Eurofighter Typhoon (UK versions) - Technical data and discussion

It sounds high because the RCS is at 50% of detection. The game uses something like 80 or 90% chance of detection so the bar is higher, which would make the EF-2000’s RCS below the 1.5m^2 mark.

Read the manual again, the radar detection given is at 50% chance of detection. So in-game, it should probably be about 0.5m^2 or something like that.

it also says with a single look. although that might make it worse lol

Lets stay on topic please.

1 Like

Based on Austrian MOD documents the All-Aspect range of the PIRATE IRST/FLIR is 80km, with a maximum of 150 km in the rear aspect. They cite the range as 50-80km, with a potential for up to 150 km to be achieved in optimal weather conditions, we know that supersonic afterburning aircraft in rear-aspect create the highest possible IR signature, therefore 150 km is the rear aspect figure and 80km is the All-Aspect figure. The figure of 40-50km is instead for target identification which the Eurofighter incorporates to tell the pilot the aircraft type and (in conjunction with radar and the wider MAWS system) weapons loadout. Also it’s important to note that unlike Soviet and French FLIR/IRST it does not use a laser rangefinder for ranging and therefore should not alert an LWS MAWS system.



Is someone going to re-post the DA2/F.2 suggestion from the old forum here?

That would almost certainly be lowballing its actual performance significantly, I have a feeling its referring to tracking range, or at least where Visual Identification of the target could be resolved, not at which the detection of emissions occurs.

Since as per outsider’s view of the AWG-9 even the basic AN/ALR-23 IRSTS mounted on the F-14 would outperform it and I doubt that is the case considering that the ALR-23 is very basic, and not much of an improvement on the AN/AAA-4 & AN/AAS-15( equipt by various USAF / USN interceptors).

Let alone the more advanced AN/AXX-1 TCS. Which we also happen to have a specification document for here, and considering its using more advanced, modern detectors and electronics the performance should be improved in comparison.

1 Like

I doubt European thermals are being “lowballed”. The American stuff in the 70s and 80s was well ahead of their time. In my experience, American FLIR still out-performs most other countries in service.

Do we have any understand on how the passive ranging and rate works?

I havent gone through all 4 documents yet.

Sort of but not currently with a single aperture, an overview of potential mechanics and a dual aperture pentamirror design can be found; Here.

Additionally, an overview of Kinematic ranging equations can be found Here.

Though I would propose that with a sufficiently accurate INS system could allow for a synthetic baseline to be taken since airspeed and time between images could be used to work backwards to compute the distance between images, and a lookup table or otherwise could be used for the known range to an object, be that a constellation(s) / star , the moon, the horizon(based on current altitude, and approximated atmospheric conditions) or otherwise.

as past a point, the precision of readings isn’t as important, as their accuracy and so being aware that a target is actually approximately 20~30NM not 70~80NM, its heading, speed and closure rate could also be derived the same way that a PD radar does, based on a number of sets of returns.

On top of that most offensive systems would only really need a precomputed look angle to assist with Target Acquisition, and if a more accurate solution was was needed, there is still the radar to fall back on.

The UK is a tier 1 partner on F-35 and had access to West German Mig-29’s since Germany is also a Typhoon partner, as well as the FLIR on the F-35, the IRST on the Eurofighter is designed specifically to counter stealth, as good as the American stuff was the US doesn’t have a monopoly on IRST capability PIRATE is very probably as good as it gets for a fourth generation fighter and second only to the F-35 FLIR when we count current 5th generation fighters.

Probably yep but 150km outranges every AMRAAM but the D-variant which in itself only becomes detrimental when the aforementioned D-variant is equipped to stealth aircraft as every other aircraft has to lock the Typhoon before it detects them which is very difficult, and then to launch the missile and the METEOR does have an anti-radiation capability coupled with its seeker. The second the Typhoon is locked they can fire a Meteor and pretty much 180 to outrange it whilst the other aircraft has to worry about how to defeat a Meteor which they will not outrange with a potentially passive seeker.

Detection should still occur well before the Typhoon reaches the No Escape Zone let alone the point where the Pk of a single shot would make it a sound tactical idea, instead of waiting to further close the distance or fly the intercept and improve the geometry in order to have a higher SSPk.

These days most aircraft have a sufficiently advanced MAWS so the shorter the time of flight the less there is that they can do to respond, and even basic sytems won’t be missing a missile launch even at extreme distances, as even after motor burn out there is still drag-induced skin heating that makes thermal emissions noticeable.

The Passive mode is probably most useful against AWACS, and similar utility / refueling aircraft that can’t really maneuver at all, and have a large RCS, a fighter is probably sufficiently maneuverable (and likely to do so due to intercept / patrol tasking) that it would be outside the scanned volume, or otherwise be far more likely to kinematically defeat the launch.

