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back to article Raptor and Eurofighter go head to head

There were a lot of things on show today at Farnborough, but probably if they were honest there was only one event which absolutely everyone here was determined not to miss. That was the first ever overseas (public) appearance of the F-22 Raptor, the latest, most unbelievably expensive uberfighter from the USA. In a scheduling …

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Hot?

"The Raptor is hot - the press gallery was packed out for its appearance, whereas the humdrum Eurofighter drew a fairly small crowd."

Or, the Eurofighter is in service, so the press would have much less interest in a fighter they have already seen before, in action, rather than the F-22 on its first ever visit to Europe?

In a test in the US the F-22 went up against the Eurofighter, the EF gained lock BVR, the Americans cancelled the test then claiming "ohh, stealth wasnt turned on, unfair test, we're taking our ball home".

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@Lewis: Export sales?

Whilst the West may not be expecting to assert air dominance in conflict any time soon, there are plenty of export markets (India, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia etc) who are actively seeking to acquire so-called 5th generation aircraft. It's sales to these markets where the agility and the equipment will make a difference.

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Unhappy

Why?

Do you keep telling us the same thing? We KNOW that F-22 / EF2000 are fighting the last war and we know why - because they were designed in the past for a future that never came (or, at least, hasn't come yet). Are you seriously expecting us to swallow your hindsight as though it were insight? Do you really believe that the wars of the future will emulate the Iraqi and Afghan campaigns? You're THAT confident that Russia and China won't be threats?

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Lewis Page and the Eurofighter/Typhoon

We know Lewis Page's views on these jets as he keeps on going on about them every single article he writes lately. It is so predicable and getting boring to read. Firstly, the Typhoon is now been used again by the RAF to intercept Russian air force jets on a daily basis. Also these jets have been planned for the next 25 years of usage, just because today there is no threat, who knows in ten years time. Mr Page, start writing more originally please in the future.

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US Navy

"The USN has not bothered to replace its F-14 Tomcats with a new generation of ultrafighter. Instead, the Top Guns of the future will fly in an enhanced version of the trusty F-18 multipurpose jet."

Er - except for the F-35, of course.

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Tornado F3

Does anyone know where I can find an analysis of the Tornado F3? Lewis insists it's crap, and I've heard the same from other airplane buffs, but being the inquisitive little git I am, I'd love to know *why* it sucked.

If Lewis's articles are so predictable, why do his detractors still read them? You claim to know what he's going to say anyway. Oh wait, maybe they *don't* read them. They skim them, so they know what keywords to include in their replies, which are at least as predictable as they claim Lewis' articles to be. Irony much?

And I have yet to hear a single commentor share Lewis' concern for the foot-soldier. Do you guys consider them to be nothing but meat-shields who's pitiful salaries are getting in the way of the West buying still more wank-tastic uber-weapons?

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Paris Hilton

Yawn

To echo many of the other comments, the coverage of these once-interesting topics is becoming repetitive and stale.

We are all aware of Lewis' prejudices and opinions on these matters, so could another writer have a go at the Farnborough military articles? Pretty please? With sugar on the top?

Paris - because while she's repetitive, she remains interesting (in a can't-take-my-eyes-off-the-car-crash-that-her-life-is-becoming kind of way).

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cost versus Chinook choppers

ah yes, each fighter may cost seven times more than a hugely useful Chinook chopper, however, if you have no fighters and only choppers, then it doesn't matter how many choppers you have if the enemy has a fighter or two... your choppers will get slaughtered

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And the winner is...

...on stylistic grounds, the F22 - handsome beast. No TSR-2 I grant you, but it doesn't look like it was designed by a committee.

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Anonymous Coward

Depends on your Point of View

Well, you have to understand Lewis' point of view ..... spending many months away from home on long deployments in the RN, while the RAF boys are home every afternoon for tea and crumpets. And in training, do you think you can ever get a RAFie in the exercise area long enough to actually practice anything? Hell, no. "Aircraft on task .. <one minute later>.... bingo fuel, RTB". They're lazy sods, the lot of them. And the money is such a waste ... GBP175m for a Euro Fighter? That would buy *a lot* of champers for the in-port cocktail parties.

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Alert

Avenger II!

