More anti-Typhoon bile
More inaccurate anti-Typhoon bile from Lewis Page. The man distorts facts better than a Cabinet minister.
"At the moment it has received 70: the last of the 160 planes ordered by the UK will be delivered in 2015."
And then this:
"It is now acknowledged that the development and production cost to the UK of Eurofighter will be £23bn with planned upgrades. This means that we UK taxpayers will have shelled out no less than £215m for each of our 107 jets"
Hold on, he's now deciding the unit cost is based on a final fleet size in order to make a flattering comparison of the F-22's cost. That is deeply misleading.
I see he says the USAF F-22 fleet will be based on its 189-aircraft production run. Some of those aircraft wil crash (I think one has been lost already) in service. Should he not divide the active USAF fleet accordingly by the total unit cost?
He is talking utter rubbish so much does he hate the Typhoon. Total production costs including R&D would, on these figures, have been £143.75m per aircraft, not $350m. And many Tranche 1 aircraft withdrawn early are likely to be sold to Oman. It's hardly Eurofighter's fault that, 20 years after the project was launched, the MoD has decided to reduce its frontline fleet to less than half its planned force.
"the NAO reports that of the 70 Eurofighters the RAF currently possesses, just 42 are actually available to flying squadrons"
So what? How does a reader know if that's good or bad? If you mulitply the number of squadrons that flew the Tornado GR1 at its peak by the typical 13 aircraft complement you'll find it way short of the 229 delivered. Why? Well, even the MoD is not so stupid that it knows it will lose aircraft during the type's service life so it builds in an attrition reserve to its fleet. It also knows that aircraft will be in various stages of servicing at any period ranging from a Primary to a Major, when the aircraft is out of service for several months. So you need additional airframes to retain the desired frontline fleet. So, what is an appropriate ratio of frontline aircraft to total fleet? I don't know and I'm pretty sure Lewis Page doesn't know either.
As for criticism of the lack of flying hours what on Earth does this have to do with the aircraft? If the MoD can't or won't afford the cost of providing sufficient pilots and appropriate training hours this can hardly be deemed a fault of the aircraft!
Political delays and changes of mind plus inept contract handling are failings of the project as a whole but that simply shows that any project, whether a built-in-America solution or an entirely homegrown one would have been equally affected.