Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
SW1
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Re: Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

Timmymagic wrote: 17 Nov 2022, 19:49
SD67 wrote: 17 Nov 2022, 08:40 These customers all have something in common - they're either a Typhoon Industrial partner, or they're not cleared to operate F-35 :-)

I understand that one airframe per month, (or substantial part thereof) is the bare minimum to keep a production line going. So 118 already booked could in theory just about take Wharton out to Tempest production start if it were stretched out. But in reality what's been ordered so far is for delivery before 2030, then there's a risk that those potentials in group B quietly get converted to F35 orders. The Saudi Tranche 2 would sort it though, profit on that would basically pay for Tempest.
Depends which production line. Dassault kept Rafale going on a trickle. The Spanish production line has also only built 74 Typhoon in total over the years. Warton needs to be busier though...

It's not 118 booked as orders. It's the first group of figures. So 72 aircraft on new contracts, with the remainder of the Kuwaiti order (final assembly in Italy) and Qatari order (final assembly in Warton) underway as well, the German order for 15 EK variant isn't signed yet but was reaffirmed as the intention in the last couple of days. That would take it to 87.

Warton at present has the remainder of the Qatari order, but then has Typhoon MLU work for the UK. Not new construction but 40 Tranche 3 to be updated. I suspect the Saudi's 71 and Omani's 12 Typhoon will also get the upgrades. I'm giving up hope on the remaining RAF Tranche 2's getting an upgrade...just can't see it with the present government or economics (even though industrially it makes a lot of sense, see below). They'll also have substantial work from F-35 and a good chunk of the sub-assemblies (including wing and rear fuselage) for the 72 aircraft on order (which are not getting their final assembly at Warton) . Obviously any additional orders received, including the 15 German EK variants, will give Warton additional work. The real prize though is the Saudi order for 48 or, potentially, 72 Typhoon. That gets Warton over the hill to Tempest (which although it won't start production immediately after will require substantial re-tooling, re-training and preparation).

Obviously if all 249 on the ordered and potential list came good then Warton would be sitting very pretty for the next 30 years (with Tempest as well..). My worry is that if the Saudi order does not come in we could be looking at a similar situation as Barrow in Furness did with nuclear subs, a lack of work leads to a decline in skills that then impact costs and timelines on the next programme significantly, as it did with Astute. The smart solution then, which naturally the government would be loath to take, would be to update all the UK's Tranche 2 or build a batch of Tranche 4 or EK variant for the RAF (it might even need both of those measures to bridge the gap).

When it comes to re-sale of Typhoon there have been lots of rumours (Serbia, Indonesia, Bangladesh...). But the really sensible move for all partner nations is to gift their Tranche 1 Typhoon's on retirement to Ukraine, there could be close to 100 of them...massive uplift for them, allows them to replace their SU-27 (which they have struggled to keep airborne pre-war, which will be knackered by wars end and depleted) pulls them further into the West (hopefully EU and NATO), Western weapon supplies and parts pipelines, helps protect NATO's flank by default and....would provide some maintenance and upgrade revenues for years to come from redundant assets that otherwise would be scrapped. It's also the only real source of high end air-to-air platforms that will be available in the next 10 years at a non-prohibitive costs (I'm discounting US F-15 as fatigue must play against them).
If you want to keep the warton line going you use the foreign aid budget or what loan mechanisms the government has and offer 60 new build typhoons with an all mbda weapons fit and have a raf training sqn to supt them. we seem able to do it for dictatorial despots in the Middle East we can do it for Ukraine.

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Re: Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

SW1 wrote: 17 Nov 2022, 20:04
Timmymagic wrote: 17 Nov 2022, 19:49
SD67 wrote: 17 Nov 2022, 08:40 These customers all have something in common - they're either a Typhoon Industrial partner, or they're not cleared to operate F-35 :-)

I understand that one airframe per month, (or substantial part thereof) is the bare minimum to keep a production line going. So 118 already booked could in theory just about take Wharton out to Tempest production start if it were stretched out. But in reality what's been ordered so far is for delivery before 2030, then there's a risk that those potentials in group B quietly get converted to F35 orders. The Saudi Tranche 2 would sort it though, profit on that would basically pay for Tempest.
Depends which production line. Dassault kept Rafale going on a trickle. The Spanish production line has also only built 74 Typhoon in total over the years. Warton needs to be busier though...

