This is Baltic Air Policing. Several nations play their part in an ongoing policing mission. Typically, squadrons work on a four-month rotation.
German Air Force pilot LtCol Christoph Hachmeister says that the Eurofighter Typhoon is made for the Air Policing role.
“The flight control system and all the flying related functions make the flying very easy, so the pilot can concentrate on the mission. The engine performance gives the pilot the capability to intercept at any height and at any speed.
“The cockpit design is pilot-friendly. The autocue display shows all the relevant switch positions during the start up phase. That’s especially helpful when you have to scramble at one o’clock in the morning.
“Eurofighter is one of the most capable weapon systems in the world. Apart from the Air Policing role, the system has proven itself in its air to ground role.”
His UK RAF counterpart, Flt Lt Charlie Tagg (IX (B) Sqn), agrees.
“The key factor is that Typhoon is fast in a straight line and can gain altitude quickly. We can make intercepts within a short period and react to any dynamic and changing scenario at speed.
The integration of new weapons, like the Meteor, is changing the system’s capabilities drastically
“One major difference here compared to QRA back in the UK, is that we have the Litening 3 Recce pod fitted to the jet. Primarily, this is a sensor we use for Air-to-Ground missions, linked to the radar it has an Air-to-Air capability. That enables us to visually identify an aircraft from long distance — long before we would with the human eye.”
Both pilots believe that the future for Typhoon is exciting. Says LtCol Hachmeister: “I made my first flight in the Eurofighter in 2014 and the development since is impressive. Over the years, the software changes have made the pilot‘s life easier. The integration of new weapons, like the Meteor, is changing the system’s capabilities drastically. And this will not be the end by a long shot. I’m confident Eurofighter, with its future developments, will be a very important fighter jet for all user nations for decades.
Flt Lt Charlie Tagg has been flying the Typhoon for over seven years. He too has seen at first hand massive advances in both the hardware and software.
“It has developed massively, especially in the Air-to-Surface environment. Brimstone and Storm Shadow now compliment the Paveway4 weaponry. There is also enhanced software which runs alongside these capabilities, all aided by the new Litening 5 recce pod."