Eurofighter Typhoon has proven its ability to operate successfully anywhere in the world in varying conditions and it continues to demonstrate that it is available, deployable and supportable. Typhoon offers excellent levels of fleet effectiveness all over the world.
The aircraft has demonstrated excellent robustness in severe environments behaving flawlessly under monsoon conditions in Malaysia, on high altitude operations over the Himalayas and has excelled under arctic conditions in Kiruna, Sweden and on the Falkland Islands. Typhoon has also proved successful whilst enduring soaring high temperatures in Nevada, USA and during flight trials in India, the aircraft operated without fault, in temperatures in excess of +40 Celsius and 100% humidity as well as performing at airfield elevations in excess of 10000ft. The first 24 Typhoon aircraft for the Royal Saudi Air Force equip the Third Squadron based at Taif Air Base where the squadron commenced Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties in mid-2011 and have recently commenced air-to-ground operations.
In 2011, as part of the coalition response to UN Security Council Resolution 1973 the Typhoon Force took part in Operation ELLAMY, which was the UK contribution to the NATO Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR. This was the first contingent operation for the Typhoon Force and proved to be its “coming of age”. In particular, Operation ELLAMY showcased the performance of the aircraft in its air-to-ground role, which further highlights the importance of the UK’s ability to unilaterally develop Typhoon capability in line with UK Defence requirements.
In the initial stages of the deployment, the Typhoon Force prepared and departed the UK well inside mandated timescales. As a result of this, the aircraft were in the air over Libya, within 24 hours of landing in southern Italy, even before the arrival of freight aircraft bearing all of the necessary support equipment. Equipped with AMRAAM and ASRAAM in the air-to-air role, the Force soon reached full operational capability. Within 6 weeks the aircraft had transitioned to multi-role, with the additional carriage of Enhanced Paveway 2 (1000lb) Laser/GPS guided bombs and Litening 3 Laser Designator Pod. A total of 234 bombs were dropped from Typhoon in a mixture of self-designation and cooperative designation (with Tornado) profiles during Op ELLAMY. All missions involved extensive use of coalition air-to-air-refuelling, which allow extended vulnerability times during sorties varying between 5 and 7 hours in duration, proving Typhoon’s interoperability capabilities.
During Operation ELLAMY, the Typhoon demonstrated remarkable reliability, with the Typhoon Availability Service achieving 99% of the increased flying hours target. Further, the resilience of the deployed fleet far exceeded normal expectations, achieving an overall serviceability rate of 88%, against the backdrop of the surge in deployed aircraft utilisation rate – from 24 to 90 hours per month. The Typhoon Force robustly delivered against the required task achieving 97% of the allocated Air Tasking Order missions during the whole operation. This achievement resulted in a grand total of 594 operational missions and 3035 flying hours flown.
In October 2011, Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft participated in the Advanced Tactical Leadership Exercise (ATLC) held in the UAE. In November 2011, Royal Air Force Typhoon jets from 6 Squadron RAF Leuchars took part in the Malaysian Exercise Bersama Lima 11 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) (UK, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia). In February 2012 Royal Air Force Typhoons from XI Squadron RAF Coningsby deployed to Oman to participate in Exercise Magic Carpet 2012 with the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO). The exercise included air combat training with RAFO F-16s, close air support training and live weapon drops.