Sonntag, 12. August 2012

Typhoon as interceptor

An interceptor aircraft (or simply interceptor) is a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically to prevent missions of enemy aircraft, particularly bombers andreconnaissance aircraft. The interceptor must be able to start, launch, climb to altitude, manoeuvre for attack and then attack the bomber before the bomber can cover the distance between detection and deploying its weapons.

One solution is to build an interceptor with extremely high performance, one that can be launched after the attack is spotted and still have enough time to engage the enemy. This tactic is performed by quick reaction forces. The typhoon can perform this role in the standard air-superiority configuration.

The other tactic is to keep enough interceptors in the air in order to provide coverage over the entire attack area. As military aircraft generally require considerable time on the ground between missions, this solution requires many aircraft or ones that stay in the air for extended periods.

So the first requirement is to have a high performance airplane that can stay in the air for long periods of time. The periods can be extended by aerial refueling. However, an extended range of such an aircraft is desirable. Consequently, the typhoon must be equipped with additional fuel tanks in order to perform well in this role:

Fuel tanks:

Two conformal fuel tanks, each carrying additionally 1500 liters of fuel.
Three drop tanks, each carrying 1000 liters of fuel.

The additional fuel amounting to 6000 liters gives the Typhoon plenty of time to patrol the airspace. In case of imminent battle, the drop tanks are dropped, thereby reducing the drag and weight of the typhoon.


4 MBDA meteor (long range radar guided missiles)
6 IRIS-T (short range infrared guided missiles)
1 Mauser BK-27 revolver canon

Only 4 long range missiles were chosen, because they are less reliable than the short range infrared guided missiles. Furthermore, after launching one or two long range missiles a short range encounter is likely to ensue, if the enemy forces react. In this case, the IRIS-T is the best weapon. Finally, the gun can be used if the battle ends in a dogfight.

The total additional weight is approximately the following:

6000 litres fuel = 4800 Kg
4 Meteor = 4*185 Kg = 740 Kg
6 IRIS-T = 6*88 Kg = 528 Kg
Total = 6068 Kg

Given the additional weight of the fuel tanks, the total additional weight would be around 6.2 tons. This configuration will enable the aircraft to remain airborne for hours. The weapon load is suitable for the air-to-air role. The typhoon is a very capable interceptor in this configuration.

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