back to article F-22 may live on: Cheap secondhand Eurofighters on offer

Washington politicians are trying to frustrate the Obama administration's attempt to cease manufacture of the controversial, extremely expensive US ultrafighter, the F-22 Raptor. Meanwhile the Eurofighter - perhaps the second best air-dominance plane in the world - is now to be available second-hand at knockdown prices. …

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Saudi Arabia

Just a moment...

'...agree to let the Saudis build more Eurofighters themselves...'

Does Saudi Arabia have any aircraft plants? Can someone explain this please? (Preferably an explanation that doesn't end up saying we've just given the proud hosts of the next violent Islamic revolution the capability to build fighters).

Oh and another thing. What exactly is the Eurofighter obsolete against? I mean apart from the US, France and a little cottage industry in Sweden does anyone make modern fighter aircraft any more?

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Sporty runaround

I'll take one, sans weapons if necessary.

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Is Lewis feeling ok?

My gosh, Lewis actually said something complimentary about part of the UK's orbat!

Yes Eurofighter is only the second best a2a fighter but given that it costs half that of the Raptor, which isn't twice as good, it represents strong value for money. Several countries are seriously looking at Eurofighter for their needs, including Turkey, Oman and Japan and export sales look promising.

Experts from the RAF claim Eurofighter could do a very good job in Af'stan mud moving and that the name "austere" is misleading

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Anonymous Coward

Eurofighter Air to Ground

Air-to-ground capabilities

The Typhoon has been planned to be a multi-role fighter with air-to-ground capabilities.[citation needed] Earlier than scheduled, the RAF integrated the air to ground capability, based on the Rafael/Ultra Electronics Litening III laser designator and the Enhanced Paveway II/III laser guided bomb[110] under the "Austere" programme.[111] A more comprehensive air-to-ground attack capability including Paveway IV, EGBU-16 bombs and a higher degree of automation will be achieved for all partner nations with the Phase 1 Enhancements currently in development.[112]

The absence of such a capability is believed to have been a factor in the type's rejection from Singapore's fighter competition in 2005. At the time it was claimed that Singapore was concerned about the delivery timescale and the ability of the Eurofighter partner nations to fund the current capability packages.[113] With the planned Phase 2 Enhancements Eurofighter GmbH hopes to increase the appeal of Typhoon to possible export customers and to make the aircraft more useful to partner air forces.[112]

From Wikipedia

As it says Phase 1 enhancements are in development so Lewis is wrong to say no one has stumped up the cash for the EFs air to ground capability. Especially as the RAF have this capability RIGHT NOW!

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Coat

Flanker Pwning

The F-22 is good value, for what you get. (Heck they could double the price to their allies). The F-22 is the only thing that can outclass the 'crazies' in their cuBit turning-on-a-dime superwinged Flankers.

Mine's the sturmcoat with the plans for operation sea lion in it.

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Alien

Nice to know it was worth the money.

What is the purpose of the eurofighter apart from flanking russian propeller-powered bombers and appearing in documentaries with the likes of James May etc?

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Anonymous Coward

The snag..

Of course the F22 is going ot be more popular, you can claim your 2 grand scrappage on one for when you buy your spanky new Eurofighter.

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Who else will buy F-22s?

Or rather, *permitted* to buy them?

The global market is going to be pretty much tied up by the F-35 (assuming they'll get round to producing a less-stealthy version) because the US would never sell anyone else anything anywhere near as good as the best they have. I don't think the F-22 budgeting even *considered* the possibility of selling them to anyone else.

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Black Helicopters

Only the 2nd best?

Seemed like a pretty reasonable article. One question - the Typhoon only the "second best air-to-air fighter"? I'm sure I remember something about a friendly RAF v's USAF contest, Tiffies v's F22, and the boys in RAF blue doing a major clock cleaning. (Apologies to any US-based readers for the tone of that...)

In which case, if the Typhoon _can_ beat the F22 in a straight fight, then surely the only thing that _might_ move the F22 into the top slot is that it's 'stealthy' whereas the Typhoon isn't.

That said, if it comes down to looks, then either the F22 or the Typhoon have got the Joint Strike Fighter beat hollow - sheesh that plane looks like it was designed with a blunt crayon!

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Boffin

The worst bomber

The F-22 is a worse bomber than the Eurofighter as it can't carry an IR sensor without ruining its stealth.

The F-35 can take the Eurofighter as it can spot the other aircraft from further away and engage off boresite so it doesn't even have to be behind it.

-HJC

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Anonymous Coward

Comparative strength

I seem to recall (from a BAES engineer) that the Eurofighter will have most things out there at least two on one, things like the F15 four on one. The F22 it would need one on two to stand a good chance, however there have been some trials where the overcocky yanks were beaten by brits doing unexpected things.

@ Mike Richards

That's exactly what they've done. However the design authority is retained by BAES so they can build them, but require UK support to either operate or improve them.

Eurofighter is obsolete in that it doesn't carry the latest weapons. Once it finally has storm shadow, meteor and brimstone integrated as well as paveway it'll be a tasty bit of kit.

