Eurofighter Typhoon delivers an enviable level of flexibility and efficiency. Only Eurofighter Typhoon possesses both adequate weapon availability (up to 6 bombs whilst also carrying six missiles, a cannon and a targeting pod) and sufficient processing power to simultaneously support missile in-flight updates and bomb in-flight targeting. True swing-role capability.
The aircraft is designed to be upgraded and extended to provide decades of effective use. Combining a proven, agile airframe built from stealth materials with the latest sensor, control and weapons systems delivers the optimum combat capability – both beyond visual range (BVR) and in close combat.
The weapons systems, navigation technologies and control infrastructure are all designed to be upgraded, to continue to enhance the overall performance of the aircraft.
The aircraft is built with advanced composite materials to deliver a low radar profile and strong airframe. Only 15% of the aircraft’s surface is metal, delivering stealth operation and protection from radar-based systems. Pilots were included in design from the earliest stages to develop a deliberately unstable airframe that can still be flown effectively. This delivers both superior manoeuvrability at subsonic speeds and efficient supersonic capability to support the widest range of combat scenarios.
from each of the two
Eurojet EJ200 turbojets
Strong, lightweight composite materials were key to the design of Eurofighter Typhoon to give it deliberate instability. Using them means the weight of the airframe is 30% less than for traditional materials, boosting the range and performance as well as reducing the radar signature.
The innovative production techniques developed for Eurofighter Typhoon have created a whole new industry for the most effective use of advanced composite materials. These provide greater tensile strength and more aerodynamic performance with less weight and more reliability than traditional materials.
Developing leading-edge engine technology has been a key part of the Eurofighter Typhoon project from the start. Four global companies have jointly developed the high performance EJ200 power plants that each provide 90kN of thrust from a small lightweight engine with high strength and high temperature capability.
The two-spool design with single-stage turbines drives the three-stage fan and five-stage HP compressor with annular combustion with vaporising burners. This allows Eurofighter Typhoon to cruise at supersonic speeds without the use of reheat for extended periods. The engines deliver 1,000 flying hours without needing unscheduled maintenance through the use of advanced integrated Health Monitoring for class-leading reliability, maintainability and Through Life Cost.
After a 1,400 hour flight simulation, the Eurojet engine produces the same operating performance as a brand new engine.
Eurofighter Typhoon is at the forefront of sensor fusion technology and the sensor suite continues to be upgraded to deliver enhanced detection and decision-making. Combining the data from key sensors gives the pilot an autonomous ability to rapidly assess the overall tactical situation and respond efficiently to identified threats.
The PIRATE infrared sensor provides passive Air-to-Air target detection and tracking performance in the IRST mode for covert tracking and Air-to-Surface operations in the Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) mode.
The Captor-M mechanically scanned radar is a best-in-class radar, offering an extensive suite of modes to meet customers’ operational requirements, as well as providing a very competitive field of regard.
Captor-E is the future primary sensor on Eurofighter Typhoon and has a full suite of Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface modes. The capacious front fuselage of the Eurofighter Typhoon allows the installation of Captor-E’s optimised array whose Field of Regard is some 50 per cent wider than traditional fixed plate systems.
This wide field of regard offers significant benefits in both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface engagements and given the large power and aperture available provides the pilot with much enhanced angular coverage compared to fixed plate systems.
Throughout the design of the Eurofighter Typhoon, the needs of the single seat pilot have been paramount. This has meant high levels of attention to the control and information interfaces throughout the unique glass cockpit, from the head-up, head-down and head-out systems to all-round vision. High workload situations were analysed to establish information priorities and automate tasks.
The advanced cockpit design and layout is based on an extensive series of formal assessments in a rapid prototype facility, undertaken by operational pilots from air forces flying the Eurofighter Typhoon. Using and upgrading the advanced digital technology not only enhances operation and survivability, but also simplifies aircraft maintenance.
Other features such as Direct Voice Input (DVI) and Hands On Throttle And Stick (HOTAS) control functions have been implemented on the Eurofighter Typhoon to drastically reduce the pilot’s workload. Voice + Throttle And Stick (VTAS) enables single pilot operations even in the most demanding Air-to-Air, Air-to-Surface and swing-role missions.
The Eurofighter Typhoon’s wide angle head up display (HUD) provides the pilot with stable, accurate, high integrity, low latency eyes-out guidance in a compact package. The fully digital HUD offers high performance that is compatible with night vision and laser protection goggles.
