Greebo;I see your position, I think, but you may be misinformed on one or two issues.
Firstly there was no requirement for a naval fighter among any of the remaining Eurofighter countries, the UK was the only partner with any sort of
carriers and we thought we had gone VTOL for good at that time. Circumstances change of course but it is not an example of stupidity. The French
requirement for a carrier version to replace the Cusader and Super Etendard was drawn up AFTER they left the ECA consortium in order to extend any
production run for a national solution, making it more industrially viable.
I must correct you that France never had any interest in a naval Typhoon at all, ever. What they wanted was either 50% of any collaborative fighter
(with the other 50% shared 4 ways) or, preferably, 100% of their own aircraft and no rival, this was the root of French disruption in the early days
of the ECA studies and carrier ops were never mentioned at this time.
I agree that the Rafale M now offers a ready made solution, but this is not a reason to denigrate Eurofighter, why would they develop a carrier
variant when there was no requirement? A Sea Typhoon was studied in the 1990's for JCA before the F-35 was selected (on the back of the STOVL
operations it offers, which we thought we needed). Just How expensive this Sea Typhoon might be or how long it might take to produce is something we
can't really guess at, it might well be hugely expensive, but we don't know for sure. For instance the Typhoon already has an arrestor hook, so that
is one area of re-engineering that wont be necessary, there may well be others and it may prove to be quite affordable, who knows?
I don't know what you mean by the 'tranch debacle is embarrassing'. I am unaware of any debacle, as far as I know the 'tranches' are going
according to plan, aren't they? I know the aircraft are coming on stream later than they should, but that is more political than technical,
The worst aspect about the Typhoon for me is the political stalling by Germany and their totally unnecessary quest for a stripped out cut price
version which achieved nothing but delaying the full spec aircraft that was built anyway and upping the price of it in the process. As an aircraft
itself I think it is admirable.
It is a pity a carrier version wasn't requested in the first place but is this the fault of Eurofighter or the aircraft? The Typhoon was never going
to be operable from the Invincible class ships (neither is any other fighter without a Pegasus engine) and back then this looked like being the only
type of carrier we would ever have, you might expect Eurofighter to predict military defence needs, but predicting what the British Govt will actually
stump up for is a different matter, our need for full size carriers never went away, only our willingness to pay for them.
No doubt we will agree to differ on this matter.