Type Acceptance for Block 5 Standard Eurofighter Typhoon
Hallbergmoos - 15 February 2007. The Eurofighter Typhoon weapon system has received Type Acceptance from the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency NETMA for the final Tranche 1 standard, known as Block 5. These aircraft represent the last build standard in Tranche 1 and, with the R2 Retrofit programme ongoing across the four Partner Air Forces, will be the standard to which all earlier Eurofighter Typhoons are brought up to. This will also be the capability standard of the 18 aircraft on order to the Austrian Air Force.
The first Block 5 aircraft (Spanish Single-seater SS011) took off for its first flight already on 21 December 2006 from Getafe near Madrid.
Eurofighter GmbH CEO, Aloysius Rauen, comments:
"This Type Acceptance is the last step, before we close the first chapter of Eurofighter Typhoon development with achieving the final results of the Main Development Contract by the end of the year. As the aircraft will be facing continuous upgrades throughout its service life, developing Eurofighter Typhoon capabilities will be a major task for industry. The next steps are already in the planning stages, with the integration of a Laser Designator Pod into Tranche 1 aircraft of paramount importance to the Royal Air Force in 2008. In addition, discussions on the future capabilities, to be defined by the customer for the near and the long term, are drawing to a close."
The Block 5 capabilities can be described as full air-to-air and initial air-to-ground capability with full carefree handling. The aircraft is cleared for the 9g envelope as intended, with additional features such as sensor fusion, the full Direct Voice Input, enhanced GPS, the DASS (Defensive Aids Sub-System) countermeasures including automatic Chaff and Flare dispensers, radar air-to-surface modes including ground mapping, and initial FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red).
In terms of weapons, the Block 5 Eurofighter Typhoon will be equipped with AMRAAM, ASRAAM, IRIS-T and the proven AIM-9L air-to-air missiles, plus the laser-guided bombs Paveway II and GBU-16. External fuel tanks are certified for supersonic flight, while air-to-air refueling is cleared for all customer specified tanker types.
Combined with the Type Acceptance of the Block 5 aircraft, the enhanced ground equipment for use with the Block 5 standard is now cleared for use, including a more capable version the Ground Support System.
The R2 Retrofit programme, to bring all the earlier Eurofighter Typhoons up to the Block 5 standard, is proceeding well with six aircraft now in retrofit (three in Germany, two in the United Kingdom and one in Spain) and a seventh (UK) soon to join the project. The first aircraft is expected to be finished and returned to the customer in the near future.
High Resolution images of the Eurofighter Typhoon can be downloaded from our web site. Hard Copy images are available on request.
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
Eurofighter Typhoon Delivers
Eurofighter Typhoon is the result of a consolidation process in Europe, when the four participating partner nations Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom agreed on replacing various aircraft types with the multi-role/swing-role Eurofighter Typhoon.
The programme mirrors the industrial collaboration process in Europe that resulted on global players of size like BAE Systems, Alenia Finmeccanica and EADS. These European aerospace leaders accumulate a massive turnover and huge expenditures for Research & Development. They also are the shareholders in the Eurofighter programme.
This programme is Europe�'s largest collaborative programme and delivers leading-edge technology, thus strengthening Europe�'s aerospace industry in the global competition. Eurofighter Typhoon will effectively lead to the replacement of up to 11 aircraft types with 620 aircraft (plus an option of further 90 aircraft) ordered for the four nations plus 18 for Austria, delivering commonality and high degree interoperability.
Eurofighter Typhoon was designed as the world's most advanced new generation swing-role combat aircraft and with more than 100 aircraft delivered is in operation in seven units across Europe delivering security every day.
The signature of the Tranche 2 Production Contract on 14 December 2004, confirmed Eurofighter�'s position of having the largest order book of any next generation fighter aircraft. In this aspect, Eurofighter Typhoon is a real Bestseller!
With more than 400 suppliers across Europe and more than 100,000 jobs at peak production, the Eurofighter programme does not set only new standards in operational and economical terms, it is as well vital for Europe�'s technical and industrial evolution over the next 40+ years.
Giving an equal priority to affordability questions, a strong emphasis has been placed on reducing cost of ownership in addition to outstanding performance and flight safety. Eurofighter Typhoon is less expensive to operate than the generation of aircraft it is designed to replace. In respect to the cost to performance relation Eurofighter Typhoon is second to none of its competitors and delivers the most cost-efficient solution.
As a consequence, Eurofighter Typhoon has received significant export interest as an alternative to US solutions, whilst maintaining continuity of interoperability and performance.
Based on those features, the Eurofighter Typhoon is the optimum solution for the air defence needs of India and the best candidate in the up-coming procurement programme for next generation multi-role fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force.