Green Light for New Eurofighter Capabilities

Hallbergmoos – The General Manager of NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency) Peter Worrall and Eurofighter GmbH CEO Aloysius Rauen on Thursday 29 March signed a contract that extends the capabilities of Eurofighter Typhoon beyond those already delivered with Tranche 1 based on the Main Development Contract. This contract (officially called “First Batch of Enhancements for the Eurofighter”) clears the roadmap for integrating new functionalities based on the four air forces’ requirements between the four customer nations (Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom) and the Eurofighter consortium of Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA, and EADS Germany. Also today EADS CASA delivered SS011 to the Spanish Air Force, the first Block 5 aircraft and representing the latest and last production standard of Tranche 1.

Aloysius Rauen comments: “The contract we signed today covers the so called Phase 1 Enhancement for Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. It will mainly focus on air-to-surface capabilities and communication improvements. It will further position Eurofighter Typhoon at the forefront of Multi-role/swing-role fighter aircraft and underline the market leader position of the weapon system with unmatched capabilities.

The new functionalities are welcomed by the four partner air forces as they enable them to further extend the operational tasks of Eurofighter Typhoon. Industry will therefore put every effort into meeting the required specifications and schedules to provide first line performance to the airmen of the partner nations.”

The Phase 1 Enhancement will include the integration of new weapons like Paveway IV and the EGBU-16 (Enhanced Guided Bomb Unit) alongside integrating a Laser Designator Pod (LDP) into Tranche 2 aircraft of all four partner nations. The Human Machine Interface will receive performance upgrades required for the simultaneous Swing Role operation, allowing a pilot to continue a bomb run while at the same time fight air attacks by minimizing the pilot’s workload in complex air warfare scenarios. Further extension of the MIDS performance (Multifunctional Information and Distribution System) is a substantial contribution to this objective.

The final Tranche 1 capability already covers air-to-ground operations with Paveway II and GBU-10/16 Laser Guided Bombs (LGB) plus conventional bombs and the gun. The Royal Air Force will receive Tranche 1 aircraft with an integrated LDP already next year.

The new contract is also the enabler for the separately contracted full digital integration of the new air-to-air weapon IRIS-T, in service with Germany, Italy and Spain.

Eurofighter Typhoon of Tranche 2 will receive additional functionalities In the Phase 2 Enhancement. The four national Eurofighter consortium plans to start work on the respective proposal in the second half of 2007. It will mainly focus on the integration of new weapons probably including standoff weapons like Storm Shadow and Taurus.


Source: Eurofighter Typhoon
Picture provided and copyrighted by Eurofighter Typhoon

For further information about Eurofighter Typhoon,
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