Two of the Royal Air Force’s leading officers have hailed the performance of the Eurofighter Typhoon jet during its first decade of flying and since deliveries were made to the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) in 2003. With the addition of new technology developments over the last 10 years, the aircraft is now the world's only truly ‘swing’ role jet, able to switch from air-to-air to air-to-surface attack capabilities in the same mission.
Air Vice-Marshal Edward Stringer, the RAF’s Assistant Chief of Air Staff, praised the performance of ‘Team Typhoon’ and said the aircraft had produced a “level of accuracy not seen anywhere before” on its deployment in Operation Ellamy, the conflict in Libya.
Speaking at the Royal International Air Tattoo the Air Vice-Marshal said: “The team and the technical staff behind it should justifiably be very proud. The acclaim has been backed up by his colleague Wing Commander Richard Wells, who said Typhoon has been acclaimed by leading US pilots for its performance at a major training exercise over the Nevada desert known as Red Flag.
Wing Commander Richard Wells, who led the mission for the RAF, said: “More often than not, Typhoon pilots were being described as ‘slayers’ by the US pilots - that was really nice for me to hear.” He added he was “really proud” to be flying Typhoon, saying: “What it says to me is that, in capabilities terms, Typhoon has growth potential and is robust for the future. I have confidence when I look at it. “It is a massive success story.”
Since the first deliveries were made and in subsequent years the aircraft has undergone a series of capability upgrades, making it the undoubted jewel in the RAF’s crown.
Before the end of 2013, the first Tranche 3 aircraft will take to the skies above our Lancashire site, packed with the latest technology to increase payload, range and information processing abilities this will further underscore its claims to be one of the world’s elite fighters.
Wing Commander Wells also hailed the “important partnership” which had developed between the military and industry during Typhoon first 10 years in service. He described how BAE Systems personnel and others at RAF Coningsby “swung into” operating 24-hour shifts to ensure Typhoon was ready for operations in Libya. He added: “Ellamy represented a coming of age for the aircraft.”