Ron5 wrote:Or will it be this wingman thingie? which won't be cheap I guarantee, well unless it can't do much, in case it will just be a smarter Storm Shadow. It which case in might be a cheap aircraft but a frikkin expensive missile.
I'd say this is going to be the billion £/$ question.
Probably, slightly/very going off topic (but will try and link it back to Typhoon!)
The UK is heading towards a future fleet of two medium-weight, mult-role fighters with overlapping capabilities, so much so that they compete for international sales. As you pointed out, neither have decent enough range to be 'strategic' in the old sense.
Once upon a time there was Taranis, supposedly a first step towards an advanced, stealth programme for a 'strategic' bomber, that took over from the FOAS as the eventual Tornado replacement. We flirted with the French about a joint effort only to be dumped for the Germans, promising stability and Euros.
So with no big UCAV to build, or other long-range option anytime soon, the Loyal Wingman is potentially the RAF's next combat aircraft. The 3D model promises lots of capability for what looks like a:
but your guess is as good as mine. Still, whatever project Mosquito actually is seeking to deliver is barely at a pre-concept stage.frikkin expensive missile.
All this uncertainty is down to our present and future economic situation, which is unfortunately linked to a breakdown in the global order. Regardless of what fantastic flying machines might be whizzing about in 2035, for now Typhoon and small numbers of F-35 (of any flavour) are all we've got.
If you're 'Team Typhoon' this should be a golden opportunity. We've got 140 odd of the things, some almost factory fresh. There are opportunities to sell abroad and for the existing partnership to:
SW1 wrote:Go for a full upgrade along the lines outlined
“These range from performing a technical refresh of the Typhoon’s current capabilities to a full update, replacing the type’s entire avionics and system architecture.
Engine and flight-control system enhancements could seek to boost the fuel-efficiency of the type’s Eurojet EJ200 turbofans, in conjunction with the use of an aerodynamic modification kit.“
as well as put more funding into the loyal wingman air vehicle and potentially hypersonic/future standoff weapons systems.
The problem (that has plagued the Eurofighter since the 80s) is the lack of coordinated or sustained investment from the main partner nations. Without it, you end up with duplication and wasted opportunities to upgrade other aspects of the aircraft.
There might be many flaws in the way F-35 was developed. However, the concept of mapping out future upgrades, across many national fleets and services, well in advance is a massive improvement on the way Typhoon has/is being managed.