The Eurofighter Typhoon and F-16 Flying Falcon are renowned multirole fighter aircraft known for their air supremacy but both of them differ a lot from one another in specifications and design capabilities.
Lockheed Martin has been upgrading the F-16s so that F-16 fighters remain in the USAF arsenal for the next few years. On the other hand, the Eurofighter Consortium is busy upgrading the Eurofighter Typhoon to assure that it remains usable by at least 2040.
The question in most people’s minds is how these both fighters measure up against each other. Let’s find out in this article.
|Aircraft:||Eurofighter Typhoon T1||Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon|
|Manufactured:||from: 2003 to: Present||from: 1978 to: Present|
|Price:||$90 million||$18 million|
|Avionics:||BAE Systems Tranche 2 avionics||Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems|
|Engine:||2x Eurojet EJ200 afterburning turbofan||1 × Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220|
|Power:||13,500 pound-force||29,160 pound-force|
|Max Cruise Speed:||
|Approach Speed (Vref):||-||-|
2,047 Nautical Miles
2,280 Nautical Miles
|Service Ceiling:||65,000 feet||50,000 feet|
|Rate of Climb:||
62600 feet / minute
318.01metre / second
50000 feet / minute
254.00metre / second
|Take Off Distance:||
|Max Take Off Weight:||
|Max Landing Weight:||-||-|
|Fuel Tank Capacity:||
|Seats - Economy:||2 seats||1 seats|
|Seats - Business Class:||-||-|
|Seats - First Class:||-||-|
|Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:||
|Wing Tips:||No Winglets||No Winglets|
|More Info:||Eurofighter Typhoon T1||Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon|
Data presented is for entertainment purposes and should not be used operationally.
Other Eurofighter Typhoon T1 comparisons:
- Eurofighter Typhoon vs F-22 Raptor
- Eurofighter Typhoon vs Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
- Eurofighter Typhoon vs McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
- Eurofighter Typhoon vs Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet
Other Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon comparisons:
The Mighty Eurofighter Typhoon
The development of the Eurofighter Typhoon started in 1983 when a program named “Future European Fighter Aircraft” was launched collectively by the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. The consortium decided to develop an aircraft with air superiority, beyond visual range and Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) like capabilities.
Later, due to some differences in the functional design and operational requirements, France chose to leave the group and decided to develop a new aircraft separately (Dassault Rafale). Now let’s take a look at some of the specifications of the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine aircraft with a delta-wing canard configuration which was originally designed as an air-superiority aircraft but later evolved as a multirole aircraft. It was introduced in August 2003. The top speed of the Eurofighter Typhoon is Mach 2.35.
To maintain a low RADAR profile, the airframe of the Typhoon is made with lightweight materials, and around 70% of the aircraft’s surface is made from Carbon Fibre Composites.
The Twin Eurojet EJ200 Engines
The engines of the Eurofighter Typhoon were designed jointly by four companies. Each engine provides a maximum thrust of around 90kN. The consortium also claims that the thrust can be increased to around 100kN with afterburners for a few seconds without damaging the engine.
A Thrust Vectoring Control (TVC) nozzle can also be fitted in EJ200 engines which can reduce fuel usage by up to 5%. The Eurofighter consortium is continuously developing the TVC nozzle mainly for export variants.
Initially, around 2005, Eurofighter Typhoon lacked some air-to-ground capabilities due to which it faced rejections from various competitions. But in later development phases, new capabilities were added to support powerful air-to-ground weapons.
For instance, cruise missiles like Taurus KEPD and the Storm Shadow were successfully tested in 2016, and the integration of MBDA’s Brimstone air-to-surface missile was completed in 2017. The Eurofighter Typhoon supports long-range Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missiles (BVRAAM) such as METEOR.
The Eurofighter Typhoon also has a specially designed BK-27 Mauser, which can fire more than 1600 rounds per minute. There are a total of 13 locations in the Eurofighter Typhoon for mounting weapons.
About the F-16 Fighting Falcon
When the Vietnam War started in 1955, the United States Air Force came to know about the shortcomings in the capabilities of its fighters. This led the USAF to initiate a program called the “Lightweight Fighter Program”.
A Colonel named John Richard Boyd along with Thomas Christie, a mathematician developed a theory known as Energy-Manoeuvrability Theory which later became the standard for the design of many fighter aircraft. According to this theory, the thrust/weight can be increased if the aircraft is lightweight and smaller in size.
Because of the rich flying experience of Colonel Boyd along with the proven and efficient aircraft designs, General Dynamics secured funding from the US Department of Defence.
Now let’s take a look at some of the features of the F-16 Flying Falcon.
