The Eurofighter Typhoon

The Typhoon, also known as the Eurofighter, is the worlds most advanced multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft. It is able to reach speeds close to Mach 2, or about 1400 mph. The Typhoon provides the RAF with multi-role combat aircraft, capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations, from air policing to peace support, through to high-intensity conflict. I was fortunate to attend the 2017 Southport Airshow when a Typhoon display was flown by Flight Lt Ryan Lawton of 19(R) Squadron which is based at RAF Coningsby


  • Engines: 2 Eurojet EJ200 turbojets

  • Thrust: 20,000lbs each

  • Max speed: 1.8 Mach

  • Length: 15.96 m.

  • Max Altitude: 55,000 ft

  • Span: 11.09m

  • Aircrew: 1

The aircraft is designed to be upgraded and extended in order to provide decades of effective use. Combining a proven, agile airframe built from stealth materials with the latest sensor, control and weapons systems delivers 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 from radar-based systems. Pilots were included in the design from the earliest stages to develop a deliberately unstable airframe that can be flown effectively. This delivers both superior manoeuvrabilities at supersonic speeds and efficient supersonic capability to support the widest range of combat scenarios.

Strong, lightweight composite materials were key to the design of the Eurofighter Typhoon to give it deliberate instability, using composite’s means the weight of the airframe is 30% less than for traditional materials, boosting range and performance as well as reducing the radar signature.

General Materials

  • Carbon Fibre Composites 70%

  • Metals 15%

  • Glass Reinforced Plastics 12%

  • Other Materials 3%

The innovative production techniques developed for Eurofighter Typhoon are created a whole new industry for the most composite materials. These provide for greater tensile strength and more aerodynamic performance with less weight and more reliability than traditional materials.

The Captor-M mechanically scanned radar is the best–in-class radar, offering an extensive suite of modes to meet customer’s operational requirements, as well as proving a very competitive field of regard.

The Captor-E electronically scanned radar is the future primary sensor on Eurofighter Typhoon and has a full suite of Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface modes. The capacious aperture of the Eurofighter Typhoon allows the installation of Captor-E’s optimised and repositionable array whose field 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.


  • Search Modes-Range While Search(RWS), Velocity Search(VS) and multiple target Track While Scan (TWS)

  • Lock-Follow Modes, which are tailored for long-range tracking and short-range tracking for use in visual identification or gun attacks.

  • Air Combat Acquisition Modes allow a choice of boresight, vertical scan HUD field of view or slaved acquisition.


  • Search Modes-Ground Map, High-Resolution Map, Ground Moving Target Identification and Sea Surface Search and Track While Scan.

  • Track Modes-Fixed Target Track and Moving Target Track

  • Air-To-Surface Ranging.


Throughout the design process of the Eurofighter Typhoon, the need for a single-seat have been paramount. This has meant high levels of attention have been paid to the controls and information interfaces throughout the unique glass cockpit, from the heads-up, head-down and head-out systems to all-around 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 pilots' 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 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 (Hands-On–Throttle-and-Stick) concept applied to cockpit design. Automated Emergency Recovery features have also been embodied in the system's design to ensure maximum safety of operation.


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 headbox also contributes to the Eurofighter Typhoon’s excellent rear vision.