Tag Archives: Eurofighter Typhoon

Four Specially-Marked Typhoon Jets Celebrate Eurofighter Fleet’s 500,000 Flying Hours Mark

The Eurofighter fleet has passed the 500,000 flying hours mark, an achievement celebrated by applying special markings to four jets of the four partner nations.

The fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft has passed the 500K flying hours milestone, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH confirmed today.

“Passing the 500,000 flying hours milestone underscores the fact that today Eurofighter Typhoon is the backbone of NATO’s European air defence” Volker Paltzo, CEO of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, said.

“But, looking to future horizons, it will continue to be developed to defend against all threats for decades to come. The aircraft will play a key role in the future battlespace, and will be a central pillar in any future European combat air system, developing and integrating key technologies that will feed in to that future system.”

The achievement was celebrated by the air forces of the four partner nations that each applied special 500,000 FH markings to one aircraft. The Italian Air Force Typhoon with the special markings (top image) is the F-2000A MM7352/36-55 belonging to the 36th Stormo (Wing) at Gioia del Colle. The Spanish Air Force Typhoon is the example C.16-54 of Ala 11 from Morón air base; the specially-marked RAF “Tiffie” is ZK434 that got the markings at the Typhoon Maintenance Facility at RAF Coningsby; the German Air Force example is the EF2000 30+73 of the Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader (Tactical Air Force Wing) 73 “Steinhoff” from Laage.

German Air Force EF2000 30+73 at Laage air base in Germany. All images: Eurofighter

According to the company, Eurofighter Typhoon has rapidly accumulated hours across the fleet, particularly in recent years, following an increase in the tempo of air policing and combat operations. There is now a fleet of almost 500 aircraft protecting Europe’s borders, with the potential for this number to grow substantially in the coming decades.

Typhoon ZK434 at Typhoon Maintenance Facility at RAF Coningsby after the Eurofighter Typhoon has flown over 500,000hrs with the Royal Air Force.

In the future, Eurofighter Typhoon will get the long-awaited electronically scanned array radar, an enhanced human machine interface and new weapons.



“Eurofighter is the biggest and most successful defence collaboration programme ever undertaken in Europe. It has provided security, industrial and economic cooperation and sustainment on a previously unseen scale. It is the model for future defence and industrial collaboration in Europe,” the statement adds. The programme is surely the biggest defense collaboration ever undertaken in Europe, but it could have been even more successful if the Britain-led Eurofighter lobby was not defeated by the American F-35 in the bid to replace the ageing Belgian Air Force F-16s.

Spanish Air Force Typhoon C.16-54 belong to Ala 11, at Moron air base.

“We have clocked up more than a million hours of engine performance for the EJ200 which is a major achievement and through countless deployments, both in Europe and internationally, we have enjoyed incredible engine reliability. There’s no doubt, that over the first million flying hours, the EJ200 engines have demonstrated they are the best in their class. Looking ahead to the next million, the engine can also be further developed to ensure that Eurofighter Typhoon will maintain its combat edge,” Clemens Linden, CEO of Eurojet Turbo GmbH, who provide the engines for the aircraft, said.

All images credit: Eurofighter

Here Are Some Cool Air-to-Air Shots Of The Saudi Special Colored Aircraft During The National Day Celebrations

Take a look at these photographs of the five RSAF (Royal Saudi Air Force) jet in special livery for the 88th National Day Celebrations.

As already revealed in a previous post, on Sept. 23, 2018, Saudi Arabia celebrated the 88th Saudi National Day with five special colored aircraft: an F-15C belonging to the 13th Sqn; an F-15S from the 92nd Sqn; a Tornado from the 7th Sqn; a Eurofighter Typhoon from the 10th Sqn; and an A330 MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport) belonging to the 24th Sqn.

The five “Greens” performed flyovers alongside the Saudi Hawks display team in three cities Jeddah, Riyadh and Dhahran and, with the help of our friend we are able to share some really impressive shots of the special painted aircraft in flight.

As you can see, the special colored MRTT, one of the 6 MRTT tankers operated by the RSAF, trailed the four fast jets and refueled these even though they are equipped with different IFR (In-Flight Refueling) systems: the MRTT is equipped with both the ARBS (advanced Air Refueling Boom System), used to refuel the F-15s, and a pair of underwing hose-and-drogue refueling pods suitable for use with the Saudis’ Tornado IDS and Eurofighter Typhoon jets.

