• News
  • Eurojet aims EJ200 variant at thrust vectored Gripen

Eurojet aims EJ200 variant at thrust vectored Gripen

Eurojet, the Eurofighter powerplant manufacturer, is offering an uprated version of its EJ200 engine to power a thrust-vectored Saab/British Aerospace Gripen demonstrator.

The company says that a 700h flight test programme is being planned to explore thrust vectoring on a standard Gripen airframe for the export market. Eurojet has proposed to Saab a 102kN (23,000lb)-thrust version of its engine, called the EJ230, combined with an axisymmetric thrust-vectoring nozzle from Spanish Eurojet partner ITP, and a control system from Daimler-Benz Aerospace (Dasa) subsidiary MTU.

According to Eurojet, the increased thrust will be achieved by measures including the addition of a new higher pressure-ratio fan.

Eurojet says that it is in competition with the General Electric F414 with an AVEN thrust-vectoring nozzle. The current version of the Gripen is powered by the Volvo Aero RM12, a licence-produced GE F404.

Eurojet says that a powerplant selection is expected for the programme in December. Starting in July, the international consortium is to run 70-100h of bench tests in Madrid on an EJ200 fitted with the ITP nozzle. After the flight test programme, the company is hoping for certification of the thrust- vectoring powerplant in 2004.

According to MTU president and chief executive Rainer Hertrich, the Eurojet partners "-would like to offer Sweden participation in the EJ200", with Volvo Aero being seen as a potential partner in a consortium which already includes Fiat, ITP, MTU and Rolls-Royce.

Eurojet is also investigating a "dry", non-afterburning version of the engine as a potential replacement powerplant on the AMX International AMX. Such a dry engine, rated at 75kN, is also being studied by German Eurojet partner MTU to power Dasa's proposed AT-2000 jet trainer, with a 90kNversion powering the ground attack version.

nDasa and ITP are in discussions on using the Spanish company's thrust-vectoring nozzle on the Rockwell/Dasa X-31 Vectorprogramme. The Vectoris a long-awaited successor to the X-31.