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Good, cheap tested

I'm amazed the Russians arn't in their undercutting everyone with SU-31's, true the export version was kinda downgraded but a deal for the proper version + weapons, which is a mature product that does everything, and has multiple basic frame varients from Carrier Jet to 2 seat strike aircaft. Its also been flown for multiple years so buyers can see a proven maintanence and support stream, unlike the F-22 Hanger Queen, the Eurofighter "we cant do that yet" or the F-35 "exists on paper"

The only thing it isn't that great on is STOL/VTOL which is probably going to be the new sexy word in he industry once the F-35 marketing machine gets its boots on.

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Boffin

My dad will beat up your dad..

"The F-22 is a worse bomber than the Eurofighter as it can't carry an IR sensor without ruining its stealth"

It's not exactly a show-stopper because new weapons tech tends to use GPS. It's better for a whole list of reasons.

"That said, if it comes down to looks, then either the F22 or the Typhoon have got the Joint Strike Fighter beat hollow - sheesh that plane looks like it was designed with a blunt crayon!"

Luckily it won't but if it did I can't agree, I've always preferred the F-22 on looks.

As for other countries buying the tech - sure the Typhoon is cheaper but it's not as good nor is it as (potentially) flexible - the F-22 is for all intents and purpose a Beta to Typhoon's RTM - you can't compare them like-for-like right now. That being said in a real fight the F-22 will always win because of it's superior weapons load. And yes - that's important because you have to pre-plan for the loads like the Typhoon didn't.

Regardless, the reason there's second hand Typhoons around is because some countries which have access to both (like ours) are flogging them off to smaller countries before they've even been delivered in favour of buying more F-22s, and thank god.

"I'm sure I remember something about a friendly RAF v's USAF contest, Tiffies v's F22, and the boys in RAF blue doing a major clock cleaning"

Indeed, but anybody that's seen both flying will know which is the superior aircraft - what happens when you put our flyboys(/gals) in an F-22 with it's full range of weaponry is the real question.

That being said I have been a bit more convinced recently that the Typhoon is a good platform for the future, I just don't think it's as good as the F-22 - because, well, it isn't.

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Black Helicopters

@"The worst bomber"

Fighters have been flying with helmet-mounted cueing systems for several years now - it is NOT something new and funky being fitted to JSF.

"Off-boresight" means you don't have to have your nose pointing straight at his aircraft to shoot at him - something else that's been around a while. You are thinking of "all-aspect" and even the 'Winders used by the RN during the Falklands War were capable of that.

Has the JSF's radar actually flown yet? I know that LM and friends are claiming that it'll be mega-impressive, but until it flies and gets a lock-on without the Typhoon getting one back, it's just so much vaporware. And let's face it, it's not unknown for manufacturers to, um, "overestimate" the 'real-world' performance of their hardware, is it?

So far, JSFs have taken off and landed with a bit of flying in the middle - until one goes head-to-head against another fighter, it'll just be marketing blurb. And it's almost certain that - like with the F22-v-F15 fights - the "bad guys" will be limited to what they are allowed to do ("using OpFor tactics" is always a good excuse) and the "fights" will be pretty much rigged in favour of whichever jet is being "shown to be the best fighter".

Hell, so far nobody other than American pilots have been allowed to get into "real fights" with F22's - the official excuse is that it is to prevent the Bad Guys learning the Raptor's true capability. Of course, the fact that it "proves" to Congress that the F22 can "beat" any opposition doesn't hurt either... (Cynic, moi? Say it ain't so!)

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Wrong war

Sigh, it seems that almost all the above comments really miss the point. Arguing about which plane can whip which other plane under what circumstances is pretty much a bunch of guys arguing about who has the biggest dick, and whether length is better than girth.

The point is simple. There is no reasonable expectation that these planes will ever see active service. Not unless you expect the US to declare war on the EU. They were designed for a different time. The sad truth that besets the military in times of peace is that they arm for the previous war. These planes are not made of metal, they are made of pork. Lots and lots of it. Planes that become so expensive that they won't even be deployed into dangerous scenarios, simply because they are too expensive to risk losing. So, as is mentioned, they soak up money that is need for the real work of defense and current operations, basically for a mix of vanity and keeping entrenched interests happy.

The bitter truth for an active serviceman today is that the most insidious and dangerous enemy they face are the high ranking of their own side. Sadly this fact is something with a long and inglorious history.

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Wrong war

Brilliantly put in a nutshell, Francis ! Your spelling tells me that you are an American.

You should be our Defence Minister but I think you might abhor politicians as much as I do.

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Russian offering

The Russians usually manage to sell a few of their aircraft around the world.

http://www.sukhoi.org/eng/planes/military/Su-35/

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The lessons of pre WWII France.

Someone mentioned arming for the last was. Pre WWII France was equiped with some of the most advanced equipment at the time there defences were so good that there defence send money back to there gov cause they just couldent spend any more. Only problem was that they were perfect for WWI... not II just like our stuff is ready and optimised for the cold war but utterly useless to fight roadside bombs and Toyota based rocket launchers.

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Joke

@Lars 3

Exactly the point, Maginot Line anyone?