Three full colour multi-function head down displays (MHDD) are used for the overall tactical situation, presenting the attack situation, attack formats, map displays and air traffic procedures, in addition to system status and checklists.
Eurofighter Typhoon utilises a unique Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMSS), alongside six other pilot display surfaces. HMSS provides flight reference and weapon data aiming through the visor. It is fully compatible with night vision aids using light intensification and Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) imagery. It offers pilots a significant competitive advantage.
The helmet is composed of an outer helmet, inner helmet, optics blast/display visor, oxygen mask, night vision enhancement camera and head position tracking system.
The latest sensor technology supports automated and inherently covert operation down to 100ft. Eurofighter Typhoon’s navigation aids include a global positioning system (GPS) for full digital interface with individual satellite tracking channels and improved anti-jam capabilities. The package also includes an inertial navigation system with GPS. In addition, the navigation system features integrated lateral cueing and vertical commands, ensuring safe manoeuvre with 3D situational awareness.
The flight control system (FCS) is a full authority and quadruplex digital system which allows carefree handling and manoeuvring in all situations. Its intuitive operation is designed to enable the pilot to concentrate on the tactical tasks and to fly the aircraft 'head-up' in combination with the HOTAS (Hand-on-Throttle-and-Stick) concept applied to cockpit design. Automated Emergency recovery features have also been embodied in the system design to ensure maximum safety of operation.
The MIDS high capacity digital information distribution system allows secure exchange of real-time data between a wide variety of users, including all the components of a tactical air force and, where appropriate, land and naval forces.
The DASS suite comprises wingtip Electronic Support Measures and Electronic Counter Measures pods (ESM/ECM), missile warners, chaff and flare dispenser and an optional laser warner.
Upgrades in computing power will support continuous protection from future threats, to enhance Eurofighter Typhoon’s survivability and greatly increase overall mission effectiveness.
As well as Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (SRAAM’s) and the 27mm Mauser Canon the Eurofighter Typhoon carries the latest beyond-visual-range (BVR) Air-to-Air missile technology. Soon the METEOR advanced long-range missile will provide the largest No Escape Zone of any Air-to-Air weapon, resulting in a long stand-off range and high probability of interception to ensure air superiority and pilot survivability. Guidance is provided by an active radar seeker with mid-course updates via data link.
The Laser Designator Pod (LDP) enables precise location of targets and guidance of Air-to-Surface weapons.
Eurofighter Typhoon has also been upgraded with Paveway IV to provide high levels of operational flexibility. The combat proven dual-mode guidance system, coupled with height of burst and penetrating capability, enable the decision of target engagement to be made right up to the point of release.
Eurofighter Typhoon will see the constant integration of new, smart weapons in accordance with the demands of current and future customers.
Storm Shadow, Taurus, Small Diametre Bombs, Brimstone, Anti-Shipping Missiles are just some of the upgrades planned.
The Life Support System & Aircrew Equipment Assembly (AEA) is unique to Eurofighter Typhoon and includes full-cover anti-G trousers (FCAGT), a chest counter-pressure garment (CCPG) and a liquid conditioning garment, as well as nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) protection.
The helmet incorporates the latest Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMSS) and optical protection. For pilot comfort and optimum performance capability, Eurofighter Typhoon uses computer controlled anti-G and breathing support technology.
The Mk 16A ejection seat on the Eurofighter Typhoon is 30% lighter than equivalent ejection seats. This is achieved by combining the twin ejection gun outer cylinder tubes as both the propulsion system and the seat’s primary structure. The narrow head box also contributes to Eurofighter Typhoon’s excellent rear vision.
The seat integrates an on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) and communication systems. The simplified combined harness allows unassisted strap-in, and the passive leg restraint system avoids the need for the pilot to wear restraining garters. A second generation electronic sequencer is also incorporated. Reliability and maintainability are key elements of the design, with full access to in-cockpit components.
Normal access to the cockpit is through either a telescopic integral ladder or an external version. The integral ladder is stowed in the port side of the fuselage below the cockpit.
Throughout the aircraft flexible couplings connect the fuel pipework built into the three main fuselage sections and wings. These provide a simple method to connect the fuel tanks, which all have fuel-flow proportioners to maintain the centre of gravity alongside relief valves to maintain air and fuel pressures. The intelligent computer-controlled fuel system ensures long-range, flexibility and safety.