Eurofighter CEO, Volker Paltzo, confirmed that an enhanced Eurofighter Typhoon would form a core part of any European future combat air system, working hand in hand with any future European fighter programme – manned or unmanned.

Speaking during Farnborough International Air Show, Volker Paltzo said:

“Eurofighter Typhoon is the benchmark for European collaboration – now and in the future. Eurofighter will be a central pillar of any European FCAS, and has a key role to play in this future system, operating alongside any existing or new European assets that may come into play in the future battlespace – across all mission scenarios.”

Talking about the technologies that will form part of a European FCAS, Paltzo added:

“I firmly believe that Eurofighter Typhoon is the best platform to carry, demonstrate and certify a whole host of technologies and deliver them as a mature capability for Europe.”

Eurofighter Typhoon in the Future Battlespace.jpg

Paltzo also confirmed that a need for greater connectivity, sensor and data fusion in the future battlespace would see a refresh of technology in the cockpit, including a high resolution large area display, and up to 15% more power to the aircraft’s EJ-200 engines, as part of the aircraft’s long term evolution plans.

“We are in ongoing dialogue with our partners regarding these emerging requirements”, he stated.

Clemens Linden, Eurojet TURBO GmbH CEO, speaking on behalf of the Eurofighter engine consortium during Farnborough International Air Show, said:

“Eurofighter, with the EJ-200 engine, already has the best engine in its class in the world today. But we can make it even better, delivering a 15% increase in thrust, to ensure that Eurofighter Typhoon can maintain its combat edge in the future.”

Volker Paltzo also confirmed the ongoing importance of Eurofighter to European defence, stating

Eurofighter is the biggest and most successful defence collaboration project ever undertaken in Europe. It is the backbone of NATO’s European air defence and will continue to be developed to defend against all future threats for decades to come. It is what Eurofighter was built to do.”

22 COMMENTS

  1. I assume this refers to upgrades rather than completely new air frames. It certainly is and will be a great asset to the RAF and personally I would like to see follow on orders to stand up another squadron or two. This would maintain the production line for longer and specialist jobs. I wonder where the economic line is between the cost of upgrading and building new, taking into account the costs involved to reestablish production lines for future aircraft types?

  2. (Chris H) My initial reaction is to smile. While I am sure Herr Paltzo will try to bluster there is a future for his company Eurofighter GMBH and will try to upsell Typhoon for its own commercial ends it must realise given Airbus’ defection into the arms of the French Government run Dassault to be exactly the ‘European FCAS’ he describes this has actually made his job redundant and his company will be wound up after all current orders are complete. No sane Air Force is going to place new orders for the Typhoon if it will have a choice of two new more advanced airframes by 2035. Or more realistically the new Tempest as the French and Germans will still be arguing over Euros, who builds the widget on the port wing and engines

    The interesting development will be if the current Letter of Intent from the Saudis for 48 further Typhoons becomes a firm order. Given those Typhoons would not have been delivered until the mid to late 2020s from the UK I think the Saudis may say they will wait a few years and have 48 Tempests instead.

    The other inescapable truth for Herr Paltzo is the joining of the two majority shareholders of Eurofighter GMBH (BAE and Leonardo) to build a British FCAS means his company has been split into two competing factions with huge EU political overtones involved so rational thinking is now right out the window. Neither side will allow future development of Typhoon beyond what has been committed to customers. No CFT, no advanced avionics let alone a ‘Tranche 4’.

    What most certainly will NOT be happening despite Herr Paltzo’s bluster is that Rolls Royce (and more importantly the UK Government) will allow any future developments of the EJ200 engine to be made. EJ2300 is now a non event and will be brought to the UK to become an RR engine designation again given the EJ200 was basically a UK Government funded Rolls Royce design (XG-40) that had to be ‘workshared’ into ‘Eurojet’, had to be based in Germany and given ‘GMBH’ status. The reality is shown in the shareholding:
    Rolls Royce – 33%
    MTU Aero – 33%
    AVIO – 21%
    ITP – 13%
    But more importantly RR owns control of Spanish ITP along with a company called ‘Sener’. AVIO is close to the Italian Government through its ex FIAT ownership and works closely with Leonardo who now partner BAE in Tempest. Politically the Italians have been shafted as much by the Airbus / Dassault tie up as have us British and I suspect why Leonardo were very keen to be part of Tempest. So the British own or have friendly influence over 67% of Eurojet shareholdings.