"The USN has not bothered to replace its F-14 Tomcats with a new generation of ultrafighter. Instead, the Top Guns of the future will fly in an enhanced version of the trusty F-18 multipurpose jet."

The SuperBug is very different to the first Hornet (the airframe being constructed very differently), so much so it was called Hornet II (The scapped Hornet 2000 being the enhancment program to fix the orig Hornet).

Of course after the A-12 Avenger II, no one trusted the navy to develope it's own aircraft from scratch again, so a little cover was needed; result Hornet E/F not Hornet II A/B

The USN was not pragmatic just incomptant!

The Australian buy hardly suggests the Superhornet would be a bargin for the UK! (certainly not a saving after you account the damage to home industry)

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What I don't understand is

That here Lewis is disparaging the Raptor and Eurofighter as white elephants, and over on Trousers Brown Counterpoint: Is Gordon right? <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/13/trousers_brown_counterpoint/> he's telling us we shouldn't be buying gas from the Russians as they'll use the money to finance their all-powerful war machine.

So which is it Lewis?

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Black Helicopters

Chek your spellink, Komrades!

It's actually "Voiska Protovovozdushnoi Oborony".

Black helicopter 'cause none of them ever made it past the Soviet AA guns.

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Boffin

Amazingly short memory..

Ah, but this all sounds so familiar. To those who spout "visualize world peace" I reply, yes, and ignore world history. Every time there's a lull in world conflict (believe it or not, now's such a time) there's a tremendous uproar on the expense of weaponry. Fast forward a few years or decades and it's always been prudent to remember how to fight and have the means to do so.

So, make choppers, not war is a great slogan but will help little when the next warlord armed with oil money decides his kingdom is too small. Times change, people don't. We'll always need this stuff. Fatalistic? Maybe. Historically accurate? you bet.

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Stop

A load of leftist tosh...

...but one only realizes in the last few paragraphs, ruining and otherwise interesting article. Defense is what it says, being prepared. Because while the past is stone, the future is fluid...

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F15 is worn out

The F15's are falling apart in mid air from Metal fatigue. And forget the Russians. It is the Chinese that is going to be the problem.

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DS

Hmmm

The Tornado like the hawk was somewhat hacked together to provide air defense. The hawk got tweaked with twin sidewinders and a 30 MM Aden, and the Tornado got a mix of close in Sidewinders, and stand off Skyflash missiles.

Previous to this, how deeply do you want to examine the hacked together area defense of the UK in the NATO Umbrella? Blood hound missiles? Rapier point defense round the airfields and certain other facilities, Phantoms with hacked RR engines, Lightning, which while utterly awesome in a sort of sports car fantasy, had the range of a Mosquito if you happened to open it up fully.

The Tornado F3 was not designed to be a close in dogfighter, and any pretense or attack on it in that guise is misleading and unfair. In its role, ie UK air defense, it was hackery accepting, a reasonable stand off fighter, with some half decent missiles. It was good enough to take down Soviet bombers, and that was its primary goal.

Most aircraft are irrelevant, the pilot training makes up a much more serious potent in the mix.

Now back to the EF. Its stupid to argue the EF should be cut off because you can't see a use for it *within* current boundaires. Defense is not merely the wars you fight today, but also tommorow. And we will need these aircraft just like we really could have used to TSR2.

Blaming the EF for lack of choppers or air support in Afganistan is STUPID. We are at war, and trying to run things on a peace time budget. Period. Thats your starting problem. The choppers like some of the vehicles could be bought, we just have some miserable rabble now who won't pay for their actions.

In the meantime, we're mothballing continually aircraft that provide air support. In theory you have enough Harrier and Tornado aircraft to provide utterly enough air power for NATO in Afganistan, but then you hit the other problem. We and the rest of NATO won't commit to this. So you get a constant grind about who does what, and who pays for it.

Personally, instead of bitching about the supposed failings in the EF - which was NEVER by design meant to provide the job you whine about, you should focus on the British PM NOT sending the Harriers, Tornado's and Chopper forces our troops need.

Its patently stupid to say the EF is not dropping bombs on the Taleban, because the Harriers and Tornado's are not there in real numbers either, and they were built by design for the job.