It's not 118 booked as orders. It's the first group of figures. So 72 aircraft on new contracts, with the remainder of the Kuwaiti order (final assembly in Italy) and Qatari order (final assembly in Warton) underway as well, the German order for 15 EK variant isn't signed yet but was reaffirmed as the intention in the last couple of days. That would take it to 87.

Warton at present has the remainder of the Qatari order, but then has Typhoon MLU work for the UK. Not new construction but 40 Tranche 3 to be updated. I suspect the Saudi's 71 and Omani's 12 Typhoon will also get the upgrades. I'm giving up hope on the remaining RAF Tranche 2's getting an upgrade...just can't see it with the present government or economics (even though industrially it makes a lot of sense, see below). They'll also have substantial work from F-35 and a good chunk of the sub-assemblies (including wing and rear fuselage) for the 72 aircraft on order (which are not getting their final assembly at Warton) . Obviously any additional orders received, including the 15 German EK variants, will give Warton additional work. The real prize though is the Saudi order for 48 or, potentially, 72 Typhoon. That gets Warton over the hill to Tempest (which although it won't start production immediately after will require substantial re-tooling, re-training and preparation).

Obviously if all 249 on the ordered and potential list came good then Warton would be sitting very pretty for the next 30 years (with Tempest as well..). My worry is that if the Saudi order does not come in we could be looking at a similar situation as Barrow in Furness did with nuclear subs, a lack of work leads to a decline in skills that then impact costs and timelines on the next programme significantly, as it did with Astute. The smart solution then, which naturally the government would be loath to take, would be to update all the UK's Tranche 2 or build a batch of Tranche 4 or EK variant for the RAF (it might even need both of those measures to bridge the gap).

When it comes to re-sale of Typhoon there have been lots of rumours (Serbia, Indonesia, Bangladesh...). But the really sensible move for all partner nations is to gift their Tranche 1 Typhoon's on retirement to Ukraine, there could be close to 100 of them...massive uplift for them, allows them to replace their SU-27 (which they have struggled to keep airborne pre-war, which will be knackered by wars end and depleted) pulls them further into the West (hopefully EU and NATO), Western weapon supplies and parts pipelines, helps protect NATO's flank by default and....would provide some maintenance and upgrade revenues for years to come from redundant assets that otherwise would be scrapped. It's also the only real source of high end air-to-air platforms that will be available in the next 10 years at a non-prohibitive costs (I'm discounting US F-15 as fatigue must play against them).
If you want to keep the warton line going you use the foreign aid budget or what loan mechanisms the government has and offer 60 new build typhoons with an all mbda weapons fit and have a raf training sqn to supt them. we seem able to do it for dictatorial despots in the Middle East we can do it for Ukraine.
Short answer - money!! Those aforementioned Middle Eastern dictatorial despots still have huge oil reserves. Whereas Ukraine is going to need massive capital injections ala post World War 2 Marshall Plan to rebuild their shattered infrastructure.

The previous suggestion of donating our old Tranche 1 Typhoons seemed better solution to me. Avoids giving the Ukranians anything too cutting edged (in case of Russian espionage), allows us to offer them fuure spares but starts integrating them into the Western supply chain rather than them relying on old Soviet designs.

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Re: Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

wargame_insomniac wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 00:54
SW1 wrote: 17 Nov 2022, 20:04
Timmymagic wrote: 17 Nov 2022, 19:49
SD67 wrote: 17 Nov 2022, 08:40 These customers all have something in common - they're either a Typhoon Industrial partner, or they're not cleared to operate F-35 :-)

I understand that one airframe per month, (or substantial part thereof) is the bare minimum to keep a production line going. So 118 already booked could in theory just about take Wharton out to Tempest production start if it were stretched out. But in reality what's been ordered so far is for delivery before 2030, then there's a risk that those potentials in group B quietly get converted to F35 orders. The Saudi Tranche 2 would sort it though, profit on that would basically pay for Tempest.
Depends which production line. Dassault kept Rafale going on a trickle. The Spanish production line has also only built 74 Typhoon in total over the years. Warton needs to be busier though...

