The UK Government has restated its commitment to the future development of Eurofighter following the unveiling of a national Combat Air Strategy.

The strategy was revealed publicly at Farnborough International Airshow by the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson MP. It describes how Eurofighter’s continued enhancement will act as a technology bridge to the development of a future combat aircraft programme and ensures Eurofighter will operate alongside future platforms in the decades to come.

The Minister’s statement came as several emerging technologies were demonstrated as part of a future concept aircraft revealed at the air show.

Industry leaders have previously described how Eurofighter will continue to operate as Europe’s dominant fighter aircraft and will develop and deploy the future technologies that will form a central pillar of a Future Combat Air System platform for Europe.

Air Commodore Linc Taylor, Senior Responsible Owner for the Eurofighter programme within the UK Ministry of Defence, said:

“Our ability to develop a next-generation combat air system must learn from, and spirally develop, the world-class systems that are already on Eurofighter Typhoon.

The Project CENTURION upgrades, which will enter service by December 2018, will see Eurofighter become one of the world’s foremost multi-role fighters with the Storm Shadow, Brimstone and Meteor weapons entering Royal Air Force service.

We plan to continue to develop the aircraft in an ever-more agile and responsive fashion; drawing on advanced sensors, including an electronically-scanned radar and advanced reprogramming techniques.”

Chris Boardman, Group Managing Director of BAE Systems Air, said:

“For a number of years we have been working with our partners, developing future combat air system technologies as part of our ongoing commitment to the UK’s continuing role as a leading international partner in air defence.

These technologies have been brought together today in a concept that considers our shared view on the future threat environment and likely international requirements. They will develop and deploy on Eurofighter before ultimately being incorporated onto a future combat air system.

This means that Eurofighter will remain at the forefront of technology. It also means that it will be the natural partner to work alongside a future fighter in the decades to follow its entry into service.”

Volker Paltzo, CEO of Eurofighter, said:

“Eurofighter will remain the dominant fighter aircraft in Europe for the next 30 to 40 years. The technologies we are developing for Eurofighter today will go hand in hand with those technologies we expect to see on a future European fighter programme – manned or unmanned.

Eurofighter will be a core pillar of any future European combat air system, and provides the best route to develop the technologies that will be incorporated into it.”

Mr Paltzo has also confirmed the consortium’s confidence in securing additional sales of Eurofighter.

“Looking to the future, Eurofighter partner companies and their national governments are actively involved in campaigns across Europe involving in excess of 300 more potential aircraft. I want to emphasise that every Euro spent on Eurofighter within Europe stays in Europe. It is reinvested in the European economy, in European jobs, and in European communities. So, if Europe wants a strong defence and a strong industry to deliver it, then Eurofighter is the best choice for Europe.”

7 COMMENTS

  1. As I’ve said before I want to see as many Tranch 2 & 3 airframes modified as possible. The only issue I have with upgrades; is that they tend not to be across the fleet. This inevitably leads to a reduced number of planes, and as seen on Tornado upgrade projects the fleet diminishes, and in some cases dramatically.
    I doubt it is a practical idea, but I would like the Warton production line mothballed for a period once all Typhoon production orders are complete. If the UK were to find itself involved in a protracted conflict and there is a drawdown on available Typhoons, the UK could reactivate the production line? Something we can’t do with the Challenger tank!

    • It’s crazy that the UK has no facility to manufacture armored vehicles. The failure to replace CVRT immediately after the Challenger production line stopped is a huge failure in government planning as they vehicle is at least 20 years out of date. The government support an indefinite production line for light medium and heavy armor vehicles as one production line nears completion the next should be ready to start so we are replacing each category every 20-30 years. To get EOS 20% of vehicles would either be mothballed for reserve or sold on for export which is basically what Germany does.

      • You are correct BB85, and because the MOD don’t think much beyond a programme horizon, you get the Challenger 2 situation. Today, all that can be achieved is an upgrade programme, which will no doubt not include all hulls that are available? Let’s put it this way, around 800 Chieftan was produced for the British Army and only around 300 CH2, all because the concept of a European land war had reseeded to the point, I suspect, killed off many new land programmes. Today, the prospect of a land conflict within the European footprint is greater than at any time since the Cold War. As a result, we have no option but buy a foreign tank, if there is a drawdown on CH2 availability.

  2. Bad times for Mr Paltzo and the Eurofighter Consortium…

    He’s trying hard to keep it together, but the fact is Eurofighter is coming apart at the seams…

    I am sure they once had great hopes of keeping the team together and moving onto a new generation of aircraft.

    Now the key partners view each other with suspicion and will be increasingly reluctant to co develop new technologies for Typhoon…

    It rather sad really, but the reality is the Germans made a clear choice in choosing France to create a new Fighter, when they did this they placed a dagger firmly in the back of team Typhoon!

    They have seriously damaged Eurofighter as a Company and Typhoon as a product.

    After all, what message does this send to potential Typhoon customers …. A bloody poor one!

    I hope we learn a lesson from this….

    • (Chris H) ….and the French achieving their ambitions by the tried and trusted methods of ‘divide and rule’. Except they badly underestimated the Italians preference to work with the British rather than the Germans and French who have done so much to damage their economy through the Euro. The majority shareholders of both Eurofighter GMBH and Eurojet GMBH are now Team Tempest and not anything to do with the EU Masterpiece.

      i am sure the teamwork the Italians and British have shown working together on F-35 will make Team Tempest even stronger. British made rear fuselages, tailplanes, ejector seats and other kit shipped to Italy and used on Italian built F-35s. There is very little new we have to do from here on out whereas for the French and Germans it is all totally new as they have zero knowledge or operating experience of 5th Gen fighters ….

      Forgive my Schadenfreude ..

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