    MTU Aero will no doubt hope to be part of the EU fighter programme but realistically we all know the French will demand SNECMA engines and you only have to look at the workshare on the A400M TP400 engines despite being fundamentally an RR design to see how SNECMA gained control despite their original designs being beaten by RR. MTU has huge historical ties with RR from RB199 days (Tornado) and works with RR on two other projects but its other main work is as partner to P & W and GE in the USA. It has nothing else in Europe. If I was a hedge fund I would be quietly buying up MTU shares which are generally and widely available waiting for an RR takeover bid

    MTU Aero should not be confused with the MTU division of Rolls Royce Power Systems which builds very large train, generating and marine engines (which will go into Type 26 and Type 31 Frigates).

    Herr Paltzo will be out of a job by 2030 or earlier if the Saudis don’t convert their LoI to firm order.

    • I really don’t see the Saudi order impacted, we’re ing2bn on Tempest development by 2025. Even being optimistic series production of Tempest will be later part of the next decade, with the UK taking the first production lots.

      Just like every fighter program Tempest Tranche 1 will have limited capability when it reaches IoC. I think the Typhoon will continue development well into the next decade, Germany is looking like replacing the Tornado with the Typhoon. Typhoon is still the one of the best at what it does and an ideal proving ground for new tech and derisking Tempest. Remember it not just about weapons new manufatcruing techniques can be trialled one Typhoon components well before a Tempest prototype flies. Eurofighter GMBH will around for sometime to come.

      On the engine, Tempest is going to be 6th Gen so the EJ200 may not cut it. PW are already working on variable bypass versions of the F135. The Tempest engine will also need to generate additional power for direct energy weapons which will mature within the development time of Tempest. Not beyond Rolls as they had a hand in the F136 which cancelled but was already out performing the PW135 in testing.

      • The F136 was 80% complete, but required an additional $2 Billion worth of funding before it was cancelled as I understand it.

  3. I think it would be wise to introduce at least one demonstrator for the RAF fitted with thrust vectoring/ EJ230 engines including conformal fuel tanks given the fact that 2035 is a long way off at best.

    I would be interested to find out a rough estimate of the costings to fit these across the RAF’s entire Typhoon fleet?

    In the Tempest thread I added a full scale model of an airframe from 2005 that never made it skywards to my knowledge, let’s hope the same thing does not happen to Tempest!

    • And don’t forget Captor-E. Current Captor is already very good due to the large nose cone housing an unusually large antenna but updating to AESA while still preserving the mechanical scanning, which I believe is the plan, will give it a greater than 180 degree field of view and as I understand it should make it one of the best combat jet radars out there.

    • Thrust vectoring offers little to Typhoon. The key improvements needed are (in order of importance): Captor-E, Conformal tanks, better EW, F-35 link gateway and only if it’s cheap the Aerodynamical Modification Kit. Allowing a Laser Designator pod to fit in one of the Meteor bays would also be very useful (saves using the centreline pylon which is better used for heavy fuel tanks)

      Those improvements, along with the already almost completed Centurion upgrades will see Typhoon out to 2040 with ease.

      Oh…and fly the arse of the T.1’s and 2 seaters before they are retired, make sure any ‘air-policing’, QRA, displays etc is done by them to preserve airframe hours on the T2 and T3 fleet.

  4. Typhoon is without any doubt capable of further development, but as has been said, the Eurofighter partners have effectively now split into two competing camps.

    There won’t be any further development past 2020 and the current ‘in development’ systems ( E scan/new weapons/ EW updates).

    I’m not sure why people are pushing for EJ230 development, the engine as is, developes excess power, upgrades should concentrate on TBO iand fuel efficiency mprovements.

    If Tempest goes ahead, it will be a natural choice for the Saudi government to replace Typhoon and Tornado, plus if it shows tremendous capability, it could even replace their Strike Eagles !

    We need to get the Saudi Government on board with Tempest, I feel they won’t however commit until they see hardware. With that in mind they need to create the core international team and proceed with a technology demonstrater asap in my opinion.

