Eurofighter has received a contract from the Nato Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) to enhance the capability of the Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft.
The €200m contract has been awarded on behalf of the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy at the ongoing International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It includes integration of the Brimstone 2 missile into the aircraft, as well as upgrades to the aircraft’s mission and maintenance systems.
NETMA general manager air vice-marshal Graham Farnell said: "Brimstone 2 capability is both a unique and welcome addition to the capability portfolio, and whilst it is just a part of the P3E story, Brimstone represents an extremely important capability to have."
The Phase 3 Capability Enhancement (P3E) contract includes a scheduled programme of weapon testing, the development and testing of flight control systems, and store clearing and store release testing.
Initially, two launchers of the Brimstone 2 missile will be fitted on the outboard pylons of the Typhoon, with each launcher capable of carrying three missiles.
Eurofighter CEO Alberto Gutierrez said: "This capability upgrade gives the Eurofighter Typhoon unrivalled full multi-role and swing-role capability.
"Although the prime focus is the introduction of the Brimstone 2 missile required by the UK RAF, P3E enhances the capabilities of the Storm Shadow long-range strike missile, the Meteor, Paveway IV and ASRAAM weapons, as well as introducing modifications to further improve the aircraft’s already impressive availability."
With latest integration, the weapons compliment on the Typhoon will include six Brimstone 2 missiles, up to six Paveway IV bombs, two long-range Storm Shadow missiles, four Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missiles, and either two infrared (IR) imaging system tail / thrust vector-controlled or two advanced short range air-to-air missiles.
The P3E contract is supported by all four partner countries. It is expected to create 200 jobs in the UK, and is scheduled for delivery in 2017.
Image: Eurofighter and NETMA signed Typhoon Phase 3 Capability Enhancement contract at IDEX Exhibition in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Photo: courtesy of Eurofighter.