The F-16 Flying Falcon is a single-engine, air superiority, multirole fighter aircraft developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force. The F-16 is highly maneuverable, smaller, and lighter than its forerunners.
It boasts the first-ever RSS/FBW (Relaxed Static Stability/ Fly By Wire) flight control system which refines its maneuverability. F-16 can reach a maximum speed of up to Mach 2.
The Bubble Canopy of the F-16 provides an excellent field of view with 360-degree visibility. One of the key features of the F-16 is Center Pedestal Display (CPD) which enhances the overall situational awareness of the pilot.
F-16 has a Head-Up Display (HUD) for combat information, Multifunction displays including Primary Flight Display which shows Radar and Moving maps, and System Display for information related to engine and fuel/weapon status.
Most of the controls in F-16 are centralised to maintain manoeuvrability by improving the pilot’s degree of control.
The recently upgraded versions of F-16 support various air-to-air missiles like AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-To-Air Missile (AMRAAM), rockets, bombs, and a wide range of air to surface missiles.
F-16 has a total of 9 hardpoints and carries an M61A1 Vulcan 20 mm cannon which fires at an extremely high rate of 6000 rounds per minute.
Eurofighter Typhoon vs. F-16 Flying Falcon: Differences
Let’s take a look at some of the features which differentiate the mighty Typhoon from the F-16.
1. Production Cost
The cost of an F-16 is quite low when compared to the Eurofighter Typhoon. 1 Eurofighter Typhoon costs around $130 million whereas one can buy roughly 4 F-16 fighters for the same price.
2. Engine Configuration
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine whereas F-16 is a single-engine aircraft. As a result, the Eurofighter Typhoon has better turning ability, greater speed, and better pickup than the F-16.
3. Maintenance Cost
F-16 is easy to maintain. On the contrary, the maintenance costs are higher in the Eurofighter Typhoon. Consequently, for countries with a small defence budget, managing aircraft like the Eurofighter Typhoon is difficult.
The length and height of the Eurofighter Typhoons are 15.9m and 5.3m respectively. On the other hand, the F-16 is comparatively smaller in size, having a length of 15m and a height of 5.1m.
There is a significant difference in the wing area. The Typhoon has a wing area of 51.2 m² whereas the F-16 has a wing area of 28 m².
What makes the Eurofighter Typhoon better than the F-16?
1. Powerful Twin-Engines
Double engines in the Eurofighter Typhoon make it faster and more powerful. There is a significant difference in the thrust provided by these two aircraft. Eurofighter has a thrust-to-weight ratio of 1.15 whereas F-16 has a thrust-to-weight ratio of 1.11.
2. Better Armament
The Eurofighter Typhoon provides 13 hardpoints for mounting weapons whereas in F-16 there are only 9 such locations. Be it 27mm Mauser BK-27 or Meteor BVRAAM, it outperforms its contemporaries in terms of armament.
3. Good Climbing Rate
In terms of climbing rate, again, the Eurofighter Typhoon is a winner. It has a climbing rate of 315m/s whereas F-16 has a climbing rate of around 250m/s.
Due to the powerful double engines, the Eurofighter is a bit faster and turns quickly. The maximum speed for the recent Eurofighter Typhoon is around Mach 2.35 which is greater than Mach 2.0 of F-16.
What makes an F-16 better than the Eurofighter Typhoon?
1. Low Flight Cost Per Hour
Flying cost is very low for an F-16 which is very much preferred by small and developing countries. For an F-16E, the flying cost is around $12,000 whereas it is around $30,000 for a Eurofighter Typhoon.
2. Better Avionics
Features like the bubble canopy, APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar, Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS), etc. make F16 a better aircraft in terms of cockpit design, avionics, and technology.
3. Lightweight And Easy to Maintain
F-16 is based on the Energy-Manoeuvrability Theory. The sole aim of the designers was to make a lightweight, highly manoeuvrable, and easy-to-fly aircraft. The production cost of the F-16 is also reasonable.
4. Better Fuel Economy
Because of the single-engine configuration, the fuel economy of the F-16 is 0.91Km/L which is much better than 0.68Km/L of the Eurofighter. This is also a primary reason why the flying cost is low in the F-16.
The F-16 is quite famous among pilots. There is a common aphorism among pilots: “You don’t fly an F-16; it flies you”.
In 2009, former Chief of Air Staff for the Royal Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glen Torpy said: “The Eurofighter Typhoon is an excellent aircraft. It will be the backbone of the Royal Air Force.”
While praising the turning ability of the Eurofighter, Laurie Hilditch of Eurofighter once said that the improvements related to the Aerodynamic Modification Kit (AMK) have given the Eurofighter the sort of “knife-fight in a phone box” turning capability without losing the delta wing-canard configuration.