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Brits loosing battles?

Sure the Limeys are throwing their lives away every day over there, but when was the last time the Brits lost a battle?

On land that it is, we all know how much Britannia fears the waves in these post-RN days.

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Happy

second appearance for F22, not solo

I saw it only last Thursday when it did a validation flight over Farnborough in preparation for today. It was a very impressive display today, almost the whole office was on the roof to watch :)

On the enthusiasm for the Typhoon vs Raptor, I think it is more novelty value. The Typhoon has been a regular at these events for several years and we've seen what it can do lots of times, the Raptor is brand new and shiny. (and LOUD)

One thing we're missing this time round is the MiG 29 pilot from 2006. He gave an incredible display. see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHAXZy6ujtQ&feature=related

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Raptor vs Eurofighter!

For those who , like Neville Chamberlain was, are under an impression of lasting peace, just stop and have a little think. In 2010 the Russian Federation may be a probationary member of the EU. With a population of 145 million ( approx ), 6·5 million square miles of largely untapped resources and an economy that is currently about 7th in the world, it is going to make a considerable difference to the strategic and economic power that the EU is able to wield.

Now , bearing in mind that the USA's notion of national security is 99% about their cost of living remaining low at other people's expense and the fact that they may well be competing less successfully against the new, larger, more resourceful Europe, it could be that we are going to be considered a threat to America's security and suitable subjects for occupation. So stuff the extra Chinooks and bring on a few more Eurofighters before we are the victims of less than friendly fire.

Signed: Ever so slightly paranoid

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why are we still putting pilots in these things?

people just take up space that could be used for fuel.. plus we can't handle as many G's.

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Anonymous Coward

A good use?

So now we have a deterrent against any of the smaller nations (or even Russia) using the last generation fighters, we know there is a significantly lower chance of them trying to take on the big guys.

Five years ago, Russia was a zero threat since they couldn't even aford the fuel. Now they are back on the rise with a rebuilding economy. If we didn't have these jets now, we would certainly be trying to build them as soon as possible, before Russia reached a big enough strength. Even if it had no intentions of attacking western nations directly, there are plenty of western interests out there.

China is next on the radar. They are not really going to try anything for a while, at least until they can come up with something to beat the Typhoon or Raptor (or even Raphale). The benefit of the delay is still a benefit.

Of course, if the Euro government sees it as safe, they could sell Typhoons to China and Russia (they already sell them to slightly scary middle eastern countries, even just the trainer aircraft). If anything, it will annoy the Americans and recoup some of the cash.

This article is just like the last Typhoon one but with the Raptor appearance tagged on. What's the next one? Nuclear weapons, complete waste, 1940s technology, no one has used one for years...

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Raptor vs Eurofighter?

My money's still on a Mig or Sukhoi in a real fight. Simpler, more robust, designed to be flown.

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Why the F3 was not very good

'Does anyone know where I can find an analysis of the Tornado F3? Lewis insists it's crap, and I've heard the same from other airplane buffs, but being the inquisitive little git I am, I'd love to know *why* it sucked.'

Because the wings kept falling off, it didn't go around corners very well and for years the radar in the front was actually a lump of cement due to the one it was supposed to have not working, although this may have been on an earlier variant.

Still, I have to stay loyal to British Aerospace as I live under the flight path in to their Warton plant and get very interesting things flying over every now and again.

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Coat

We did it ourselves

luckily we had not to rely on the french or england to get rid of the commies - we did it ourselves and overrun them in good old saxony without any anglo in it. and i dont remember that relying on [the] french was ever on our agenda - except for reciting poems in 18th century prussia.

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Superjets

@Lewis Page

Ironically, assuming that the next war will be just like Iraq or Afghanistan is just as misguided. These wars are winding down, and it's unlikely the government is going to convince anyone to do any "regime change" again for a good long time.

Meanwhile, Russia is becomming much more agitated, getting back on the ball and is now in control of a lot of oil. They're flying their bombers around Alaska again, taunting their neighbors, suggesting they'll put those tanks and jets BACK ON THE BORDERS if Poland brings in those SAM sites.

Russia does make it's neighbors quite nervous. Neighbors like Poland who are in NATO.