Having said that - the point is if we arm for the war we're fighting now, then due to development times and time into service, most of the kit we're buying for our current conflicts won't make it into service till these conflicts are over, and who knows what the next one might be.

The colonials might object to their repatriation for a start, so we might have to deploy the Eurofighter against the F22 after all :p

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@Francis

"There is no reasonable expectation that these planes will ever see active service"

Oh really, I guess the US and other NATO allies aren't using air power in Afghanistan, and that the next time we are required to go to war they won't be used either.

Do you think North Korea or Iran would be worried about us if we had a few P40 Lightnings or B17s from WWII?

In fact, the leaders of these countries seem like nice guys, perhaps we should just ask them to play nicely?

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Porkbarrelling swampwards

My usual question whenever this sort of thing comes up is to ask: "Why? What is the purpose of this? What are you intending to use it for?"

I would have thought that in tough economic times, the need for that question would be redoubled. I mean, look, on both sides of the pond, people are wanting to porkbarrel their respective electorates - this isn't a similar case to the defense needs of the two stages of the European Civil War of the Twentieth Century, long may it be remembered in infamy! Back then, the defense "products" were generally more "mass market" - de Havilland, if I remember correctly, could subcontract out specific Mosquito parts to furniture makers because they weren't either highly aviation-specific, or highly security-specific.

Try that with either the F22 and F35, or the Eurofighter!

So, far from also serving a mass market, these aircraft, in this particular economic scenario, probably represent an opportunity cost.

So, what are they good for? What use are they, in some future war? And who would this "future war" be against?

Sheeeesh!!!

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@Eurofighter Air to Ground

Don't trust wiki, only a moron trusts wiki.

Tranche 3 lacks the ground radar now. According to my good friends in the RAF command. They can hold the ground attack / bombs missiles but can't use them. Which sounds about right for the MOD.

That is why we are using the G3's and Harriers in Afghanistan, and there are no plans to change this.

Also bear in mind the only ones allowed to pilot the Eurofighter are currently in service in the wars of Afghanistan. So we have no one here to train new pilots. Assuming tranche 3 arrived today, we can't fly it as we lack the pilots who can fly it.

As to who to fight, Bear in mind China can field around 4000 - 5000 planes according to various sources. Iran and Syria all fly similar planes (Mainly MIgs) We can manage about 180 at best assuming we have any naval aircarft to add to that (probbly not as the sea harrier has gone).

Who cares where we go, the more militratistic nations have the planes, and the numbers, we need the technology edge as our MOD can't think in numbers or scale anymore. Argentina had over 200 when we went in with 22 harriers, so it has been for a while where tech over numbers win. And of course having america telling us where to go so they are there with there much bigger air force helps.

Also regarding which is best, I understand the F22 doesn't have an afterburner, it can just reach those speeds naturally without drinking fuel, as well as having the movement engine section so the engine points in various ways to increase movement, as well as limited Vtol capabilites through the fins movement. The eurofighter can move quite well, so the F22 does have a lot more to it.

It's about cost, and the yanks spend more, but get what they pay for, working boats, useful planes, future proof and mutli role destoyers. We don't and then pay a fortune to make them even bearable later on.

I love the MOD. Ministry of *ickheads

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Anonymous Coward

@By Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 22nd June 2009 13:02 GMT

"It's about cost, and the yanks spend more, but get what they pay for, working boats, useful planes, future proof and mutli role destoyers. We don't and then pay a fortune to make them even bearable later on"

Done many exercises or been onboard many American ships? If you had / did you wouldn't be that enamoured with their kit which in a lot of cases is way behind ours. Keep believing the propaganda, you and Lewis Page would get on well.

All equipment needs updating during its life - the hull / airframe lasts a lot longer than the tech inside it, "make bearable" should be rephrased to updated to the latest standard at much reduced cost of buying a brand new unit.

Think you'll find that the RAF do have the ability to drop the bombs now, not all of them admittedly, however getting weapons accepted and approved for ops takes a long time, there is no rush as this increases costs and GR9 is deemed to be doing an adequate job.

A bit of a read but if you want some decents facts (rather than Lewis Page's opinions) about Eurofighter, this forum (link below) is a good place to start. Posts by a guy called magic_mushroom to me always have a knowledgable and authorative air (no I am not he, he posts on here sometimes under his own username)

http://www.arrse.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic/printertopic=1/t=123212/postdays=0/postorder=asc/start=80.html

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How about..

An olympic dogfighting event? Put those Eurofighters to good use, and it would be fun to watch too..

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FAIL

F22 made of pork, exactly

As a taxpayer that has will have to foot the bill for this retarded useless fighter as well as probably the same as the entire UK gov budget on other weapons of war I can say f__k Congress. I trust Gates opinion on this (the dude has been around forever and unlike most military brass knows about what is going on on the ground (ex CIA director)). God help us if we ever do get in war where we need to use all these advanced weapons in order to win because I guarantee win or lose life will suck ass after its over. Developing nukes and ICBMs much easier than a fighter as advanced as the F22 not to mention the way big wars mess up the modern world economy regardless of the results.

P.S. Also by US law the F22 can not even be exported even to our allies so no chance of any helping paying for this fancy flyboy turd.

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