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Ukraine a ‘game changer' for RAF Typhoon Force

An RAF Typhoon departs RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland earlier in 2023, bound for NATO air-policing duties over the Baltic region. The outbreak of war in Ukraine in February 2022 has massively increased the operational demands on the fleet. (Crown Copyright)

The outbreak of war in Ukraine in 2022 saw ‘the game changed' for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon Force, massively increasing its flight hours and the level of support needed to maintain operations.

Speaking at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) show at Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford in Gloucestershire, Jez Milne, UK Typhoon Support Delivery director, BAE Systems - Air, said that Russia's renewed invasion of Ukraine in 2022 saw an enormous effort from industry to sustain the increased demand being placed on the RAF's Typhoon fleet.

“If we go back to 24 February 2022 and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the game changed for the [RAF] in operational terms, and of course, it changed for us in support terms as well,” Milne said. “Collectively, we fuelled the fight for them – we allowed the air force to deliver what it needs to do.”

Under the Typhoon Total Availability eNterprise (TyTAN) plan, industry is contracted to provide the RAF Typhoon Force with a minimum of 179,000 flight hours over 10 years or 17,900 hours per year.

“We try to keep every aircraft that's on the front line at an average of halfway through its hours between services. So, if you've got an aircraft that needs servicing every 625 hours, we want the average across the fleet to be at just over 300 hours. If the RAF starts burning hours faster than our maintenance is putting hours back in, then you've got a bit of a problem,” Milne said.

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