Add to that, if anything this Raptor and EF situation has shown that modern fighter jets are so complicated that you can't just drop them and whip one out in two years if we suddenly need them.

Sound planning for a better tomorrow.

@Bounty:

Pilots can make intelligent decisions on-site. Remote control would come with a satellite delay, and computers are... Astoundingly stupid, even if they can perform all the basic maneuvers now.

The current UAVs don't actually have to make any tactical decisions.

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Boffin

RE: Stuart Van Onselen

As said above, the Tornado F3 was originally developed from the Tornado GR1 bomber. The reason was the Tornado (after they kicked the French off the project) had actually evolved into a very useful tactical bomber with good dash performance, high speed and engines that were very fuel-efficient. In its NATO role, the RAF needed a long-range interceptor to tackle Soviet bombers coming into the North Sea and North Atlantic, so what was needed was a big radar, a good range, a lot of both BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missiles backed up by a couple of dogfight missiles and a gun. The role had previously been fulfilled by Phantom IIs, so the design was always going to be a big fighter, not a little F-16. BAe had the idea of making an interceptor - not an air superiority fighter - out of the Tornado, much in the same way as the old de Havilland Mosquito was first a bomber but became a long-range fighter too.

The F2 was poor (mainly because its swing-wing could only use a few preset angles of sweep, and many did not have radar!), but the F3 was right on the money for the intended role. The Skyflash that made up the BVR part of the missile load was a better seeker on an improved Sparrow motor, and was years ahead of the USAF's Sparrow. It was so good, given the choice, the Swedes bought it, and the Yanks eventually copied the seeker design for later versions of Sparrow.

Now, everyone compares fighters in the classic dogfight, in which case the Tornado was only middling in ability despite its swing-wing. However, a lot happens before you get down to the close turning combat, and (when it was sorted), the match of Skyflash and Foxhunter radar meant the Tornado in its early years actually had an advantage in hostile ECM enviornments (as would be expected over Europe) over the F-15 with the old Sparrow, and could knock the F-16 down before the latter could get close enough to kill the Tornado (the F-16 didn't finally get a long-range kill capability until AMRAAM arrived). It was also reasonably handy in close manouvering with enough power to keep itself out of trouble, and usually had enough fuel to keep turning until an F-16 driver would have to break off or risk running dry.

Personally, I'd be happier if the RAF had half the number of Typhoons and made up the remainder with Hawk 200s with AMRAAMs. The latter is also a quite capable ground-attack fighter, has good enough capabilities (F-18 radar included) to allow it to deal with the odd Third World MiG, and would be a lot cheaper to operate! The savings could go on more Merlins (not Lewis's fave Chinooks).

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Paris Hilton

Oh well

Oh well , time to build the less expensive unmanned "Robotech" aircraft with enhanced AI to learn from their cousins and fellow clones mistakes thus allowing G force limitations on the aircraft rather then delicate human pilot limits of between six and nine gees absolute to blackout and death , but as for the other two one my money is on the cheaper Russian built MKI in any fight by at least ten to one !

There are countermeasures which can negate all low observable Stealth technology we know today long before the incoming craft can deploy countermeasures , some are cheap and one is very expensive to own and operate and can be easily blindsided too !

But alas "Starfish Prime" test results of July 9th 1962 shows that all things electronic will die in a large radius without destroying the ground infrastructure (much like the opening scenario in the TV show 'Dark Angel')

Sadly though , in the age of "Oppenheimer's Toys" , within thirty five minutes of any war scenario plan using conventional weapons of any description with those so equipped the silo and sea launched MIRV birds , they would be flying on their one way trip for "MAD" and long after the first wave of destruction the much slower cruise missiles will be dropping their additional destructive loads thus oops , we just lost six billion casualties in the first hour , so we have the Curtis Lemay nightmare becoming reality , life can be really mean for the so few who survived the first wave !

Sadly though , a number of examples exist in history of a supposedly inferior under trained and lacking in a tactical air superiority and lower ranked equipment have often turned the tables on their supposedly superior enemy , using underhanded differential but very aggressive tactics !

