At the International Fighter Conference in Berlin on 12 November Airbus and its partners revealed details of a new electronic combat role (ECR) variant of the Eurofighter TYPHOON combat aircraft.

Eurofighter ECR will be able to provide passive emitter location as well as active jamming of threats, offering a variety of modular configurations for electronic attack (EA) and suppression/destruction of enemy air defences (SEAD/DEAD). Latest national escort jammer technologies will ensure national control over features such as mission data and data analysis. The concept also features a new twin-seat cockpit configuration, with a multi-function panoramic touch display and a dedicated mission cockpit for the rear-seat.

This role will enlarge Eurofighter’s multi-role capabilities and further increase the survivability of coalition forces in hostile environments. Collaborative electronic warfare capabilities are deemed essential for future combined air operations.

Initial Eurofighter ECR capability is expected to be available by 2026, followed by further development phases and full integration into the future combat air system (FCAS) ecosystem.

The concept is driven by Airbus, Hensoldt, MBDA, MTU, Premium Aerotec and Rolls-Royce, further supported by the German national industry bodies BDSV and BDLI. It specifically targets the German Air Force’s requirements for an airborne EA capability. Furthermore, it is the only opportunity to deliver such capabilities on the basis of national sovereignty whilst also securing key military technologies within Germany.

Eurofighter is the backbone of German air defence. With more than 600 aircraft under contract and a workforce of 100,000, it is the largest collaborative defence programme in Europe to date.

An artist’s impression of the TYPHOON ECR concept. (Image: Eurofighter)

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