Eurofighter Typhoon Analysis-Malaysia MRCA&MIG-29 Replacement Program
Malaysia Defence Ministry has announced that Eurofighter typhoon(EF-2000) is marked as an important candidate for Malaysian MRCA programme. While MiG-29N is awaiting to be out of service(maybe around 2015), EF-2000 provide a larger or superior capabilities compared to previous MiG. Malaysian is offered with mix up type of Tranche 1(upgradable to tranche 2) and the new state of the art tranche 3. RMAF EF-2000 will have same specification as RAF planes. BAE system is already move their regional office from Singapore to Malaysia and they are seriously promoting their bird. If we are lucky(for Malaysian), we’ll have the chance to see the EF-2000 at LiMA 2011..
EF-2000 is created by the same four nation group as the previous Panavia Tornado fighter. The project was initiated due to the driven needs of RAF to enhancing their ground attack role as well as surging Cold War technologies from the USSR(Fulcrum and Flanker counter).
This plane offers a lot of wow-factor for a plane enthusiastic. It is designed to be aerodynamically unstable so that it can perform difficult manoeuvres. Most of the modern fighter such as F-16 and F-18 is highly manoeuvrable, but only at subsonic speed. What set the Eurofighter apart is that it can pull of highly manoeuvrable moves while flying at supersonic speed. . It takes 3 built-in computer to fly this bird(because aerodynamically unstable).Built with triangle delta wings and two small canard on the front, EF-2000 is able to withstand the 9G at extended period, something that is very difficult to achieve in other aircraft. But, of course the drawback is place on the physiological factor of the pilot.
Similar to F-22 Raptor, the Eurofighter can maintain its supersonic speed without afterburner using supercruise. The supercruise capability of EF-2000 engines is not only save fuel, but reduces the infrared trail making it less susceptible to heat seeking anti aircraft missile. Although EF-2000 is designed to be not stealthy, the Radar Cross Section(RCS) of the plane is significantly lower. Compared to the flanker family(SU-30mkm), the Eurofighter have 7 times lower RCS.
Eurofighter Typhoon and F-22 Raptor.
Some say that EF-2000 is almost as good as the Raptor is not supportable. But, I prefer the notion “Eurofighter is the realm of F-22”… the most similar characteristic between this two bird is lies on the pilot interface system. F-22 is known to be the most pilot-friendly aircraft, thanks to its simple yet sophisticated pilot interface. Both of the aircraft are designed to counter the Flanker.
Eurofighter Typhoon and SU-30MKM.
A very interesting duel is offered between these fighters. During the exercise held in India, The Eurofighter has completely throw the pride of SU-30MKI to the ground when it completely crush the SU-30MKI(very similar to SU-30MKM) during one-to-one dogfight mock up. The RAF official said “Well, they lost” when asked how the SU-30MKI performed against EF-2000.
To be fair, nothing on SU-30MKI system could match the formidable Typhoon. In simple word, Typhoon technology is on different generation with Sukhoi in term of Avionics. So, there is nothing can be compared to. Maybe one of the comparable factor lies on the pilot. The EF-2000 have the most sophisticated pilot interface compared to all 4++ generation aircraft which gives the pilot unprecedented level of situation awareness. The EF-2000 cockpit tells the pilot everything about the plane through Helmet Mounted Sight(HMS), the system is known as Carefree handling. Such luxury is not on board SU-30MKI(notice how messy the SU-30 cockpit).
What if TUDM choose Typhoon to be their next MRCA fighter in their arsenal..? a lot of things need to be done. First, they should do their homework on how to handle the maintenance of the planes. TUDM have weird but lethal combination of fighter comprising McDonnell Douglass F/A-18, MIG-29 Fulcrum, SU-30MKM Flanker, BAE Hawk, F-5. They will have one helluve job to keep all those type of plane operational. There is no nation in this region adopted similar inventory like TUDM does.., perhaps TUDM are insane enough to use this kind of tactic. The dangerous factor ; TUDM likely to have a situation where “have everything, but always lack of something”.
Eurofighter is known to be expensive plane. The Malaysian government should adopt G-to-G deal to eliminate the middle-man factor. In the end of the day the Malaysian are sick of their politician who decided for military-man what to buy and what to use. Let’s us pray not to lose another RM500 million to middle-man(scorpene purchase scandal)……….!!!!
P.S-god dammit TUDM… buy AWACs first..!!!!