Eurofighter CEO Alberto Gutierrez told the IDEX Show Daily that he wanted IDEX visitors to take away two key messages about the Eurofighter Typhoon. The first is that Eurofighter is completely committed to delivering the capabilities defined in the aircraft’s future capability roadmap; the second is that the aircraft’s life-cycle cost advantages have been demonstrated and proved, and that further savings in life-cycle costs will be delivered.
Gutierrez pointed out that Eurofighter is delivering on the ‘paradigm shift’ in capability that was announced at Farnborough in July 2014, with integration of the Storm Shadow long-range cruise missile and now Brimstone both on contract.
These weapons promise to deliver a real boost in Typhoon’s advanced air-to-ground capabilities in the near term. The aircraft’s air-to-air capabilities are also being enhanced, with integration of the Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile proceeding apace, and with a €1 billion contract for the full integration of the Captor E-Scan radar having been placed in November 2014.
The main focus of the €200 million Phase 3 Capability Enhancement contract that was signed at IDEX is the integration of the Brimstone 2 missile (initially for the UK RAF). This will give the aircraft the ability to employ multiple precision-guided air-to-surface weapons at fast-moving targets with low collateral damage. Typhoon will carry two launchers under the outboard pylons, each carrying three Brimstone 2 missiles.
P3E also enhances the capabilities of the Paveway IV dual-mode laser/ GPS guided bomb, Storm Shadow cruise missile, and the ASRAAM and Meteor air-to-air missiles, enhancing the lethality and engagement envelopes of these weapons.
Wing Commander Anthony ‘Foxy’ Gregory, head of UK Typhoon Future Capability with BAE Systems, explained that these enhancements are being achieved by using a generic algorithm to tinker with Launch Acceptable Region (LAR) and Launch Success Zones (LSZ) via mission data loads.
Mission data is of crucial importance in Typhoon, making a massive difference to the performance of the DASS, radar and other systems.
The UK RAF has made major efforts to ensure that its mission data is updated and improved frequently and, as a consequence, many rate the combat effectiveness of RAF Typhoons as being higher than those of some other nations. Mission data is an extremely sensitive national asset, however, and cannot be exported. It has been reported that, to compensate for this, BAE Systems is setting up an Electronic Warfare Operational Support (EWOS) facility to help the Royal Saudi Air Force build its own mission data. In the interim, BAE is supplying company-compiled mission data, and it is believed that this has been used by the RSAF during recent operational missions against Daesh targets in Syria, during which Saudi Typhoons have dropped live Paveway II and Paveway IV bombs.