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Germany buys off-the-shelf DASS

Andrzej Jeziorski/BERLIN

THE GERMAN air force is to purchase the defensive-aids subsystem (DASS) for its Eurofighter EF2000s from the EURODASS consortium, despite having pulled out of the programme four years ago.

Christian Biener, head of the Eurofighter programme in the German Ministry of Defence, says that two options have been considered: the development of a cheaper domestic version of the DASS, or buying the EURODASS system off the shelf. The national solution is now viewed as too expensive.

Germany pulled out of the GEC-Marconi-led EURODASS consortium on cost grounds in 1992, along with Spain. Both nations originally planned to acquire a cheaper and less-capable system, but appear now to be rejoining the wider procurement .

Eurofighter, meanwhile, is still planning to fly the remaining four EF2000 prototypes this year. The three development aircraft now flying have logged about 150h. The aircraft has achieved Mach 1.6 and 6G load factor.

The aircraft's official evaluation phase began in March, with a pilot from the German WTD-61 armed-forces test centre flying aircraft DA1, which had its flight-display debut at the Berlin air show on 14 May. The UK, Spain and Italy also participated in the evaluation stage, which was completed on 24 April.

Tests so far have covered about 60% of the total design criteria, says Daimler-Benz Aerospace (DASA). The company adds that the ECR-90 pulse-Doppler radar is to be delivered in the third quarter of 1996 for integration on DA5,the first aircraft to have the full avionics suite. Two radars have already been delivered to DASA for ground tests.

See Berlin News, PP8-12.

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