FARNBOROUGH: Eurofighter makes strong sales, technology push

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Eurofighter is at the show in force this week, with two Typhoons to take part in the flying display in dramatically different configurations.

The four-nation consortium is meanwhile waiting for a commitment on a key sensor enhancement for the type, and potentially on a new export announcement to be made at the show.

A Typhoon from the Royal Air Force's 29 Sqn will be flying "clean", but BAE Systems will also showcase the type's manoeuvrability with a mission-representative payload. Instrumented production aircraft 5 will be put through its paces carrying four Raytheon Paveway II laser-guided bombs, four Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM and two MBDA ASRAAM air-to-air missiles and three external fuel tanks.

 © Eurofighter

"Typhoon is agile regardless of weapon load, pulling up to an impressive 5.5g and in excess of 20° angle of attack," Eurofighter says.

An Italian air force Typhoon is also on static display at Finmecannica's outside exhibit, while Eurofighter also has a full-scale mock-up open for public visits. Its pavilion will also display a new thrust-vectoring nozzle for the aircraft's Eurojet EJ200 turbofan engines, and a model of a proposed new active electronically scanned array antenna.

The Euroradar consortium has made an offer to provide the latter enhancement for Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

"We have tabled a proposal using risk-reduction work that has already been done," says Steve Mogford, chief executive of Selex Galileo, lead stakeholder in the Euroradar group. "We're just waiting for them to drop the flag."

The E-Captor proposal retains "back-end" equipment from the Eurofighter's current mechanically scanned radar and would add an active array. An AESA enhancement is viewed as a key addition if the industrial consortium is to secure additional export orders with the Typhoon.

The type is currently being offered to nations including India, Japan and Switzerland. Suggestions that an export announcement could be made at the show are likely to be linked to a previous announcement by the UK government about a possible deal with Oman.