A quick question which is confusing me, is the Eurofighter currently a multirole aircraft?

A video on the bbc news said a US General was saying for the no-fly zone to work, they would have to bomb Libyan defences but on the bbc it said; "The NAO report says Typhoons are performing well in air-to-air missions, but that work on adapting the jets for ground attack is unlikely to be complete until 2018"
Magic Mushroom is the Crab orientated authority on matters relating to the Junior service. Waspie and Scouse are also knowledgeable and well versed in all matters appertaining to general aviation. However as these valuable contributors to the site are conspicuous by their absence I will try to give you an educated opinion formed by watching the RAF recruiting Video and the defence correspondents opinions of various "rags".
It is indeed a "multirole" aircraft within the definitions/perameters set by the defence procurement teams at MOD and interpretated by the manufacturers.
It will take off, make a very loud noice and it will also land. Further demands like bombing and air to air capabilities and ground attack roles are bolt on extra features. Probably be available 2020.
Hmmm, definetely one for the sideways walking brethren, but what the hell, heres my uneducated waffle.

If it does more than one role eg Air superiority and strike bomber, then its multirole. The more interesting q might be is it actually any good at any of them. "Adapting jets for ground attack"?? Umm I guess this is getting at the early retirement of the harrier fleet? Adapting meaning what, a radar capable of ground scan to generate weapon data to feed to the arsenal of AW? Im pretty sure a crab, maybe even a Biggles will let us know the semantic differences 'tween close air support and ground attack, hitting vehicles, buildings or positions all takes different fings that go bang, JDAM (whoops...) 2000lb er or a fancy 500lb LGB chock full of burning Rowntrees jelly....and so different requirements of the aircraft carrying such. Mavericks were "TV" guided back in the day, LGBs need, well, a laser either from a ground vehicle or on an aircraft, and Biggles being an antisocial f***er wants to carry it on his own A/C. I suppose we could always bomb by GPS but will that mean an annoying birds voice in the cockpit saying stuff like "At the next waypoint, turn left. No I meant the other left. Why dont you just stop at a garage and ask for directions. My mother was right about you."


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Adapting meaning what, a radar capable of ground scan to generate weapon data to feed to the arsenal of AW?
It's not just ensuring that the weapon has the target data, it's ensuring that the aircraft's systems (sensors & combat systems) can present this information to the monkey with the stick to allow him/her to select the appropriate targets for engagement. There's then the issue of flight parameters for carriage and release which require a fair amount of Trials & Evaluation at places like Boscombe Down before the aircraft/weapon combination can be released to squadrons for operational use.

I noted from one of our tame Crab's previous posts the Eurofighter is now being claimed to have a cannon - I thought that the requirement for operating this crude unsophisticated weapon system had been deleted many years ago and that the only reason that the cannon itself was being carried was that it would be cheaper to continue to fit the weapon and not use it, than to re-conduct flight trials to re-determine the centre of gravity, and the associated impact on the flight control systems, with the weapon removed!
Typhoon is already cleared for PW and EPW as well as Litening III. PWIV has been trialled but is not currently a priority for clearance. However, that would not take long. The radar and sensors have had A-G modes designed in from the outset as have other systems such as the data links. The cannon was never removed and was only considered for deletion in a vain attempt to save pennies which was quickly binned; full functionality for the cannon remains.

In addition, the Typhoon is already cleared for carriage of the Litening III targeting pod so it can both self designate A-G weapons. LIII also has the same FMV capabilities employed by the GR4 so the Tiff could conduct a basic recce and ISR task via video stream.

The Typhoon fleet has conducted CAS and A-G work ups on exercise and the FACs have been very positive about the aircraft in the role (Johnny Paveway on RR is one who is better qualified to talk). Most tellingly, there are a large number of Jag and GR9 pilots now flying the aircraft who are itching to use Typhoon on ops in either A-A or A-G ops.

Would we like Storm Shadow, Brimstone, ALARM and RAPTOR? Absolutely! However, the cash for that has been salami sliced and/or delayed. It is primarily this 'full A-G capability' which will not be complete until 2018. Probably the biggest drag on progress is that the majority of software updates have to be conducted via the multinational NEFMA bureaucracy.

However, Typhoon is a multi-role asset already and could be employed in an A-G role tomorrow.

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