Engineers from Saudi Arabia will become the first to train at a new electronic warfare maintenance centre established in the UK to enable the transfer of skills required to support the self-protection systems installed on the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Engineers from the Riyadh-based Typhoon repair centre run by the Advanced Electronics Company (AEC) will be trained on how to maintain the Finmeccanica Airborne and Space Systems Praetorian defensive aids sub-system, moving more responsibility for the aircraft to the operating nation.
“In this case, training can be imparted more effectively by co-locating the training facility with the design authority, technical and support teams who are all located at our site in Luton,” says Phil Liddiard, vice-president for Praetorian at the company.
Training of staff from the Kingdom is due to begin in January with the arrival of six trainees and will last some six months, Liddiard says. The knowledge transfer is part of the terms of the Salam deal between the UK and Saudi governments covering the sale of the aircraft.
“The training activities taking place are part of Salam capability insertion, where an industry-to-industry transfer of knowledge and capability is taking place,” Liddiard adds.
“The facility provides a first-class training environment and has great potential for future training opportunities,” Liddiard says. “The Finmeccanica Airborne and Space Systems division continues to support all export customers with offset and industrialisation to fulfil their sovereign requirements.”
The Royal Saudi Air Force has 39 Typhoons in service with 15 more on order, Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyzer database shows, plus 18 trainers. Praetorian protects against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats, with defensive elements including missile warning receivers, electronic countermeasures and towed radar decoys.