The strategy was revealed publicly today 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.
He said: “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.”