“The European nations involved in planning the next FCAS systems won’t be able to get the best out of them, both in terms of development and operational capability, without Eurofighter,” Raffael Klaschka, former Typhoon pilot with the Luftwaffe.
“The idea that Eurofighter will be replaced or won’t have a fundamental role to play when an FCAS [Future Combat Air System] system arrives doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.”
Head of Strategic Marketing and former Typhoon pilot Raffael Klaschka who served in the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) for 18 years delves into detail about the role Eurofighter will play in the future in an interesting article for Eurofighter World Magazine.
“Eurofighter Typhoon will play an important and operationally relevant role in the future operating environment – I have absolutely no doubt about that,” says Raffael Klaschka.
“I’m not saying this simply because of my role at Eurofighter GmbH or indeed my perspective as a former Eurofighter Typhoon pilot— I’m convinced of Eurofighter’s central role for a number of reasons.
“The European nations involved in planning the next FCAS systems won’t be able to get the best out of them, both in terms of development and operational capability, without Eurofighter.
“With its scalable weapon effects, great precision and flexibility, Eurofighter will be an essential part of the FCAS. It will be able to significantly increase the mission effectiveness as a manned platform within the FCAS.”
“In the future battlespace a combat aircraft would still have a fundamental role to play besides other manned and unmanned assets,” says Raffael.
“Nobody really knows exactly when an FCAS will reach 100% Full Operating Capability. But we do know that Eurofighter will pave the way for it and will continue to make a major contribution to the force mix as and when the FCAS does arrive.”
“It’s not a question of either an evolved Eurofighter or an FCAS,” says Raffael. “I’d argue that you can’t have a truly effective FCAS without investing in the evolution of Typhoon as well. For one thing, investment in Typhoon technology, will allow it to be a maturation platform for the future combat system. As a technical enabler Eurofighter would help de-risk FCAS development.”
Raffael continues. “Continued investment in the further evolution of the Eurofighter delivers a huge benefit as a force multiplier of certain military capabilities. For example, installing a high-speed data network into the Eurofighter fleet can be done relatively easily and with limited cost. That in combination with new communication assets enables connectivity to a variety of assets.”
Raffael argues that the price you would pay if we were to stop investing in Typhoon would be far higher than the cost needed to make it a vital asset in the future operating environment. Because then the cost would be measured in lost opportunities, skills, technology maturation and future capability of the whole system.
The Eurofighter Typhoon 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. In fact, by looking at the current Eurofighter user nations and their plans for the operating life of Typhoon, we can be very confident that we will see Eurofighter flying until at least the 2060s.
Photo credit: Eurofighter