Eurofighter boasts USAF F-15 kills by Spanish Typhoons

Eurofighter’s official blog makes an interesting claim today about a recent dissimilar fighter exercise in the Canaries involving Spanish Typhoons and US Air Force F-15s. The blog says:

In an interview on the exercise, Major Juan Balesta, the 41-year oldCommander of the 111 Squadron stressed that a two-ship formation ofEurofighters involved in a dogfight simulation “against” the F-15senjoyed full control of the engagement. The Typhoons managed to smash aformation of eight F-15s which had the role of the attacker with thefirst Eurofighter jet managing to “shoot down” four F-15 fighter jets.The second Eurofighter managed to disable three F-15 jets. Eventuallythe pilots were using the Eurofighter Typhoon to full capacity andtaking advantage of its enormous capabilities. Trump that.

This apparently refers to an exercise that ended last March. Who thinks Eurofighter is just trying to compensate for something, like a rumored beat-down by Dassault Rafale’s at Al Dhafra?

Spanish video of Canary exercises


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25 Responses to Eurofighter boasts USAF F-15 kills by Spanish Typhoons

  1. mrmalaya 21 January, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    don’t know about compensating but its not a surprising result, unlike the whole Al Dahfra thing…

    I’m surprised that they are getting into this sort of competitive boasting but perhaps Eurofighter have decided to take the gloves off!

  2. glider 21 January, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    mrmalaya, do you think rafales’ al dhafra claims are overrated?

  3. Marcus Messalla 21 January, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    The exercise was held in August.
    That is what normally happens when the Typhhons are involved and the rules of engagements are not limiting them to fly straight and level as bomber.

    Ask for that to the Italians. It looks that at the last Spring Flag an Typhoon shot down F-16 after 12 seconds from the engagement started.

  4. aeroxavier 21 January, 2010 at 5:34 pm #


  5. 7K7 21 January, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    I’m interested to hear more about this Rafale thing. If the Typhoon *couldn’t* best F-15s and F-16s then there would be something seriously wrong. Typhoon vs F-15 F-16 boring, Typhoon vs Rafale or F-22 interesting.

  6. Dave 21 January, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    I would say the very fact that they used the words “Trump that” at the end is a pretty good indication that they’re compensating for something…

    Next thing you know they’ll be ordering pills off of late night infomercials trying to find the right product to help overcome their shortcomings.

    Kinda pathetic really…

  7. EG 21 January, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    I do not mean to belittle any achievements over the F-15 or F-16 in ACM. But after 30 plus years, I would hope a superior aircraft would be deployed.

    The next question is;
    Can the current USAF aircraft overcome a quality advantage via AWACs and other types of Command and Control? Does the OODA loop have any relevance here?

  8. Craig Hoyle 22 January, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Hey, Marcus Messalla, can you give me an example of just where a Typhoon flown by anyone has had to fly straight and level “as a bomber”?
    That’s not a task that’s been required in order to protect the worst roads in Europe (the Baltics) or Pingu and his mates down south (Falkland Islands)!
    Of course Typhoons should be beating F-15Cs, due to the generation gap between the types; but just think how well they’d do with Meteor missiles and an AESA radar!

  9. Marcus Messalla 22 January, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    EG wrote: The next question is;
    Can the current USAF aircraft overcome a quality advantage via AWACs and other types of Command and Control? Does the OODA loop have any relevance here?

    No, sadly. Nor quality, nor quantity. A famous Rand Corp. study with the simulation of the clash over the Pacific demonstrate that that’s also with high prized assets could not be enough.

    P.S. the study drove mad LM!

  10. aeroxavier 22 January, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    for me the prob is in USA.they compare others plane like typhoon and rafale for one f-15 or one f-16.
    they make exercice between this plane and imagine if they fight one f-18 or f-22 this is not egal.
    we need make one new order of generation f-15 and f-16 the 4th f-18 4+ , rafale and typhoon 5th(with their future upgrade) and f-22 5+.
    actually rafale have advantage in radars system and others systems. typhoon can be upgraded but he have one probs : he was make for air to air fight and multirole like the rafale.
    USA develop f-35 multirole but he have big problem.
    and the american know actually rafale can be one serious competitor of the f-35.
    just one prob today for the rafale it is non export contract signed.when one contract come rafale can be better on sale and make new black beast of USA

  11. Marcus Messalla 22 January, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Craig, in Turkey, Anatolian Eagle exercise.

