What does this contract facilitate?
It’s essentially a suite of contracts which provides the next step of Typhoon capability enhancements for Eurofighter’s core and export customers. It consolidates different streams into one product to form a firm baseline for onwards capability evolution.
An important element of the contract deals with capability enhancements for operating Typhoon with the Meteor beyond visual range, air-to-air missile, with the capability implementation being transferred from the M-Scan to E-Scan radar.
It also includes improvements to the way Typhoon operates with the Brimstone precision air-to-surface capability; adaptations to the cockpit display formats; enhancements to interoperability through MIDS Link 16 and radio; and improvements to the defensive aids sub system (DASS).
It's a comprehensive set of individual capabilities, mostly in the avionics domain, but also some extensions to the air vehicle clearance envelopes. As such, its development utilises skills from across the engineering and support spectrum. It is the natural continuation of the drumbeat of consistent capability releases for Eurofighter customers.
What is the value of the contract?
The initial first phase of the contract is just under the 300 million euros, with a planned amendment to introduce additional capabilities, (e.g. regulatory compliance). After the initial phase of the contract a second phase, scheduled for award in mid-2022, will provide coverage through to completion.
What will the capabilities bring for Eurofighter customers?
The Consolidation Package represents an evolution of the capabilities of the aircraft. Taken together this package makes the weapon system better and more versatile for end user air forces, with improvements to individual capabilities being rolled out across the whole fleet of M-Scan and E-Scan aircraft.
Through updates to Typhoon’s operational capability with Meteor and Brimstone, the contract strengthens both the air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities of the weapon system and rolls these updates out across the whole fleet.
At the same time, it significantly improves the platform’s interoperability with coalition forces through the enhancements to the MIDS and radios. The changes to cockpit display formats follow on from feedback from the operator community who have asked for certain changes to improve the pilot and machine interaction.
Where will the work take place?
The activity will primarily take place within the four Eurofighter industry partners — BAE Systems, Airbus Germany, Airbus Spain and Leonardo — but with significant aspects being undertaken within the wider supply base, most specifically EuroRadar and EuroDASS.
Why is having a harmonised product so important?
It is important to optimise our efforts because it is a more efficient way of developing capability. Making the product common, still allowing customisations but keeping the core of the product joint. This helps to simplify the product landscape and drives efficiency into the development process.
Who has been involved in pulling the work together?
The project teams in Eurofighter and the Eurofighter industry partners — in engineering, commercial, programmes, finance and support — have worked together through the bid process.
The programme launched with industry pre-funding because the industry partners recognised the importance of this work. Industry has undertaken significant engineering activities that not only made the contract award possible, but also recognised the delivery timescales required by our customers.
Overall, the approach has required commitment, innovation, transparency and collaboration across Europe, NETMA and the nations. We've overcome any challenges together.