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As Leonardo is the lead in Eurofighter promotion efforts in Poland, the company recognises that the position of the United States in the country is very strong, but it is convinced that the European solution to its multi-role combat aircraft requirement makes sense from both strategic and industrial perspectives.

At MSPO in Kielce last week, Eurofighter Vice President Costantino Panvini Rosati, Leonardo UK Vice President Mark Hewer and Head of Strategic Marketing Raffael Kloschka (who spent 16 years as a combat pilot, amassing 2,000 flight hours in the PHANTOM, HORNET and TYPHOON), formally proposed the Eurofighter TYPHOON to Poland and discussed the current state of the venture. In the event that Poland joins the programme, some 50-60% of contract value could eventually be awarded to local defence industry, given the level of industrial participation of the current four partner nations. They also announced a contract from BAE Systems to Leonardo – on behalf of the EuroDASS consortium – to explore future capabilities of the PRAETORIAN Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS) as part of a wider Long-Term Evolution (LTE) study programme for the platform.

Today's Eurofighter has both air dominance and digital stealth capabilities due to its advanced electronic warfare (EW) suite, incorporating mission data fusion, including threat intelligence, electronic counter measures (ECM) and an open reconfigurable system. The ongoing Phase 2 Enhancements (P2E) package increases operational flexibility,y with enhanced Eurojet EJ200 engine performance due to adaptive power and cooling, the incorporation of a Human-Machine Interface (HMI) with Large Area Display and advanced mission system architecture, including High Speed Data Network and Enhanced Target Data Management. New sensors will help the platform to cope with current and future contested operational environment, as well as the most advanced EW capabilities with integrated mission solutions and PRAETORIAN DASS, along with full integration of MBDA’s METEOR and BRIMSTONE missiles.

TYPHOON has been in service since 2003 and a total of 623 aircraft has been ordered to date, with 564 already delivered. The type has been ordered by nine customers and is currently in service with seven countries, operating from 11 European air bases in the four partner nations, including two in the United Kingdom, two in Spain, three in Italy and four in Germany. It is combat-proven, with 5,500 flying hours, including the latest British deployments to RAF Akrotiri  in Cyprus. Both its procurement and enhancement programmes are set to continue as Germany will be replacing its original 33 Tranche 1 aircraft with the same number of Tranche 3 platforms. Therefore, the type's industrial potential for development of a future combat air system is also strong.

Tomás Chlebecek

Might the Eurofighter TYPHOON be seen in Polish colours in the future – later, rather than sooner? (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

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