The optimal flow and timings in any given scenario change significantly depending on a number of factors(e.g. Altitude, the type and number of aircraft involved in the action, ground forces, support available, etc. ), The Meteor may outrange an AMRAAM, but unless explicitly required to limit the penetration of a given attacker it would likely to be better to wait until the ranges closed, and it nears the AMRAAM’s engagement range as to limit the defensive options that the attacker(s) has available and give the missile the best chance.

After all what would stop the attacker from resetting the engagement by turning cold once they detect the missile launch, even a Meteor as good as it is isn’t undefeatable if you have the time, altitude, space and awareness to do so (Crank, Notch, Turn cold, etc.), sure it might make their situation significantly worse and so be less likely to continue to engage, or prosecute their mission, but if the Typhoon doesn’t push the advantage they are now down a missile (and fuel, as those range figures certainly don’t come from a low speed, low altitude launch so fuel would have been expended), which depending on their loading may be decisive at some point in the future, or against the next attacker that attempts to do the same thing. and depending on the situation it may well bait the Typhoon into the path of a fighter sweep or any other sort of disadvantageous position from a third party if they decide to continue to close.

With so many potentially critical details there isn’t really any way to say that the Meteor has a set range, is it better than the AMRAAM in practically every way, sure (except maybe some aspects of ECCM, and assorted features, that wouldn’t be relevant to most engagements), but it isn’t going to always win the fight without a contest as far more than just the systems involved come into play.

Modern French thermals are still not even remotely up to par, borrowing technologies from the US does not mean they might be capable of producing a similar quality of technologies in Germany itself. And to be honest, what modern German military equipment is even produced there? Last I checked helicopters and tanks for Germany were mostly produced elsewhere. Ex; Leo2 hulls are only produced in Greece currently.

My statement stands that AMERICAN thermal developments are still ahead of anything made by Europe.

Not in terms of fixed wing airborne equipment, considering that the most moderns IRST is still the AN/AAS-42 [1984] based IRST21, which is still being refitted into pods for modern airframes (F-15 & F -16 are equipt with the Legion IRST / Legion-ES), or hardwired into them (F/A-18E/F).

And anyway as mature technology the only practical advancements that could be made (since they are reusing an existing assembly) are relegated to data processing / image enhancement, which really aren’t going to make for that much of a performance gap, a qualitative difference maybe, but nothing significant, let alone to the point where it would have an operational impact. It would be far more telling to look at efforts to control the thermal signature of the various airframes, as it would otherwise present limitations to the pilots if they aren’t offset in some way.

IRST’s are still governed by physical phenomena, so the fact that the IRST-21 might have better resolution, or less noise would only impact things like the Visual Identification range, not detection of a signature since both the PIRATE and IRST are LWIR based systems, and use sufficiently advanced filters and processing techniques to assist the pilot in making a determination, sure it might have fancy datalink capabilities and other Utility features, but that is auxiliary to the sensor and nothing that couldn’t be refitted or modified to add said capacity for specific interoperability with a given network in short order if needed to replicate the capabilities provided[The Typhoon was tested with / is compatible with both the Link -16 and MADL networks ].


Something I don’t see noted here is that the Eurofighter/Rafale have their IRST better optimized in terms of air to air capabilities than the F-14D and F-35 in terms of placement on the aircraft.

The Eurofighter/Rafale have their IRST on top of the nose while US IRST have it placed on the bottom. Even further back on the bottom for F-35 which indicates optimized for air to ground.

You also at the same time can see the new IRST being tested on the F-22 being placed on top of the nose. This lends evidence that IRST is better optimized on top of the nose for air to air.

So I really would not expect F-14D’s IRST already to provide the same ergonomics/utility that the Euro deltas have.

1 Like

Bottom of nose is better or more ideal for BVR engagements and top of the nose doesn’t allow for air to ground at all. Europe is just behind in this aspect.

Stealth aircraft have no problems being high and above enemy fighters, gen4s need to be able to dive and stay low or look up generally.

The US never focused heavily on IRST for air to air role, but that doesn’t discount the research and technology that has gone into surface to air tracking or modern infrared seeker technology. Tank thermals especially have been far ahead of competitors, even having the first tank thermals sights to begin with. It wasn’t until the 2010s that Russia was able to equip their tanks with French thermals sights roughly on par with early gen1 Abrams thermals.

If that was true, the planned/experimented IRST would be on bottom of nose for the F-22. And we know the F-22 is optimized for air to air. Stealth aircrafts can’t always enjoy being high up and do have to eventually drop down in altitude in a BVR fight.

1 Like

The F-22’s current IR sensors, radar, nose gear, and electronics block pretty much any potential plan to install a low profile IRST under the nose as the F-35 was designed to have.

Also the primary function of 90% of the subsequent F-22 upgrades was making it more multi-role capable.