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The Eurofighter Typhoon is a multi-role high performance combat aircraft which was a multi-national development between the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. Achieving its first flight in March 1994, deliveries to the partner nations began in August 2003 and the type first saw combat over Libya during 2010 and 2011. The Typhoon has been subject to constant upgrades throughout its service life and most recently has been earmarked for a new far more advanced radar together with the potential for a new touchscreen cockpit to be installed. The Typhoon can carry a variety of air to ground and air to air weaponry including the Meteor long range air to air missile which is arguably considered the best air to air missile in the world. In addition to the partner nations, the Typhoon is operated by Austria, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia.
The RAF currently operate three generations of the Typhoon known as Tranches One, Two and Three. Tranche Two and Three aircraft mostly equip front line squadrons and have been upgraded to a similar standard - with Tranche Three aircraft also having the ability to use conformal fuel tanks in required. The older Tranche One aircraft cannot be easily upgraded to the same standard and are currently used for training and the air defence of the United Kingdom however they are expected to be retired in 2025. The RAF operate the Typhoon from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, RAF Lossiemouth in Morayshire, RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands whilst also maintaining a combat deployment at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. The latter flies daily combat missions over Syria whilst also supporting NATO enhanced air policing missions along the Ukrainian border.
As the only RAF fast jet solo display, the RAF Typhoon Display Team will once again be appearing at the Air Tattoo this year. The aircraft will be provided by 29 Squadron from RAF Coningsby who train RAF and other allied nations pilots how to fly and fight in the Typhoon. This year's display pilot is Flight Lieutenant Matt Brighty who is a Qualified Pilot Instructor with 29 Squadron. In addition, we will see a Typhoon FGR4s on static display from XI Squadron based at RAF Coningsby, and also a a two-seat Typhoon T3 from 12 Squadron, the joint RAF and Qatari training unit. Photo Credit: Andrew Evans