Most of the UK Royal Air Force's planned inventory of 232 Eurofighter Typhoons will carry an inoperable version of the aircraft's 27mm Mauser cannon, after research on replacement ballast was abandoned.

The Ministry of Defence had decided in 2000 that the cannon for the new RAF fighters, which were projected to cost the MoD £20 billion ($36.8 billion) over their lifetime, were too expensive to maintain (Flight International, 9-15 May 2000).

However, the working cannon had to be replaced by an equivalent mass to avoid modifications to the aircraft's flight-control system.

Research by UK Eurofighter partner BAE Systems has since concluded that metal or concrete ballast is no better than an inoperable Mauser cannon. A working cannon will, however, be fitted to the UK's first 55 Eurofighters.


Source: Flight International