Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, EUROJET Turbo GmbH and NETMA, the NATO Eurofighter & Tornado Management Agency, have signed contracts together worth €53.7 million to support the long-term development of the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft.
The study contracts, which look at the Long Term Evolution (LTE) of the aircraft and the EJ200 engine, will span a total of 19 months for the aircraft and 9 months for the engine elements.
Herman Claesen, CEO of Eurofighter, says: “These contracts represent a significant step in shaping the future of Eurofighter and will ensure it continues to be one of the most important assets in the future operating environment.”
The LTE study contracts will underpin the future of Eurofighter by identifying a suite of technology enhancements for the Weapons System infrastructure and the engine that will ensure the aircraft remains operationally effective and can continue to spearhead the Partner Nations’ air forces for the decades to come.
NETMA General Manager, General Salvestroni, said: “We are delighted to begin a new chapter in the development of the Eurofighter Typhoon. The LTE study contracts will set out a clear road map for the future of the platform that will make it relevant and resilient for decades to come.”
The high technology areas being explored include:
Mission System Architecture: The Eurofighter Typhoon already has one of the world’s most advanced Electronic Warfare systems. The LTE study will reinforce this by supporting the generation, transmission and utilisation of ever-increasing amounts of digital data both onboard (via advanced multi-spectral sensors) and offboard (via high performance tactical datalinks), whilst remaining resilient to new and emerging threats, including cyber. This will maintain Eurofighter’s ability to operate in the highly contested and congested future operating environment.
The Praetorian Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS): Looking at potential future DASS requirements out to 2050, enabling Typhoon to cope faster, easier and more affordably with new requirements to counter threats as they arise in the future.
The Human-Machine Interface: Refreshed cockpit displays and controls which will enable more demanding missions in the future, whilst ensuring full interoperability with cooperating assets in the air and over land and sea.
Operational Flexibility: Applying new adaptive power and cooling techniques and facilitating the agile integration of advanced weapons, thereby enabling more flexible store configurations to be flown.
Engine Performance: In terms of the EJ200 engine, the focus is on four key areas: thrust growth; range and persistence with increased parts life; survivability as well as control system enhancements.
Clemens Linden, CEO of EUROJET, said: “Together with further life extension measures and the development of a future maintenance strategy based on in-service experience, the LTE contracts are the first step towards ensuring that Eurofighter’s combat strength can be maintained and fully exploited throughout the first half of the 21st century.”