Friday, February 11, 2011

Naval Eurofighter: An Aircraft Carrier Version Under Development

The development of carrier aviation during the 20th century led to a dramatic paradigm shift in military capability. For the first time, navies had the ability to exert their influence far over the horizon – supporting land campaigns and allowing hostile fleets to be engaged from beyond the range of a battleship’s guns. From Pearl Harbor to more recent conflicts in the Falklands and the Middle East, the carrier and its aircraft provide commanders with an unrivaled ability to project military and political influence; several acres of sovereign territory which can be moved close to potential trouble spots at short notice.

Historically, carrier aircraft have been highly specialized and designed specifically for the role. In the majority of cases, there is little or no commonality between the aircraft operated by a nation’s air force, and the different aircraft performing the same role in the Navy. Design decisions taken in order to optimise an aircraft for carrier operations can lead to trade-offs elsewhere – such as additional weight and low-speed handling characteristics that compromise performance in other areas of the envelope.
A classic example today is the F-18 in all its versions, heavy, slow and not capable of facing the most advanced threats emerging around the world.
For a number of years, Eurofighter GmbH and its industrial partners have been studying the feasibility of adapting Eurofighter Typhoon for the naval role. These studies have included the assessment of required design changes, piloted simulations to refine the aircraft’s handling qualities and discussions with key suppliers. The studies indicate that these changes are feasible, and would lead to the development of a world-beating, carrier-based fighter aircraft.
Related tags .....


Post a Comment