Over the city of Riyadh on Sept. 24. (Image credit: Fahad Rihan)

Air to air refueling on the way to Taif on Sept. 22. (Image credit: Rami Al Omrani).

Over the Red Sea, Jeddah, with the Saudi Hawks team, Sept. 23. (Image credit: Rami Al Omrani).

Over Jeddah. Sept. 23. (Image credit: Rami Al Omrani).

Off Jeddah Corniche flying in formation with the Saudi Hawks and Al Fursan team on Sept. 23. (Image credit: Rami Al Omrani).

The following one is a bonus shot, not taken in flight, still interesting and worth publishing:

Taxiing at King Fahad AFB, Taif, on Sept. 22. (Image credit: Fahad Rihan).

The Royal Saudi Air Force Has Prepared A Series Of Special Color Jets For The Kingdom’s 88th National Day Celebrations

The photographs of the special colored Tornado, Typhoon, F-15S, F-15C and MRTT have already emerged.

On Sept. 23, Saudi Arabia will celebrate the 88th Saudi National Day. As part of the celebrations, five special colored aircraft (an F-15C belonging to the 13th Sqn; an F-15S from the 92nd Sqn; a Tornado from the 7th Sqn; a Eurofighter Typhoon from the 10th Sqn; and a MRTT belonging to the 24th Sqn) will perform flyovers alongside the Saudi Hawks display team in three cities Jeddah, Riyadh and Dhahran.

Our friend  has shared with us some previews of the special painted aircraft.

Here they are:

The F-15S belonging to the 92nd Sqn.

The F-15C from the 13th Sqn.

The Tornado IDS form the 7th Sqn.

The Eurofighter Typhoon from the 10th Sqn.

The image of the specially painted A330 MRTT was shared on Twitter:

All the RSAF involved in the flyovers have taken part in the air strikes in Yemen, as part of Operation Decisive Storm, the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, started on Mar. 26 2015.

Interestingly, the F-15SA, the most advanced production Eagle ever produced, derived from the F-15E Strike Eagle, was not given a special color scheme and won’t take part in the celebrations (at least not as part of the 88th National Day formation). The “SA” are equipped with the APG-63V3 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a digital glass cockpit, JHMCS (Joint Helmet Mouted Cueing System), Digital Electronic Warfare System/Common Missile Warning System (DEWS/CMWS), IRST (Infra Red Search and Track) system, and able to carry a wide array of air-to-air and air-to-surface weaponry, including the AIM-120C7 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) and the AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, the AGM-84 SLAM-ERs, the AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile) and the GBU-39 SDBs (Small Diameter Bombs) on 11 external hardpoints.

The RSAF has received its first of 84 F-15SA at King Khalid Air Base (KKAB) in Saudi Arabia via RAF Lakenheath, on Dec. 13, 2016.

 

Russian Navy Beriev Be-12 Amphibian Aircraft Intercepted By RAF Typhoons Over The Black Sea

The British Typhoons have made an interesting close encounter yesterday: a quite rare Be-12 Chaika.

On Aug. 25, two Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon jets in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) at the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base were scrambled to carry out VID (Visual Identification) on two Russian aircraft flying over the Black Sea in what was the third time the RAF jets have been scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft last week.

The first was a quite “standard” AN-26 tactical transportation aircraft, a type of aircraft NATO jets providing enhanced air policing in northern or eastern Europe have often intercepted, whereas the second was a rarer and much interesting Be-12 Chaika (NATO reporting name: Mail) short-range ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) and maritime SAR (Search And Rescue) amphibian.

In describing the “incursions”, Flight Lieutenant Ben, a Typhoon pilot on 1 (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 135 Expeditionary Air Wing, said in a public release:

“We launched both QRA aircraft to counter an incursion into the Romanian airspace from the East over the Black Sea by a suspected Russian aircraft. We were able to intercept and identify it as a Russian An-26 CURL and escorted it clear of the Romanian airspace. The first response was immediately followed by another suspected Russian aircraft over the Black Sea. Both Typhoons escorted it clear of Romanian airspace, the whole event was conducted safely and professionally on both sides.”

Noteworthy, unlike most of the recent interceptions, the latest ones by the RAF “Tiffies” were not conducted in international airspace, but based on the official RAF statements inside a NATO (Romania’s) airspace. Most probably, the statement referred to the Romanian FIR (Flight Information Region), rather than the Romanian sovereign airspace.

