Move over Maverick: Boris feels the need, the need for speed in RAF Typhoon

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to be given a demonstration of the Typhoon fighter jet. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire this week for a behind the scenes look at one of the RAF’s two Quick Reaction Alert Stations which protect UK airspace.

The Royal Air Force base is home to two frontline, combat-ready squadrons and the training station for RAF Typhoon pilots.

The Prime Minister was given a demonstration in a Eurofighter Typhoon, the world’s most powerful and reliable swing-role combat aircraft which can fly at more than twice the speed of sound. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to be given a demonstration of the Typhoon fighter jet. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a key part of the Royal Air Force’s equipment in the 21st century. It is a ‘swing role’ aircraft in that it can operate as fighter and, in due course as the design evolves, as a bomber and a ground attack aircraft. The Eurofighter also builds on a long history of British multi-role fighters and other European collaborative projects.

The air forces of four countries have ordered a total of 571 Eurofighters (UK 160, Germany 143, Italy 96, and Spain 73).

The RAF’s fleet will also soon to be fitted with the world’s most advanced radar – part of a £2.35 billion investment.

The state-of-the-art European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk 2 radar will further transform the Eurofighter Typhoon’s control of the air, bringing a world-leading electronic warfare capability which will allow the aircraft to simultaneously detect, identify and track multiple targets in the air and on the ground.

It will support operations in the most challenging situations, equipping pilots with the ability to suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming and engage targets whilst beyond the reach of threats.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, said:

It’s vital the UK remains at the forefront of military capabilities to be able to deter and defend.

These technological enhancements will maintain the cutting-edge capabilities of Eurofighter Typhoon and help underpin the development path towards the Future Combat Air System.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a Typhoon fighter. Photographer: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street UK MOD © Crown copyright

The work also ensures the aircraft can integrate additional capabilities and weapons later in the decade to counter emerging threats until 2040 and beyond.

This sees Typhoon enhanced with the latest mission computer and cockpit interface, as well as an improved navigation system and signal jamming technology.

ECRS Mk2 will be delivered into service towards the end of the decade and today’s announcement ensures that the advanced technical skills and expertise needed to develop, integrate and deliver these complex projects remain in the UK and are available to support the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme.

The radar is a prime example of the UK’s world-leading onshore technology, being developed by Leonardo UK in Edinburgh and Luton and integrated by BAE Systems in Warton.

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, said:

The ECRS Mk2 radar is a transformational upgrade for our Typhoon aircraft, and a step change in capability. It will ensure Typhoon is ready and able to protect our skies into the future, in the face of fast-evolving threats to the UK and our allies.

The Typhoon programme continues to support more than 20,000 jobs throughout the UK. The latest investments, negotiated by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), sustain more than 1,300 jobs across the UK, including Leonardo UK’s sites in Edinburgh, Luton and Lincoln, BAE Systems at Warton and Samlesbury, Lancashire, Kent, Meggitt in Stevenage and II–VI in County Durham.

DE&S CEO, Sir Simon Bollom, said:

The integration of ECRS Mk2 on Typhoon offers the RAF unparalleled radar capability for the next decade. It is an excellent example of DE&S working collaboratively to procure battle-winning technology that allows our Armed Forces to keep one step ahead of their enemy.

The announcement builds on the Integrated review and Defence Command Paper – which was backed by an additional £24 billion for Defence in cash terms over four years. This funding will allow for investment for the long term in vital capabilities, while simultaneously adapting to a more dangerous and competitive world.

Source: Ministry of Defence


  1. Great pics of the Prime Minister! Looks like he had a great time ,and I bet they enjoyed having him there !👍

  2. He is still focused on things that matter and all you get from Labour and the people in his own party who want him out is dirision, makes me feel very sad.


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