Details of Typhoon enhancements revealed

Rome
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Further details have emerged of the operational enhancements agreed for the Eurofighter Typhoon strike aircraft in a multinational Change Programme 210 (CP210) deal signed on the behalf of partner nations Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK on 29 March.

The Phase 1 enhancement package for Tranche 2 production is centred on a computer risk-reduction improvement programme, which will introduce a new computer hardware and software architecture, says Eurofighter chief operating officer Brian Phillipson. "To overcome obsolescence problems and to extend the computer capabilities on Tranche 2 aircraft, a new hardware architecture based on Power PC processors has been introduced," he adds.

Computers on Block 8 production aircraft will initially use re-hosted software from Tranche 1, but Phillipson says from 2011 a rewritten package will be introduced, "allowing full exploitation of further developments in avionics, sensors and weapon systems". The final software release under CP210 will be available by late 2012, he says.

"The new architecture will enhance Typhoon's human-machine interface, while further enhancements to its Multifunctional Information Distribution System, GPS, defensive aids system and secure radios will add a substantial contribution to Eurofighter's multi-role/swing-role capabilities," Phillipson said during a briefing in Rome. "The new software package will also allow the pilot to re-program bomb fuzes during flight, further expanding the aircraft's mission flexibility."

  • EADS has conducted the first flight of a Eurofighter carrying an active electronically scanned array front end for its Euroradar consortium Captor radar a potential key element of further enhancements during its later Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 production phases.