Anyway, four RAF Typhoons are deployed to Romania as part of Operation Biloxi, NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission to bolster the alliance’s eastern airspace. The British interceptors have been quite busy intercepting Russian aircraft lately. For comparison, during last year’s deployment, the RAF jets were scrambled only once, for someone a sign the Russians are testing RAF response in the area.

The Be-12 “76” intercepted by the RAF Typhoons on Aug. 25. Image credit: Crown Copyright.

The Be-12 was almost certainly operating out of the Crimean air base of Kacha, where most of the remaining Russian high-wing amphibian aircraft are based: according to most sources no more than 6 examples were in active service at the end of 2015. In his “Russia’s Warplanes: Volume 2”, Piotr Butowski reported that in Feb. 2015, unexpectedly, the commander of the Russian Naval Aviation declared that the Beriev fleet would be modernised even though the scope of the upgrades had not been specified yet. According to Butowski, about a dozen aircraft were suitable to return to service.

The Be-12 “76” intercepted by the RAF Typhoons on Aug. 25. Image credit: Crown Copyright.

In January 2018, TASS News Agency reported that the decision to modernize the aircraft had finally obtained a go-ahead, with the technical specifications drafted as well as the document to launch the R&D works to upgrade the onboard systems: mainly, ASW sensors, radio communication equipment and armament (torpedoes and depth bombs). How many aircraft will be upgraded and when, it’s not clear.

In the meanwhile, the Soviet-era aircraft with the peculiar V-shaped arched wing (to keep the propellers clear of the water), H-type tail unit and the glazed nose remains one of the rarest and coolest Russian Navy aircraft. The “Mail” amphibious aircraft has a maximum speed of 530 km/h, a maximum range of 3,600 km and a patrol endurance at 500 km from base of 3 hours.

Top image: File Photo of a Be-12. Credit: Dmitriy Pichugin/Wiki

 

 

U.S. F-22 Raptors Forward Deploy To Albacete Air Base For The Very First Time To Train With The Spanish Typhoons and Hornets

Here are some interesting details about the Advanced Aerial Training exercise that took place at Albacete Air Base, Spain, last week.

On Aug. 16, 2018, two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors from the 95th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, conducted the Raptor’s first forward deployment to Albacete, Spain.

The 5th generation aircraft, launched from  Spangdahlem, Germany, where they are currently deployed as part of a contingent of 12 F-22s, were refuelled in front of the Spanish Mediterranean Coast (Area D21) by a 100th Air Refueling Wing KC-135, radio callsign QID 424, out of RAF Mildenhall and then headed towards Area D98 for the dogfight with the Spanish Eurofighters and F-18 Hornets.

Accompanied by a Typhoon, the F-22 approaches the break overhead Albacete (All photos: Jorge Portales).

According to the Spanish Aviation Journalist and Photographer Jorge Portalés Alberola there were 2 different WVR (Within Visual Range) dogfights: the first one was a 1 vs 2 between an F-22 and 2x Eurofighters from Ala 14 based at Albacete; the second one involved the other Raptor and one F-18 Hornet from Ala 12 (122 Squadron) – actually this second aerial engagement was slated to be a 1 vs 2 scenario but one of the Hornets aborted.

F-22 touches down at Albacete.

For the Spanish Air Force, this exercise represented an excellent opportunity for instruction and training that allows a joint assessment of the capabilities of the three aircraft in a demanding tactical environment. It also improves the integration and interoperability of 5th generation aircraft such as the American F22 with rest of allied fighters. And, in some way, it prepares Albacete, home of the Tactical Leadership Program, to the first attendance by a 5th Generation aircraft: the F-35A. Indeed, the Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter plane that will enter service has already entered the active service (or will, in the next years) with several European air forces: Italy, UK, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands (and Turkey?) so it is logical that it participates in the TLP training missions.

F-22 on the ramp at Los Llanos airport in Albacete.

This year, the F-35 will take part in the TLP for the first time as the course moves for an iteration to Amendola, Italy, home of the Italian Lightnings. Beginning from the end of 2019, it is already planned for the 5th generation aircraft to take part in “standard” TLP courses held at Albacete.

H/T to Jorge Portalés Alberola for providing many details and all the photographs used for this story!