Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH has today signed a weapon system integration contract with NETMA, the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, to facilitate and secure integration of MBDA’s Meteor Beyond Visual Range Missile system.
The contract was signed at the Paris Air Show 2013 in Le Bourget by Jesus Pinillos Prieto, General Manager of NETMA and Alberto Gutierrez, Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter GmbH. It was witnessed by high-level defence representatives from all the four core nations of Eurofighter: Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment Support & Technology in the United Kingdom; Stéphane Beemelmans, Secretary of State for Defence in Germany; Roberta Pinotti, Under Secretary of State for Defence in Italy, and Pedro Argüelles Salaverría, Secretary of State for Defence in Spain.
The signing is further evidence of delivery around a range of capability enhancements for the Eurofighter Typhoon, and secures work on a programme to integrate the state of the art ramjet missile system through the partner nations in Eurofighter for the foreseeable future.
Alberto Gutierrez, Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter GmbH, said: “These latest developments confirm the growing momentum of the Eurofighter enhancement programme which is delivering real capability to our customers. Meteor adds genuine potency to the Eurofighter Typhoon. When coupled with a range of other enhancements we are bringing into the programme, this will further secure the aircraft’s position as best-in-class offering customers unrivalled levels of performance, reliability and support.”
Jesus Pinillos Prieto, General Manager of NETMA, said: “This is another significant milestone in the success story of the Eurofighter Typhoon. NETMA is delighted to progress this aircraft integration contract which will deliver new capability to Eurofighter. Much work has already been done to position this capability, the continuing work on integration will now see it safely delivered into the hands of the customer.”
The Meteor missile system, integrated with the current class-leading M-Scan radar (and in the future the advanced E-Scan radar) fitted to the Eurofighter, and utilizing the full potential of two-way data-link communication, will greatly increase the ‘no-escape-zone’ around the aircraft enhancing both its effectiveness and lethality.
In December 2012, BAE Systems, one of the four Eurofighter Partner Companies within Eurofighter, completed a test-firing of a Meteor missile from a Eurofighter Typhoon, Instrumented Production Aircraft 1 (IPA1) off the coast of Wales. Further design and test work on the missile system will continue as part of the integration programme as BAE Systems, Cassidian, Alenia Aermacchi embed the system within the programme in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Eurofighter Typhoon is the most advanced new generation multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft currently available on the world market. Seven customers (Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman) have already ordered the Eurofighter Typhoon. With 719 aircraft under contract and 571 on order, Eurofighter Typhoon is currently the largest military procurement programme in Europe. Its high technology strengthens the position of European aerospace industry in the international market. The programme secures more than 100,000 jobs in 400 companies. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of the Eurofighter Partner Companies Alenia Aermacchi/Finmeccanica, BAE Systems and Cassidian in Germany and Spain, which are the most important aviation and aerospace companies in Europe with a turnover of about 126 billion euro (2012).
Since entry into service in 2004, almost 400 Eurofighter Typhoons have been delivered to six nations: Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia. In December 2012, Oman became the seventh customer and ordered a total of twelve aircraft. Currently, Eurofighter Typhoon is in service at 20 operational units and up to now, the whole fleet has completed more than 186,000 flying hours worldwide.