Major Eurofighter Achievements as 2006 ends
Hallbergmoos - 19 December 2006. The year 2006 ends with the Eurofighter programme delivering more capability to the customer, with the submission to NETMA of the Declaration of Design and Performance for Block 5 Entry into Service capability. At the same time, SS011 in Spain, the first Block 5 production aircraft, was cleared for engine runs, which have now been completed successfully, and first flight is due before Christmas as soon as the required NETMA clearance for flight is available.
All Block 2B aircraft scheduled for delivery this year have successfully completed their acceptance flights (PFAT) and the final handovers are currently pending only completion of relevant paperwork.
A major step forward, in terms of supporting the aircraft in service, was taken at Neuburg Air Base, home of the second German Eurofighter wing, Jagdgeschwader 74, with a four Nation workshop centred on Logistic Support issues for the operational fleets. Representatives of the Partner Nations and the Eurofighter Partner Companies reaffirmed their will to tailor the support system to nations' requirements and mapped out the way forward for this new approach to logistic support, based on the experience of the four Partner Air Forces currently operating Eurofighter Typhoon. The original logistic support system was conceived in the late 90s, but was always considered as being a first step for introduction into service.
In the training area, the acceptance by the Royal Air Force of the ASTA Full Mission Simulator (FMS) at RAF Coningsby, ensures that all four Nations now operate both the ASTA FMS dome simulator, one of the world's finest training tools for aircrew, and the Cockpit Trainer. The ASTA (Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids) programme plays a significant role in turning the international Eurofighter Typhoon fleet into a highly capable tool of the Air Forces, giving them the performance advantage in being able to deploy the most advanced fighter aircraft of its type and generation.
While the four Partner Air Forces are already operating the training aids, the construction of the simulation facilities at Zeltweg Air Base in Austria, home of the Austrian Eurofighter Typhoon fleet, is nearing completion. The ASTA team will start downloading the training software early next year, with first aircraft deliveries to the Austrian Air Force to begin in May 2007.
In flight test, several major Milestones for the performance enhancement of the Eurofighter Typhoon can be reported. Instrumented Production Aircraft Three (IPA3), operating out of EADS Military Air Systems' Manching facility, conducted aerodynamic testing of the Laser Designator Pod with all planned objectives achieved. For the purpose of these tests, which included high speed supersonic flights, the aircraft was loaded with different configurations featuring up to four Paveway II, six air-to-air missiles plus two external fuel tanks.
During the same period, all Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing for the air-to-ground configurations was concluded across the Eurofighter partners.
At BAE Systems, Development Aircraft Two (DA2) and BT005 continued the successful testing of the Towed Decoy in long-lasting flights. Additionally, the new helmet design, fully integrated into the avionics system, was flown with active displays on the visor with initial results proving to be very positive.
In multiple engagements (2 vs. 2 and 2 vs. 4) conducted from BAE Systems' Warton site, Eurofighter Typhoon was flown in simulated wartime scenarios including jamming sequences and the testing of the sensor fusion, to monitor the system's capabilities in extreme battle conditions.
The complete carefree handling for air-to-air maneuvering over the whole flight envelope is now fully cleared with no limitations on the aircraft. As a result, the full air-to-air capability is available with weapons and external fuel tanks.
Finally, a successful assessment by the British Standard Institution (BSI) lead to achieving the International Standard (ISO) 9001-2000, recognising Eurofighter GmbH's capability in Prime Contracting of total solutions for the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, together with associated Support and Ground System Projects. This sends a clear global message to our Partners and Customers, both current and future, that Eurofighter Typhoon is at the forefront of Aviation Quality.
111 production aircraft have been delivered to date, including five industry-operated Instrumented Production Aircraft. Seven Air Force units across the four Nations are successfully operating Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft with more than 13,500 flying hours already accumulated by the Partner Air Forces, in addition to the almost 4,900 flying hours by the test fleet.
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