Anothe issue I have with the Typhoon is the nomenclature. Traditionally, the
first mark number has a mark prefix referring to the intended main role of
the aircraft. The Harrier is a ground attack aircraft with a secondary recce
capability. Therefore the first version was the GR1. The trainer version
was the T2.
That has been turned on its head with the Typhoon. Its main mission is as a
fighter with a grund attack and recce capability. Yet, the Mk 1 version is
the T-bird so we end up with the Typhoon T1. Pathetic!
As the single-seat version still isn't capable of operating in a ground
attack role, they are designated F2. They will only gradually be retrpfitted
to the FGR4 standard.
The Typhoon isn't the only British aircraft that has nomenclature problems.
The initial mark of the Sea Harrier was intended for the fighter, recce and
strike roles, so it was designated FRS1. Fair enough. The mark 2 version
had the strike capability removed and was intended as a fleet defence
fighter with a secondary ground attack capability. There was a perfectly
adequate designation available - FGA2 - but some idiot at the MOD decided
that the US designation of the Hornet was far sexier. So the Mk 2 version of
the Sea Harrier became the F/A2... Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!
And don't get me started on the Phantom F-4J(UK)...
I guess now that you mention it I'd sort of wonder why it isn't
something like "FA Mk.1" myself...but it's not really of much concern to
me...whatever they want to call it is fine.
...from what I've seen of them just flying in the pattern I'm sort of
impressed with them. Nice small, compact little fighter. Points it's
nose very nicely.
From what I do know about the Typhoon it does have a few interesting
advanced systems in it, but yeah - other than it's delta/canard plan
form and mostly composite structure (and even that's been around since
Harrier II) it's not really that far in front of Gripens or Vipers as
airframes go. But then I don't know anything about it's
capability/capacity for incorporation of future systems, which is really
what longevity of the newest gen of fighter airframes is all about -
growth potential. And even that growth returns to depending on how much
money will be available for incorporation of those future systems.
I'm of the growing opinion that fighter - or more likely, strikefighter
- aircraft are going to become obsolete within my lifetime anyway. They
take far too long to develop, they cost too much, and there are growing
numbers of technological alternatives to placing a crew in harm's way.
And if strikefighters vanish I'm not really sure what sort of use there
would be for fighter jets either, really.
And even though they've rolled out a VSTOL F-35 recently, I'm still
dubious about it as well...
The growth potential is immense. The limiting factor is the funding
available. The Tornado MLU programme which resulted in the GR4 only really
succeeded in introducing a GPS capability to the aircraft. It is still
unable to update the fuzing parameters of munitions while in flight, and
that capability was supposed to be in place by 1994!
And even that growth returns to depending
From what I understand the GR.4 also gained a night attack
capability...that's significant. But yeah, it's still another older
airframe ready for replacement just like the Tomcat.
...but where's the bankroll gonna come from? And why?..
And yet, it seemed to do perfectly well in Operation GRANBY! I didn't see
the light of day for a month in that campaign!
Another very good point. I also wonder why the MOD is continuing to fund
Meteor. Just *when* will a BVR missile ever be needed? Every single
operation that the RAF has been involved in in the last twenty years has had
ROE that require visual identification.
Sounding more like "improved capability" vise capability...
Another universal argument for the retirement of Tomcat/Phoenix along
with fleet age - AFAIK there has never been a BVR engagement resulting
in a kill in the entire history of air warfare. It's more of a
deterrent capability rather than a tactical one, IMO. And "need or
requirement" would be highly dependent upon/relative to the size of the
area being defended.
Not to mention that as I've mentioned, there is a growing reluctance to
send these highly valued aircraft and crews into scenarios where they
might be lost in the first place - and the current level of in-theater
air threat in the first place.
Looking at the canopy it seemed like a single seater, but now that you
mention it I haven't seen a two seater on the wing - but they are still
flying. Got swooped by one on my way to lunch just yesterday.
Very hard to distinguish a Typhoon from an F-16 at some angles...has to
go wing-high so you can see that delta, then you can tell.
Actually a few years ago the USAF, in yet another attempt to codify
tradition, decided to call everyone in the USAF "Airman", regardless of
rank. Capitalized. To compare to "Marines" "Soldiers" "Sailors". So USAF
non-NCO enlisted persons are both airmen and Airmen. NCOs and officers are
Airmen. So the reporter was not incorrect, as long as he capitalized
Airmen. Clear as mud?
: Clueless Reporter's Disease - it's a real crippler. Usually appears in the
: form of anything with treads that is not a bulldozer is a tank and any
: warship with a turret is a battleship.
Well, if they are saying "battleship", then they are wrong.
Problem is, they could be saying "battle ship", and that is
perfectly correct, if a mite confusing. I would prefer that
they use the appropriate term (destroyer, frigate, etc), but
that is expecting WAY too much from a reporter. So, "man 'o war"
would work, but is doubtless far too politically incorrect...
So, perhaps they should stick to "war ship". Probably still
"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
"Everything points to the pilot forgetting to lower the wheels, which
does happen from time to time," an RAF insider said.
AVM Prune was unavailable for further comment.
(It's the Sun, after all. Remember the Falklands? "The Sun Sez: Kill
Sorry but those who fly are considered and called Airmen. Pilots and
aircrews hold an Airmen certification or "licenses." No where on my
Pilot's License does it say "pilots license" it says Airman
All personnel serving in the USAF are called Airmen collectively.
Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines....no where do we separate the
officers from the enlisted individuals in these descriptives. So the
author of the story was correct.
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