The F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and the Eurofighter Typhoon will be complementary to one another in Royal Air Force service, with the Typhoon as the "backbone" of the fleet, RAF chief of staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy said at Aero-India on Thursday.
"What people don't realize about Typhoon is how good it is at high altitude," Torpy said yesterday - after a press conference in which he and senior German, Italian and Spanish air force leaders had appeared to back up Eurofighter's bid to sell Typhoon to India. "Between 40,000 and 55,000 feet, nothing can touch it except an F-22 - that's what makes it so strong in air defense." Typhoon will therefore be the RAF's leading air-to-air aircraft with a strong strike capability as well.
For the RAF, meanwhile, the F-35 will focus on destroying enemy air defense systems. "Against some of the heavily defended SAM threats, you need that stealthy, maneuvering capability."