It's not 118 booked as orders. It's the first group of figures. So 72 aircraft on new contracts, with the remainder of the Kuwaiti order (final assembly in Italy) and Qatari order (final assembly in Warton) underway as well, the German order for 15 EK variant isn't signed yet but was reaffirmed as the intention in the last couple of days. That would take it to 87.

Warton at present has the remainder of the Qatari order, but then has Typhoon MLU work for the UK. Not new construction but 40 Tranche 3 to be updated. I suspect the Saudi's 71 and Omani's 12 Typhoon will also get the upgrades. I'm giving up hope on the remaining RAF Tranche 2's getting an upgrade...just can't see it with the present government or economics (even though industrially it makes a lot of sense, see below). They'll also have substantial work from F-35 and a good chunk of the sub-assemblies (including wing and rear fuselage) for the 72 aircraft on order (which are not getting their final assembly at Warton) . Obviously any additional orders received, including the 15 German EK variants, will give Warton additional work. The real prize though is the Saudi order for 48 or, potentially, 72 Typhoon. That gets Warton over the hill to Tempest (which although it won't start production immediately after will require substantial re-tooling, re-training and preparation).

Obviously if all 249 on the ordered and potential list came good then Warton would be sitting very pretty for the next 30 years (with Tempest as well..). My worry is that if the Saudi order does not come in we could be looking at a similar situation as Barrow in Furness did with nuclear subs, a lack of work leads to a decline in skills that then impact costs and timelines on the next programme significantly, as it did with Astute. The smart solution then, which naturally the government would be loath to take, would be to update all the UK's Tranche 2 or build a batch of Tranche 4 or EK variant for the RAF (it might even need both of those measures to bridge the gap).

When it comes to re-sale of Typhoon there have been lots of rumours (Serbia, Indonesia, Bangladesh...). But the really sensible move for all partner nations is to gift their Tranche 1 Typhoon's on retirement to Ukraine, there could be close to 100 of them...massive uplift for them, allows them to replace their SU-27 (which they have struggled to keep airborne pre-war, which will be knackered by wars end and depleted) pulls them further into the West (hopefully EU and NATO), Western weapon supplies and parts pipelines, helps protect NATO's flank by default and....would provide some maintenance and upgrade revenues for years to come from redundant assets that otherwise would be scrapped. It's also the only real source of high end air-to-air platforms that will be available in the next 10 years at a non-prohibitive costs (I'm discounting US F-15 as fatigue must play against them).
If you want to keep the warton line going you use the foreign aid budget or what loan mechanisms the government has and offer 60 new build typhoons with an all mbda weapons fit and have a raf training sqn to supt them. we seem able to do it for dictatorial despots in the Middle East we can do it for Ukraine.
Short answer - money!! Those aforementioned Middle Eastern dictatorial despots still have huge oil reserves. Whereas Ukraine is going to need massive capital injections ala post World War 2 Marshall Plan to rebuild their shattered infrastructure.

The previous suggestion of donating our old Tranche 1 Typhoons seemed better solution to me. Avoids giving the Ukranians anything too cutting edged (in case of Russian espionage), allows us to offer them fuure spares but starts integrating them into the Western supply chain rather than them relying on old Soviet designs.

Ukraine has europes second largest known gas reserves, norway being the largest.

Gifting early typhoons doesn’t help keep a production line active.

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Re: Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

SW1 wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 08:59 Ukraine has europes second largest known gas reserves, norway being the largest.
Given we're moving away from gas, and those fields are undeveloped in the main, it doesn't make a huge amount of difference...

Also...if they've got loads of gas....they could buy some Tempest in the future...get them onboard with some free Typhoon. Create a political obligation, training and staff relationships, trust in UK/Europe as a supplier etc...