    You are right, with Meteor and AESA would a wonderful fighting machine for the next 20-40 years when the air-to-ground, stealth attacks, would be done by UCAV and not by costly, unflexible, unpredictable and poor performances F-35 like aircraft

  12. mrmalaya 22 January, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    i dont rate the french claims about Rafale, they are counterintuitive.

    We don’t know the ROE in either case, but the “Trump that” bit of the article looks to me like Eurofighter are trying to engage in a competition with Dassault, initiated by a very unorthodox french press conference following al dahfra.

  13. 7K7 22 January, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    I’d say that you ought to beware of what appears on the Eurofighter site because ‘Eurofighter’ is just the umbrella organisation that sells the aircraft. The people that actually do the work of designing and making it work are the four individual companies, BAE SYSTEMS, the EADS pair and Alenia.

    That is ‘Eurofighter’ are salesmen and they could say ‘anything’, often that ‘anything’ not being as helpful as one would like. Similar case to what happened to the poor folks working on the 787 (over vocal sales folk vs hard working engineering folk).

  14. Dave 22 January, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    The fact that we don’t know the ROE is a very good point. Normally, the USAF does not do Blue on Blue training, since it’s pointless. I do wonder what the setup was i.e. were the F-15 “being themselves” or replicating bandits. Exercises are designed to have specific training goals so the participants can learn… they are not pants down measuring contests- unless you’re French apparently.

  15. anonymous 22 January, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Key word here seems to be dogfight. Looks like the ROE were skewed to Eurofighter strengths. Not that thats a problem, thats what excercises are for, many scenarios. Just don’t make this more than it is. Or less than it is, the Eurofighter is a very potent dog fighter.

  16. br_dlf 22 January, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Reading most blogs replies I would say keywords in many contributions are ‘extreme biases’ and ‘pissing contest’ (mine is bigger than yours).

    Not enough information available about the details of engagements to have a true and deep analysis. But to say that EF or Rafale good results are ‘counter intuitive’ or ‘cannot be true’ do sound more like biases of hardly adolescent fanboys who are dazzled by glamorous powerpoints and hot dreams of dominance than attemps to judge without predjudice based on available data.

    I do however remember how the USAF freaked out after dissimilar excersises against the Indians trying to use the results to bolster the case for more F22′s. The navy had a similar hard time in excersises with the Israely airforce.

    Although much attention was paid to the Su-27+ aircraft a particular observation was that in may cases geriatric Indian Mig-21′s (!!!!!) equiped with Israely modern ECM were very succesfull in penetrating air defense shields. High speed and small size in combination with modern ECM seemed to have attributed a lot to this. I can also remember Indian pilots expressing satisfaction on the performance of their Mirage2000 (!!!) aircraft in the excersises.

    Since both Gripen and Rafale have quite modern ECM suites in combination with quite fair airframe performances this may very well attribute to additional combat effectiveness. As for the EF: currently hampered by lack of a modern Apperture radar. But if that one is added (next tranche?) the combination with the Meteor AAM may quite well deliver an performance only surpassed by F22′s.

    The question if a Gripen, Rafale, EF or JSF are superior relative to each other is only interesting with regard to marketing of the products (who is selling what) among allies. That is more a ‘who gets the money question’.

    Strategically the question should rather be; ‘Are these aircraft up to facing likely moderen threaths (including updated SAM’s and Sukhoi’s) now and in the next 20 years and thus worth the investment.

  17. EG 22 January, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    I would like to thank you and a few others here for your rational responses!!

  18. glider 23 January, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    sometimes it looks everybody stares at the a/c performances while the AA missiles are not given the same attention.
    when I look at recent vympels, their mix of seekers, long range and the huge load of them carried by sukhois and migs I’m afraid we are going to follow the ancient italian air force in WWII going for fine aircrafts carrying only 2 .50 MGs, a handful of pricey and fine aerobatic machines and no punch.

  19. RSF 24 January, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    This is actually not the first time that Typhoons have defeated US legacy fighters in mock combat, and so I have little doubt that this happened. As others have stated, should we be surprised? The F-15C, while a great fighter, is now quite geriatric when compared to the Typhoon or the Rafale. The difference will continue to grow as the new AESA radars and the Meteor missile come into play in the near future. While many will argue that the F-35 will do better in the future against the Euro-canards, from an airframe performance perspective it will remain inferior to both the Typhoon and Rafale.

