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What comes after the Eurofighter?

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posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 06:16 PM
I really have little knowledge on aircraft so forgive my ignorance, however, what I am interested in is future European aircraft projects that may eventually supercede the Eurofighter programme.

I understand it has only just come out but surely there must be some sort of research into the next generation European aircraft now that a number of European countries have worked together extensively. You'd think they would be working hard to build on the technology they have acquired, especially now that countries like China and India are starting to build 5th gen aircraft. Europe has the money and the technology to pursue such technology. Is there any reason why they aren't?

Now i've read a bit on this forum and seen the stealth craft thread (from countries from the US) and it already seems that European countries are pretty adept at stealth technology but refrain from using developing it extensively because of US political pressure (i.e. might compromise their stealth technology hegemony) and the fractious nature of European politics.

Is there any European movement for a stealth aircraft?
Is one being developed already or are they going to rely on the Americans in future?
Will the European countries come together on this one instead of producing 3 different fighters (Gripen, Rafaele and EF)?

I'm just curious and hungry for any informations - whether it be tidbits or whatever. Any info appreciated.


posted on Apr, 15 2007 @ 01:57 AM
I think many of the EU airforces are going to be giving a hard look at UCAVS's.

To be honest the fighter after the Typhoon is going to the the F-35 JSF which will replace most of the strike aircraft. Both will compliment each other nicely. If any country is going to get the F-22 in Europe it will be the UK, but it may not fit into the budget.

I know that EADS and Dessaut have extensive UAV programs and it seems like a natural progression to me.

The EU can build a stealth fighter if they so chose, but its an expensive proposition. I doubt US pressure would hold back say France if they wanted to put forth the capital to do so.

[edit on 4/15/07 by FredT]

posted on Apr, 15 2007 @ 05:32 AM
There is no known development work currently going on in the UK for a manned fighter beyond Typhoon, but that doesn't mean there isn't any at all. The BAE Systems Replica programme certainly had all the appearance of a manned aircraft and who knows what hidden direction this effort might lead to?

The main area of interest for the UK currently however is the 'UCAV Swarm' in which a two seat aircraft (on current tests a Tornado F3 is used, but this is only for the trials) acts as 'squadron leader' for a gaggle of semi-autonomous warplanes. Efforts along this path are currently being directed both towards the USA through 'project Churchill' as part of the N-UCAS effort, and also towards EADS, while at the same time pursuing its own Taranis UCAV project which will fly by 2009, this is where BAE sees its main priority after Typhoon is complete and I wouoldn't be surprised to see the RAF and BAE talking about a two seat 'F-35D' within the next couple of years to provide a stealthy alternative UCAV leader to the Typhoon, the current favourite platform already available as a two seater.

posted on Apr, 15 2007 @ 05:46 AM
I´d think that there first has to be a common "Joint technology groundwork" within the EU before going ahead with further multinational developments. I say this on the basis of the extremely harsh problems most joint defense projects are troubled with as of late.

Too many fail, get abridged or otherwise harrassed by differing opinions of the participating states, which at best results in severe delays of the products (as in the case of the Typhoon). Another example could be the GTK Boxer. Another problem is that the big European def contractors, namely EADS and BAe Systems, manage to steal out of responsibilities for product mismanagement despite their near-monopoly market position.

The possible future HTH program, or Heavy Transport Helicopter by Eurocopter, could be used also as "testbed" for a new approach to joint development under EU steering. Eurocopter in particluar has so far managed to keep its mil projects largely on track (the Tiger and the NH90), though in the case of the HTH there is also open thoughts about doing a Eurocopter-Boeing/Bell/Lockheed teamup.

Anyway, I´d say that the participating members should show more commitment to these programs or be granted less loopholes to abridge or bug out of these in order to speed up development. Then again, thats wishful thinking.

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