounts.

          This new money might lead to high inflation post war but no one really cares about that during war.

          What I meant is the factors that really matter toward production during war.

          Even without coating F-22 is still hard to pick up reliably on radar. Yes Cost of stealth is probably not worth it for AA fighter.

          As Picard has noted F-22 (and stealth aircraft overall) was originally designed to allow it to operate in heavy IADS Soviet/Russian airspace and (in F-22 case) pick of aircraft coming in for landing and at take-off. Of course even for that role a good IRST would be useful since use of APG-77 AESA might give away its position.

          For most realistic dogfights stealth is of limited use. Especially if Picard is correct about his RWR Vs LPI AESA analysis.

  7. A lot also depends on which units are used. Are we talking about selected all-star team of pilots going up against regular squadron? Also in many cases what version of aircraft was used and most importantly what were the simulation ROE.

    • http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/165923/india-backs-down-on-washout-claims-against-raf-typhoons.html

      “The statement comes a day after the UK officially raised the matter with a senior diplomat bringing it to the notice of his counterpart in Delhi,”

      – That the Foreign Office would issue a diplomatic complaint over the Indian claims appears to me to imply more than facts leaking; leaks are par for the course during such encounters.

      “The Times follows up reports that the Royal Air Force and its Indian equivalent were in a public dogfight yesterday over whose pilots did best in a training exercise. The piece notes that the Indians claimed a shoreline of 12-0, and includes an RAF source rebuttal saying that the claims are almost comical and designed to please a domestic audience. ”

      Fromt the IAF’s official statement;

      “3. Such exercises are conducted under controlled conditions with mutually agreed weapons performance parameters….”

      http://theaviationist.com/2015/08/08/have-indian-su-30s-really-dominated-raf-typhoons-in-aerial-combat-with-a-12-0-scoreline-most-probably-not/

      A few significant quotes;

      “According to an RAF source quoted in an Independent piece the Indian claims were “clearly designed for a domestic audience“.

      A UK MoD blog on this topic said: “As you would expect, advanced military capabilities are rarely operated to the limits of their potential, especially when exercising against other nations’ aircraft. This exercise was no exception for the Typhoon Force.”

      “Anyway, just like all the simulated kills we have much talked about in the past, including some involving F-22 shot down, all these kill ratio claims should be taken with a grain of salt since they are often used for internal “propaganda” and marketing purposes and they have very little value unless we have some details about the scenario, the supporting assets involved in the engagement (AWACS, Electronic Warfare platforms, Ground Controlled Interceptors, etc.) and the ROE.

      In this case, for instance, dealing with the ROE, an RAF source said the Typhoons fought “with one arm behind their backs.”

      Apparently, it has also surfaced that the claim of 12-0 first materialised in the original Indian NDTV “scoop”. NDTV also claimed that in a 2-v-1 WVR maneuver 1 Flanker killed both Typhoons. Neither claim has apparent official endorsement.

      At any rate, it would seem on this exercise that the Typhoons may not have been used competitively. On the other hand the IAF confirmed that for the first time their N011 radars were used to their full potential. Was the RAF intelligence gathering? Possibly. Altogether it seems like the exercises don’t constitute anything like a ground-breaking re-appraisal of the fighter’s respective capabilities, as has been made out by the hype.

  8. Dont know level of training and experience but, Indians I have known are generally very good with computations and being a good pilot requires being good with computations.

    I know the term used is fighter jocks but it really should be fighter geeks. It takes a lot more math and study to be a good fighter pilot than anything else.

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