    • (Chris H) John Clark – I cannot disagree with any of your observations but I would just add that given all we need is a new airframe (easy to write difficult to do) but we are already a long way along the learning and skills curve to produce one even if it is in prototype form. Everything else needed for a ‘Tempest Mk I’ is already in our possession and control. We have no need to ask anyone for permission or funding to do anything with engines, fuel systems, radar, sensor suites, avionic systems and software. A prototype will not need Vectored Thrust to prove airframe performance but we can use BAE’s Typhoon development fleet as testbeds.

      I don’t think people realise just how much of this new aircraft already exists. This is not what the Yanks had to do with F-35 – go from 30 year old F-15s to an all new fighter. The F-22 gave nothing but stealth knowledge to the F-35. their learning and skills curve was massive and due credit should be given for what they achieved albeit with big doses of British know how. We now have ALL that know how and more.

      Basically you could strip out a Typhoon Tranche 3 airframe of all its systems, engines, weapons and hardware, fit it all into a Tempest airframe and have a very capable jet fighter right there. Day One.

      • Absolutely agree Chris, we should proceed with a technology demonstrater asap, this could be accomplished as a purely national endeavour, if we can’t get partners quickly and would really throw the gauntlet down!

        As you rightly say, Typhoon can lend e scan and EJ200’s, plus any other systems required.

        The Saudi government will want to see wind under real wings before they get the cheque book out.

        We just need the will to succeed!

      • If that is the case Chris H, why on earth did they build a scaled model of Tempest for the show?
        That was my first thought when I saw it, but was unsure if this could be achived.

        I saw an article some time back which said final testing of the EJ 230 was due for completion in 2018, so this could be installed alongside one EJ200 initially to test the uprated engines performance as well.

        For god’s sake HMG make the funding available now and get on with it!

        • One further point Chris H which you may be able to shed light on, If we can build the test and evaluation aircraft for the RAF why not the RN also and hold back on further investment in the F35 B?

          The pictures of Tempest tend to suggest it is aimed at both if i’m correct in saying? Thrust vectoring needs no additional modifications to the Typhoon airframe, so this could also be tested on Typhoon and possibly Tempest if it has been included in the design phase? I read that conformal fuel tanks already have.

        • (Chris H) Nigel Collins – Oh they needed a mock up because the media fallout for a CGI or a Powerpoint Presentation would have been very bad. It was after all Farnborough. I think one or two of us have spotted its the ‘Replica’ wind tunnel test model suitably re-crafted. And I think it worked very well for what it was.

          I did say that building a new airframe is easier to write than do and this will take some time after the business case is agree later this year but a mock up was a very good idea as it gave more gravitas to what was being proposed.

      • (Chris H) – Sorry I should have added that in demonstrating a lifesize mock up of what we intend to build, the funding and major partners in place who have quite clearly been working on this for some time already we exposed (probably intentionally) how far ahead we already are compared to the EU Masterpiece. Compare that to what Airbuis / Dassault have produced so far: Some rather dodgy CGIs …

      • I doubt it Nigel, Typhoon will be a most unlikely Laser weapons platform and the Tempest will use a new generation of Engine.

        Due to the Typhoon partners being torn into two competing camps, development will come to an abrupt halt. The E scan, weapons and EW upgrades planned for, will be the end of the road for Typhoon unfortunately….

        Shame as there is more mileage to be had from the superbTyphoon.

  5. If Tempest becomes a flying OPEN architecture then this will pose a threat to Typhoon as a flying test bed.

    Australia and Japan were interested in procuring F22s so there is perhaps mileage here but if Tempest goes in to full production an open architecture would allow such, member nations to swap in equipment from their home supply chains, much like the T26 now. This would be very attractive to nations with particular strengths who want to support their own prosperity agendas – and rightly so in my opinion.

    Perhaps others could advise but I doubt Typhoon’s systems architecture is sufficiently open to permit this kind of interoperability of sub-components? If it is “closed” then I do not see a strong case for Typhoon becoming the test bed for new system that partners like Australia, Japan or Sweden would require.

    Yes, Typhoon could offer testing and proof of a European/Saudi etc. configuration but I very much doubt it has the flexibility to go beyond that?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here