The Eurofighter consortium is developing a roadmap for the Typhoon that it believes will offer potential customers in the Middle East options to greatly enhance the type's capabilities.

"The plan is to, over the next eight to 10 years, take a phased approach to enhancing the Typhoon's capability," says Rob Wells, Eurofighter's export future business manager. "It is the exports that are driving these enhancements."

Eurofighter unveiled the plans, which include optional conformal fuel tanks, at IDEX 2011. Other enhancements include the option of MBDA's Meteor beyond visual-range air-to-air missile from 2014 and an active electronically scanned array radar that potentially offers a wider field of regard from 2015.

Gulf Eurofighter Typhoon
 © Eurofighter

New air-to-surface weapons would include anti-ship missiles, stand-off-range cruise missiles and long-range glide bombs. A thrust-vectoring nozzle is also being offered for the aircraft's Eurojet EJ200 turbofan engines.

Wells says the programme's Tranche 3-standard aircraft will already have the provision to accommodate conformal fuel tanks, and that the consortium is open to collaboration with local industry on many of the options.

"Countries like Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain are looking at fighters, and we are willing to show them what their aerospace companies can do as well," he says.

 Gulf Typhoon - Eurofighter
© Eurofighter
Nearer-term deals could be for a more standard-looking Typhoon

Source: Flight International