Letter: Perils of Eurofighter

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The Independent Online
Letter: Perils of Eurofighter

Sir: The financial extravagance of Eurofighter matters less than its radar reflectivity and the dilemma upon which this impales us.

Stealth is more than the reduction of radar echoing area; it is the virtual elimination of this, primarily by the application of the theorems of James Clark Maxwell. All warplane manufacturers can apply it; not easily, but they can.

Eurofighter doesn't, so is only marginally less radar-detectable than a Tornado. It could be shot down by a Stealth fighter without ever knowing one was nearby. Dare we trust America this fundamentally? And, whatever the answer, other nations can build Stealth aircraft.

To be viable, Eurofighter requires anti-Stealth radar. This is feasible but technically formidable. Few could develop it. Outside America, we lead those few. We can recover the effectiveness of this vital warplane, that is too expensive to replace. Only, in so doing, we would vitiate a key US military advantage, with a deeply unfriendly act that must terminate the special relationship.

Eurofighter's radar-visibility forces us to compromise either our defence or our political posture.

NOEL FALCONER

Stockport, Greater Manchester

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