If we were going to build a load of new Typhoon they would clearly go to the RAF, who could then send their older ones as a donation.

But we're not going to do that....

The Tranche 1 Typhoons are the only real source for a free, or negligible purchase cost, top end air to air asset (with some useful life left in it) that is available to the 'Western' alliance in any real numbers for the next 15 years. It's a golden opportunity to do some real good, with major geopolitical advantages for the UK, Typhoon partners, NATO and the West in general, whilst simultaneously giving the Russian's a real headache (they're not going to go away completely quietly). I'd also add that if Sweden/Saab were smart they'd do the same with Gripen C. A fair few of them in storage or with leases that will expire (Czechia will replace with F-35). Perfect platform to replace Ukraine's MiG-29 alongside Typhoon (weapons commonality, lots of shared component suppliers for ease of support arrangements etc.). Hi-Lo mix, from Europe...not the US.
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Re: Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

SW1 wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 08:59 Gifting early typhoons doesn’t help keep a production line active.
Not a production line, but they would need maintenance, re-lifing/upgrading at some point. It's the long term maintenance and support that really makes the money....

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Re: Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)

Post by SD67 »

Minor quibble - F35 rear fuselage isn't built in Wharton.

A small batch of Typhoon tranche 4 incorporating some tempest tech would make a great deal of sense so there's probably no hope of the government doing it.

I wish we'd gifted the whole of tranche 1 to Ukraine 2 years ago, we might be in a different world right now

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Re: Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

Timmymagic wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 10:20
SW1 wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 08:59 Ukraine has europes second largest known gas reserves, norway being the largest.
Given we're moving away from gas, and those fields are undeveloped in the main, it doesn't make a huge amount of difference...

Also...if they've got loads of gas....they could buy some Tempest in the future...get them onboard with some free Typhoon. Create a political obligation, training and staff relationships, trust in UK/Europe as a supplier etc...

If we were going to build a load of new Typhoon they would clearly go to the RAF, who could then send their older ones as a donation.

But we're not going to do that....

The Tranche 1 Typhoons are the only real source for a free, or negligible purchase cost, top end air to air asset (with some useful life left in it) that is available to the 'Western' alliance in any real numbers for the next 15 years. It's a golden opportunity to do some real good, with major geopolitical advantages for the UK, Typhoon partners, NATO and the West in general, whilst simultaneously giving the Russian's a real headache (they're not going to go away completely quietly). I'd also add that if Sweden/Saab were smart they'd do the same with Gripen C. A fair few of them in storage or with leases that will expire (Czechia will replace with F-35). Perfect platform to replace Ukraine's MiG-29 alongside Typhoon (weapons commonality, lots of shared component suppliers for ease of support arrangements etc.). Hi-Lo mix, from Europe...not the US.
It is most certainly an opportunity I doubt though that this government and treasury orthodoxy sees it as one would req long term thought. The Americans and in particular the French are much more dynamic in this sphere. Loans against future exploration rights access if it made the treasury happier..

What ever way you wish work it, it’s better to buy new than upgrade 15-20 year old aircraft.

I think the idea were moving away from gas in the next 10-15 years unrealistic especially if it’s to be replaced by windmills. If the government thru its lot in with nuclear I could see it but not much evidence so far.

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Re: Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)

Post by dmereifield »

Haven't the Tranche 1's mostly been cannibalised? Or am I getting confused with the 2 seater Tranche 1's?

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Re: Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

SD67 wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 10:40 Minor quibble - F35 rear fuselage isn't built in Wharton.

A small batch of Typhoon tranche 4 incorporating some tempest tech would make a great deal of sense so there's probably no hope of the government doing it.

I wish we'd gifted the whole of tranche 1 to Ukraine 2 years ago, we might be in a different world right now
Sorry I meant the Typhoon front section.

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Re: Eurofighter Typhoon (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

dmereifield wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 20:15 Haven't the Tranche 1's mostly been cannibalised? Or am I getting confused with the 2 seater Tranche 1's?
Just the 2 seaters to date under reduce to produce
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