In any war , one should never count one's chickens and claim victory as the supposed underdogs always have a hidden surprise or booby trap ready for the alleged victor to swallow in a costly bitter pill format , as we have already seen in this new 21st century of propaganda in two or more countries supposedly liberated by technically superior forces and the biggest most lethal killer is the most simplest of low technology weapons any fool can put together with minimal of training , very nasty a weapon indeed as it kills sophisticated modern main battle tanks with ease too(go ask US Army about their daily huge but still growing junk pile of the trashed latest generation modern infantry and armored vehicle inventory since the supposed victory day speech from an aircraft carrier ) !

One truly has to love these armchair flying generals make much crow talk , but as always most of their arguments are either locked into a fixed loop of my tool is always better then yours or other endlessly loopy arguments not based on fact !

In any war there are no real winners but simultaneously every one becomes the loser at the same time , as all wins become pyrrhic victories at the end point for all parties involved !

But as always, for some people where the means justify the ends and the ends justify the means will always waste other peoples time and money , for such is life !

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Coat

Why don't we just...

scrap these and carry laser pointing devices?

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Dead Vulture

More hot air than a Pratt and Whitney F199-PW-100

I assume the esteemed Mr Page is paid for his opinionated style and not his factual knowledge.

The Tornado wasn't laughable in it's role as an interceptor. The UK's not in Central Europe so we didn't need an air superiority fighter. One of Britain's key Cold War roles was protecting the UK-Iceland-Greenland gaps, which you need a long-range interceptor for, and for protecting the UK against long range bomber attack. There are horses and there are courses.

As for the US Navy not getting a next generation fighter, well they're buying hundreds of F35s. The F14 wasn't replaced by a fifth-gen fighter because they Navy started gradual replacement in mid-80s with the F/A18. The F/A18 is being replaced by the F35 (with Super Hornets remaining in service).

And for the last time stop going on about Chinooks - there arn't any available for the UK to purchase. The MoD have approached Boeing abouting buying somemore (actually ones we can give air worthiness certificates to this time) and they haven't got any available.

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CTG
Happy

Top Gun reference...

...in the alt tag of an image? Nice, Lewis, nice.

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Ain't necessarily so

"nowadays the Russian design bureaux must live on gas revenues and export sales to the cheaper end of the Third World market, rather than the focused revenues of a vast empire."

Money was never the point anyway. While the Yanks, British, French, Germans, etc. were spending vast sums doing R&D, the Soviets sensibly stole all the former nations' plans and then distilled the best of them.

Besides, you don't need money to do good design. The Spitfire was designed and built on a relative shoestring, and plenty of useless white elephants have proceeded from heavily funded projects (no names, no packdrill).

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wim
Stop

first time overseas ?

If I am not mistaken I think the Raptor has been stationed in Japan for a while. For training together with the Japanese Airforce.

So unless you don't count the pacific ocean as a sea I guess that it is the first time it was visible in Europe but not out of USA.

yes slightly pedantic but I really wish we could get some press people to try to tell the truth or as much as possible.

Yes, that is slightly naive

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Black Helicopters

Stop giving away our friggin money...

It might cost more, but it stays here. buy British.

Are Merlins available in Black?

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Pirate

Oh well

Dear Heystoopid,

Your argument is then that we should never get into a war at any time.

I expect that you think the world would be a better place if Adolf Hitler and his murderous shit Nazis ,had been allowed to subject Europe to the genocidal , enslaving principles of the Master Race. Genocide of all Slavic people and anyone else Adolf didn't like.

Now people like you can now go on talking crap, without learning the lessons of history.

Our governments do make things seem more peaceful now, like the organisation that prior to WW2 was called the War Department, is now called the Defense Department.

Peace and Joy man.

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Just like I expected

Fap! Fap! Fap! Oooooh, MY jet has stealth! Ooooh, but MINE is faster!

Just like I predicted: Lots of post-hoc justification for more fighter-porn. And STILL no mention of the ground-hogs.

Let's put it another way, for the guys who are nostalgic for the Cold War: YES, it is good to be prepared. NO, it is not good to go all Neville Chamberlain. (But didn't N.C. buy the UK some time to frantically build up its forces? Let's not blame him entirely for WWII.)

