Warplanes: May 31, 2000


Britain has decided that its Eurofighter Typhoons will not use their 27mm Mauser cannons. The first 55 aircraft delivered will have the guns installed, but later production British Typhoons will not. The British will not buy support equipment, ammunition, or spare parts for the guns. The move will save the Royal Air Force $30 million initially and $5 million per year. While the British are aware that the US F-4 Phantom was produced without a cannon and then hastily fitted with gun pods (and later ones had an internal cannon) when the "day of the missile" was found to be still in the future. The British are convinced, however, that air-to-air gunnery is now an anachronism and that air-to-ground attacks have far more effective weapons available than cannon shells.--Stephen V Cole


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