  20. br_dlf 24 January, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    @ glider,

    I do not know what will be the eventual outcome. I do know that aircombat (and combat in general) has many more parameters that influence the outcome of a battle than just how wonderful a certain plane performs in a certain role.

    You rightfully mentioned the fact that a mediocre platform (if mediacre at all) but equiped with superb missiles, a decent sensor suite and good ECM may perform much better than looks at first appearance. And a lot of people tend to forget that fe Russia and Israel produce some excellent hardware (missiles, sensors and ECM suites) in these fields. On top of that the noticion that western Europe cannot and does not produce very capable material is not only insulting but untrue as well.

    And the idea that certain capabilities are worth ANY price is stupid beyound imagination. Even the absolute superior performances of the Me262 and Me163 could not influence the outcome of the WW2 conflict. Too expensive and complicated to produce in meaningfull numbers and to troublesome to maintain in the field. It ate away resources that may have been employed more effectively (FW190 fe). On top of that they got hunted by inferior aircraft when they got in the vulnerable flight regimes (landing) and still were shot down. Simply by an enemy that adapted tactics to exploit vulnerabilities.

  21. glider 25 January, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    @ br_dlf

    please do not read my comment as insulting, I’m only taking into account some facts and making some personal considerations. just my humble opinion.

    I think we are focusing on “vector” supremacy while neglecting the apparent advantage that other less refined vectors can exploit delivering a huge weapons payload of an apparently superior capability in sensors and range.

    the point is which mix of vector+weapons is going to be the most effective at present and in the next future.

    we stress the radar stealth aspect, but visual and IR signature is still in the crosshairs of passive detecting, tracking and missile locking. long range vympels seem to be able to exploit this better than US/EU aams are. now. and they won’t just sit down waiting for our standards to surpass their actual advantage.

    of course I think western industries can dispute mastership in aams and sams field and equal at least russian technology. but it looks like we are always focusing elsewhere while effectiveness needs both vector and weaponry to be at the top otherwise the chain will perform at the weakest ring level.

    you named the Me262, it was superior in performance but had a grat punch also with 4×30 mm cannons concentrated in the nose. a single shell could wreck any fighter.

    todays f22, f35, typhoons and rafale do not have the same massive punch when compared to migs and sukhois. imho.

    my simple question is: are we going to build an unbalanced (i.e. ineffective than requested) mix?

    is aggressive EW the way to fill the gap, blind foes’ radars and IR & Imaging data fusion devices on planes, missiles and sam launchers?

  22. br_dlf 26 January, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    @ glider,

    No offense taken. And I largely agree with your observations. It is true that outcome of battle is dependent on so many parameters. What weapons an you carry etc.

    I just state that though many parameters (stealth etc) are worth a price but are not worth ANY price.

    It all comes to, what is the optimal mix that gives me the lowest price. The EF may not be this ‘stealth’ plane like the JSF or the F22. But paired with a good radar and good missiles and ECM suite it may not matter so much (at least not so much to justify extreme prices). Same holds true for the Gripen and the Rafale.

    I would also think that upgraded F15 aircraft (AESA radars, infra red suite etc) may not be as easy targets as currently suggested.

  23. EG 26 January, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    “It is true that outcome of battle is dependent on so many parameters.”

    And that sir, is the make or break in ACM.

  24. Luis 20 October, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    What I expected is what I found. I have the impression that if the news were “two American F-15 shot down 8 Spanish Eurofighter” all this discussion wouldnt exist. Everybody around here will be talking shit about how good the F-15 and the American pilots are, and how shitty the EF and the Spanish pilots are. My point is that all the rumors about the Rafale and the EF are basically a lie to debase the EF, because the EF is taking away the international market from American hands, and let´s face it: our American friends don´t hesitate to play dirty when the things are not following the path according their interests. The Rafale is not a commercial competitor for both the EADS and the American industry, and telling the same history but talking about American fighters instead the Rafale would be fucking obvious. Sorry mates, but I truly believe that the only american competitor suitable for an EF is the F-22, no matter how much it piss you off.

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