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IFC 2023: Spain may roll out LTE upgrades across wider Eurofighter fleet

Under current fielding and procurement plans, the Spanish Air and Space Force will have 96 Eurofighters that may be fitted with LTE enhancements. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Spain may retrofit Long Term Evolution (LTE) enhancements for the Eurofighter combat aircraft (C.16 in national service) to its wider fleet, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Janes on 6 November.

Timed to coincide with the IQPC International Fighter Conference 2023 (IFC 2023) in Madrid, the MoD response to a Janes question on Spanish Air and Space Force (Ejército del Aire y del Espacio: EdAE) interest in the LTE upgrade, the MoD said this could be rolled out across the already existing Eurofighter fleet as well as those Halcon I/II aircraft now under contract and/or selected for future procurement.

“Halcon I and Halcon II will not be acquired with the LTE standard, which is under development. However, Halcon I and Halcon II, as well as earlier tranches, might be upgraded to LTE standard in the future,” the MoD said.

The air force operates 17 Tranche 1, 32 Tranche 2, and 19 Tranche 3 Eurofighters, to which it is adding 20 Tranche 4 (contracted under Halcon I) and 25 Tranche 4+ (selected under Halcon II, with a contract pending) aircraft as partial replacements for its 91 EF-18A and EF-18B Hornets. The Tranche 1 aircraft would not be suitable for LTE enhancements, leaving 96 of its Tranche 2, 3, 4, 4+ (as well as whatever comes out of a potential Halcon III buy for Tranche 5) Eurofighters in line for potential LTE enhancements.

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