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Hensoldt to consider Eurofighter EK Step 2 options after buyout of ESG

A mock-up of the Eurofighter EK displayed at the ILA 2022 airshow in Berlin. The proposed escort jammer pod is seen in the foreground. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Hensoldt is considering how to proceed with its plans to offer a new airborne electronic attack (AEA) capability to Germany, following its recent acquisition of Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH (ESG).

A company representative told Janes on 12 April that having previously proposed a joint solution with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for Step 2 of the Eurofighter Elektronischer Kampf (EK) electronic combat, Hensoldt is considering its position as it waits on the Luftwaffe's requirements and in light of its procurement of ESG on 2 April.

“We consider Eurofighter EK Step 2 as an important capability enhancement, which is still on the [Luftwaffe's] agenda. However, requirements and details of implementation are still under consideration [by the customer]. Therefore, we are monitoring closely the developments before drawing conclusions with regard to our further positioning,” the representative said.

The Luftwaffe has contracted Airbus to build 15 Step 1 Eurofighter EK aircraft, comprising retrofitted Tranche 2/3/4 aircraft equipped with an integrated Saab Arexis emitter locator system (ELS) and the Northrop Grumman AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). For Step 2, it is proposed that newbuild Tranche 5 Eurofighter EK aircraft be built that adds to this earlier configuration an external escort jammer pod for additional jamming power in the suppression/destruction of enemy air defences (SEAD/DEAD) role.

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