On 19 June 2019, as part of the third day of the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH announced the acquisition of the NETMA contract for the feasibility study of the TYPHOON Long Term Evolution (LTE), worth @53 million, to be completed within 19 months.
The objective of the study is to offer an operational and technological development of the platform to counter the continuous threats evolution and to allow the highest and effectiveness operational level for the entire life of the platform, estimated until 2050.
Within the framework of this contract, a fundamental part is related to the study for the updating of Leonardo's PRAETORIAN Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS), providing protection against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats, by monitoring and proactively responding to the operational environment. It contains Electronic Support Measures, missile warning, on-board electronic countermeasures and towed radar decoys to detect, evaluate and counter threats at maximum range. Elettronica, together with other EuroDASS partners, will work to define a new solution based on the cutting-edge technologies and advanced engineering architecture solutions.
DASS boosts the ability to guarantee the platform the development of increasingly demanding and critical operational missions. The LTE activity, and therefore also the DASS activity, represents a great opportunity and can be the "technological bridge" for next evolution of the sixth-generation jet fighter.
Eurofighter, EUROJET Turbo GmbH and NETMA, the NATO Eurofighter & Tornado Management Agency, signed contracts together worth €53.7 million to support the long-term development of the Eurofighter TYPHOON combat aircraft, at Paris Air Show. The study contracts, which look at the LTE of the aircraft and the EJ200 engine, will span a total of 19 months for the aircraft and nine months for the engine elements.
The LTE study contracts will underpin the future of Eurofighter by identifying a suite of technology enhancements for the Weapons System infrastructure and the engine that will ensure the aircraft remains operationally effective and can continue to spearhead the Partner Nations’ air forces for the decades to come. The high technology areas being explored include:
- Mission System Architecture: The Eurofighter Typhoon already has one of the world’s most advanced Electronic Warfare systems. The LTE study will reinforce this by supporting the generation, transmission and utilisation of ever-increasing amounts of digital data both onboard (via advanced multi-spectral sensors) and offboard (via high performance tactical datalinks), whilst remaining resilient to new and emerging threats, including cyber. This will maintain Eurofighter’s ability to operate in the highly contested and congested future operating environment.
- The PRAETORIANDASS: Looking at potential future DASS requirements out to 2050, enabling Typhoon to cope faster, easier and more affordably with new requirements to counter threats as they arise in the future.
- The Human-Machine Interface: Refreshed cockpit displays and controls which will enable more demanding missions in the future, whilst ensuring full interoperability with cooperating assets in the air and over land and sea.
- Operational Flexibility: Applying new adaptive power and cooling techniques and facilitating the agile integration of advanced weapons, thereby enabling more flexible store configurations to be flown.
- Engine Performance: In terms of the EJ200 engine, the focus is on four key areas: thrust growth; range and persistence with increased parts life; survivability as well as control system enhancements.