BUT, no-one has an infinite budget for war. Priorities must be set, and a balance between current activity and future threats must be sought. And there is a lot of pressure to build fancy high-tech weapons, not so much because they're needed, but the manufacturers make a mint out of it.

And this means that YOUR taxes are wasted on over-priced crap that often doesn't work!

So if Lewis overstates the case against Eurofighter, maybe it's because he's trying to compensate for the pressures from EADS/McD/Boeing etc to screw YOU, the taxpayer.

Unless, of course, half of you are teenaged boys (fap! fap! fap!) who don't pay tax yet. In which case, fap away! No-one gives a shit about you until you get your first job, at which point you too get to feed the Military Industrial Complex.

Welcome, Citizen XP1104-567 - deposit your pay-cheque here...

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white elephants, blue moon

firstly, jens, Go Saxony!

Getting back to business, an airforce is a somewhat/significantly more able artillery division. You use them to hammer the enemy either on the battlefield or their ancillary support functions.

Now what are the primary defense requirements in Europe today? What sort of EU would exist if the Russian Federative Republic was allowed in, and the Republic of Turkey?

That's the sort of question that needs to be asked, not the fluffy-bunny "Which set of white elephants best match my blond eyes and blue hair?"

As far as Afghanistan goes, let it go. Afghanistan is not a threat to Europe so much as the rabid unbalanced ravings of the current recumbent in the US Hot Seat is. I mean, it is a certain individual's repudiation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the enunciation of certain "rights" of the United States of America to preemptively strike other nations, that has stirred up trouble with the Russians.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Tornado F3

Someone further up was asking about the Tornado F3. So, the reason the F3 is so badly derided is because it was designed for intercepting Soviet fast bombers. The supersonic bombers that threatened the northern flank of NATO are a huge threat, and the F3 was designed to just be a very fast interceptor. Also, the dual use airframe was first designed as the ground attack variant, which it is far better at really. Basically the F3 has the turning circle of a cruise liner. Now, in the last few years of the F3 I saw it do very well against the US aircraft simply because the avionics had been so massively improved - especially things like JTIDS. These days, turning and burning is much less important than top notch avionics. In most "dogfights" in this day and age you expect to engage way before the turn and burn stage.

Now I come onto Lewis' article. Unfortunately, I have to disagree with his sentiment that things like Eurofighter and Raptor are useless. The reality of it is, we have gone up against major air forces in recent times. The Argentineans had an extremely capable air force during the Falklands, and Saddam had a top air force during the first Gulf War. Fortunately, in the latter case he decided not to use it, but we did expect significant losses had he flown his air force anywhere except Iran. Now, the key part which will win any future air superiority battle in the future is better avionics than the opposition. The old fighters (like the F3) are an absolute nightmare to retrofit avionics into, usually requiring very expensive projects to do so. And in many cases there just isn't space in the airframe for the new avionics (try retrofitting a new radar for example). What the Typhoon and F22 both provide is a highly capable avionics platform. The turning and burning is an aside, and in reality is only a small part of the development cost.

In my opinion there is a good chance that the Typhoon or F22 will see real operational service in their lifetimes. Of course, getting rid of the maintenance burden that the F3 has become will be great, and it will be nice having a quick jet like Typhoon on QRA both in the UK and down on the Falklands.

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Control.

<rant>

"The West" needs enemies to fuel the spiralling costs of keeping the rich, rich and poor, poor. Lewis is spot on. You military fan boys and girls can enlist and serve a few terms in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The UK should get off its high horse as she supplies dozens of repressive regimes with high-tech weaponry. Every penny wasted on upgrading the Trident white elephant, new aircraft carriers and secret military training camps* in Wales is a penny not spent on health and education.

</rant>

* http://www.no2militaryacademy.com/

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Anonymous Coward

Foresight

> these planes will never fight an equal battle

I for one welcome our new I-can-predict-the-next-thirty-years-with-absolute-certainty leader, and hope that he will bless me in return with advance notice of this weekend's lottery numbers.

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Anonymous Coward

Tornado fighter...

...imagine fighting the Battle of Britain with Bristol Blenheims (converted light bombers) instead of Spitfires and Hurricanes and you'll get the picture.

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@first time overseas ?

He did say 'public' - but what does that actually mean?

