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June 20, 2005



The loud-mouthed Congressmen, none of whose sons are likely ever to drive a fighter jet, could not care less about the thing's combat effectiveness. They care where the thing is manufactured, and that kills the Eurofighter's chances. Patty Muray, the "Mom in tennis shoes", senior Senator from Washington, jammed an unwanted aricraft down the Air Force's throat a few years ago because it was made by Boeing.


Make no mistake, the Eurofighter is a very proficient fighter aircraft. In studies, can't remember where they were done, it was determined that it would in theory haves something like 80% of the combat effectiveness of the F-22 (as it then was), and a greater combat effectiveness than the F-15 (both C and E).

This should really be no surprise, the F-15 is after all a 30 year old design, and cannot hope to match the agility of the Eurofighter Typhoon.

That said, to be fair to these particular pilots, the F-15E is less of a fighter than a strike aircraft. The F-15C, from what I've heard, is still superior in a dogfight to the F-15E (which is essentially a ground attack version of the F-15C with an extra seat).

Still, Abiola is right, this does highlight the need for the F/A-22 to enter service in decent numbers with the USAF. Too many US Congressmen (and even USAF bureaucrats) have the erroneous view that the F-15 still reigns supreme and that the F/A-22 is therefore an unnecessary expense. Evidently, this is not true, and the F/A-22 is required if the US is to maintain its edge in the air.


Fantastic! Now hopefully we can flog a few of these babies to any regime which fancies having a pop at the USAF and their irksome "no fly zones" and recoup some of the cost of developing the bloody thing.


As Darren notes, the F15E is a strike craft - relevant tests should be between the Eurofighter and the F16 and F18. The USAF really wants those F22s, despite the expense and despite the fact that the Army and Marines need money now. The USAF is very effective at lobbying Congress, so expect the AF to get its way while other branches are hurting.

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