20 years ahead of schedule, why are “mighty” Eurofighter typhoons being retired by the Royal Air Force?


With more than half (60%) of the life of their airframes remaining, young enough to see extensive service for at least the next two decades, 30 Eurofighter Typhoon jets of the Tranche 1 variant will be from the Royal Air Force (RAF ) painted. Fleet until 2025.

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This is consistent with the Defense Order Paper (DCP) published on March 22nd of this year. The RAF has a total of 160 Typhoons in use, of which 53 are tranche 1, 67 are tranche 2 and 40 are tranche 3.

The DCP said the Tranche 1 jets were originally slated for retirement until 2019, but were retained following the 2015 Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR), which recommended granting 23 tranche 1 typhoons a lifespan extension to keep them operational through 2040.

This would leave 30 in its original form. Tranche 1 typhoons are now retired with their airframes only serving 2,544.8 hours – only 42% of the 6,000 hours of their total lifespan.

Of the 30 remaining jets in tranche 1 Twenty are on active duty and 10 are on duty, so Undersecretary of State for Defense James Heappey replied to a question in Parliament.

Eurofighter – Defense – Airbus

Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 limitations

The Tranche 1 jets had software limitations that allowed them to be used only for air superiority roles such as the Quick Reaction Alerts (QRA) and not for multi-role missions involving ground attacks.

Quickly intercepting enemy airborne targets, QRAs are hit by typhoons in Romania, the Falkland Islands (or the Malvinas the Argentines call them) and Operation Shader, the name given to the British mission against ISIS in Iraq.

RAF Typhoon
An RAF typhoon.

While their presence cleared tranche 2 and 3 jets of air dominance missions and focused on more complex missions, their maintenance and life cycle costs drew sums the UK wants to use for defense programs.

These include the joint development of the SPEAR air-to-surface missile, the state-of-the-art Radar 2 system and an ambitious stealth jet, space and nuclear armament projects.

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Interestingly, it’s not just Trance 1, but also 14 Lockheed Martin C-130J Mk.4 tactical transporters, Airbus Puma HC2 helicopters, Gazelle helicopters, CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopters, E-3D Sentry Mk.1 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and the Hawk T1 trainers, which are also being retired.

The C-130J is to be replaced by the Airbus A-400M. Apart from Typhoons Hawk and Tranche 1, the UK Department of Defense is also planning to sell all other equipment through the Defense Equipment Sales Authority (DESA), for which, among others brochure has been published and distributed to potential international buyers.

Where would the money be used?

Italy’s Leonardo and the Anglo-French MBDA are works too about the Select Precision Effects At Range Capability Electronic Warfare (SPEAR-EW) missiles for the suppression of enemy air defense missions (SEAD).

As soon as they are fully integrated into Typhoon, SPEAR-EW, SPEAR-3 and the Litening V-Pod give it a “homing jamming ability” for night missions and increase its self-protection.

The Typhoon is also said to have a BriteCloud active deception system developed by Leonardo, which creates radio frequency (RF) jamming pulses for enemy missiles, giving them a “wrong target” to aim at. The Radar-2, on the other hand, is a new generation Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar that improves the Typhoon’s overall aiming and tracking capabilities.

But Great Britain does not only need money for upgrading the further developed Typhoon variants. It is also developing an ambitious fifth generation stealth fighter and space surveillance equipment.

The MoD is investing over 2 billion euros in the Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS) program, the culmination of which is the British-Italian joint project Tempest. The FCAS stipulates that drones, both wingmen and swarming UAVs, operate in a highly networked environment against competitors.

The $ 5 billion Skynet 6 military communications satellite is another amazingly advanced project that is expected to be operational over the next 10 years. In addition, 1.4 billion euros are planned for a new space command that will be part of a new intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance mechanism (ISR).

RAF Typhoon
RAF Typhoon

This is next to the US that is ready reveal a previously top secret system for deactivating satellites that is speculated to be anything from a ground-based laser to microwave or radio frequency jammers installed on satellites themselves.

Why is the Indian Air Force taking a step back after the 4.5 generation Rafael Jets with second-hand Mirage 2000s?

China has long been developing such skills, and many experts are calling the era a new space race.

Finally, the modernization of the United Kingdom also affects the nuclear sector, where its Integrated review which was published earlier this year, provides for the removal of the caps from its nuclear warhead supply. The island nation, which currently has no more than 195 warheads, is demanding a 40 percent increase in the number.

Many have raised the alarm about politics, saying that it would spark a nuclear arms race and possible hostile nuclear attitudes by opponents that can lead to accidental launches and misinterpretation of signals during crises.


About Mike Crayton

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