Anyway, the BBC showed footage of the Raptor flying at Fairford on Friday last. Even though the tattoo was cancelled, plenty of people saw it practising.

So he was wrong (I think).

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Black Helicopters

Chinooks...

...The new Metric Unit for fighter plane cost?

Given that one of the most important discoveries the world has ever seen may run out within the typhoons and raptors operational lifetimes, they might end up paying for themselves many times over.

Wonder how many chinooks a black helicopter costs.

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@ heystoopid

I presume your reference to Robotech is not a reference to Robot Technology, but the Robotech TV series, which was the americanised version of the Macross TV series, (and its follow on's.)

In Macross the Ghost Fighters, (AI Controlled fighters,) were excellent as a first line of defence and the Macross Plus OVA 4 parter covers the possibility of the new Ghost X9 replacing all living pilots and their fighters. But as Macross Plus shows, the AI controlled fighter was taken control of by another, more malevolent Artificial Intelligence with its own plans.

In the new Macross Frontier TV series there are the newest model of Ghost fighters which are sent against the Vajra, (the new enemy in that series,) and they are all neutralised by ECM and EMP.

Both of these instances show where living pilots will always have the edge over an AI controlled fighter. Although I certainly think that the Armed Forces of the future will like in Macross, make much more use of AI controlled attack fighters as they are a quick, cheap and disposable alternative to expensive to train human pilots.

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@Wesley Parish

I think you meant "incumbent", not "recumbent".

On second thoughts, maybe you didn't. Excellent pun, actually. :)

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Black Helicopters

First appearance? Not.

If Farnborough was the first appearance of the F22 in the UK, then how did I manage to snap about 30 shots of it doing a practice performance over Fairford on Friday?

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Stop

Yes yes Lewis we get you.

Now get another tune.

Having the capability oftens means that it wont need to be used.

Look at what happened down in the falklands when we got rid of our capability.

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Paris Hilton

Hallo Gallo

"Does anyone know where I can find an analysis of the Tornado F3? Lewis insists it's crap, and I've heard the same from other airplane buffs, but being the inquisitive little git I am, I'd love to know *why* it sucked."

Lewis Page covers this in his book, "Lions, Donkeys and Dinobots". Off the top of my head, the main deficiency he cites is poor high-altitude performance and a limited ceiling. As I recall from reading the book whilst high on mescaline, the Tornado was designed for low-level operations, and its engines have poor thrust and fuel economy at fighter-type altitudes. NB this is a poorly-recalled summary of Page's book, not my own opinion.

I'm sure I remember reading something in Hansard to this effect, but I can't find it and I'm still trying to cope with the withdrawal symptoms and stop.

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Black Helicopters

Well Lewis

"About the only way either could really pay its way would be in a fight against the other."

Probably the most likely way they will be used too - and don't think the Septics haven't modeled the scenario either. You are Nostradamus and I claim my £5.

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Anonymous Coward

@Stuart Van Onselen

We read these articles because we are interested in the technology. As I am sure you are aware national security is very important and how we are provided with this is something that we should all be interested in.

However Mr. Page has a tendency to flesh out the real information with his own ideas, which I can summarise as:

-Buy American

-Buy American helicopters

or occasionally (usually when the story is about buying American or helicopters):

-Buy something else other than what you are buying because it must be wrong because I say so

Regarding foot soldiers: this is a piece about gen 5 air superiority fighters and as such foot soldiers are not relevant. Why bleat about just foot soldiers and not medics, or seamen or tank drivers? Air superiority is pretty much a necessity in warfare and has been pretty much since war took to the skies. The better the aircraft then the safer it is for the foot soldiers, just look at the havoc the Argentinian air force wreaked on the UK forces in the Falklands.

What is more worrying is the statement: "not when cheaper jets could do the job without more than minimal losses" which implies to me that the author believes minimal losses and cheap planes are an acceptable trade off to zero losses and expensive planes.

Finally: regarding your teenage boys gibe, you are acting like it will be a few years before you yourself reach your teenage years. Sorry, just because no-one took your think-of-the-children sorry, think-of-the-foot-soldier crusade seriously it does not make us all pubescent onanists. Remember, the article *is* about combat planes after all.

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