Swing-role fighter [INDODEF16-D3]

03 November 2016

Eurofighter is offering the latest version of Typhoon for Indonesia’s F-5 replacement programme, complete with Captor-E ‘e-scan’ radar. The aircraft is currently cleared to carry the Storm Shadow long-range stand-off attack missile and the Brimstone 2 precision-attack weapon, both of which offer an element of anti-ship capability, while integration of the Marte 2 dedicated anti-ship missile is under way. Meteor and ASRAAM/Iris-T missiles provide air-to-air capability.

With these weapons, and its advanced sensor fusion technology, Typhoon can undertake swing-role operations, in which the pilot is able to switch seamlessly between air-to-air and air-to-surface roles and back again, as required. This capability has been demonstrated by the Typhoon in combat, and is seen by Eurofighter as an important consideration in the Indonesian context.

Leading the sales campaign for the Eurofighter consortium in Indonesia is Airbus, which represents the German and Spanish elements of the four-nation programme. Airbus has a 40-year history of industrial co-operation with PTDI, beginning with production of the German Bo 105 helicopter and growing through production of newer Airbus Helicopters types. This ultimately led to the successful co-operation in building C212 and C295 transports, and co-development of the CN235.

That collaboration has resulted in 600 high-tech jobs being created in Indonesia, and Airbus sees industrial co-operation on Typhoon as a logical next step in the process. The company has proposed the establishment of a final assembly line, perhaps moving the Spanish line at Getafe to PTDI at Bandung, which would also produce components.

More important is the transfer of technology for both systems and production engineering to Indonesia, says Airbus. This would not only help bring more local companies into the supply chain for Airbus products, creating yet more high-tech jobs, but also assist Indonesian industry in meeting its development commitments for the IF-X fighter programme being undertaken with South Korea. Typhoon itself is a developing programme to which Indonesian industry could make contributions, with a staged development roadmap planned out to at least 2040.

(327 words)