Eurofighter’s Future: Tranche 3, and Beyond
July 17/23: DASS Leonardo, the Italian aerospace and defense company, has unveiled the next phase of upgrades for the Eurofighter Typhoon’s Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS). These upgrades, proposed for the Eurofighter four-nation Phase 4 Enhancement (P4E) package, are set to significantly enhance the aircraft’s survivability capabilities. Furthermore, these upgrades will also be made available for export customers, extending the reach of this cutting-edge technology.
The multi-national Eurofighter Typhoon has been described as the aerodynamic apotheosis of lessons learned from the twin engine “teen series” fighters that began with the F-14 and F-15, continued with the emergence of the F/A-18 Hornet, and extended through to the most recent F/A-18 Super Hornet variants. Aerodynamically, it’s a half generation ahead of all of these examples, and planned evolutions will place the Eurofighter near or beyond parity in electronic systems and weapons.
The 1998 production agreement among its 4 member countries involved 620 aircraft, built with progressively improved capabilities over 3 contract “tranches”. By the end of Tranche 2, however, welfare state programs and debt burdens had made it difficult to afford the 236 fighters remaining in the 4-nation Eurofighter agreement. A 2009 compromise was found in the EUR 9 billion “Tranche 3A” buy, and the program has renewed its efforts to secure serious export sales. Their success will affect the platform’s production line in the near term, and its modernization plans beyond that.
Eurofighter: Design & Evolution
Eurofighter: What’s Next?
A Weak Core
Typhoon at Sea?
Eurofighter: Industrial Structure & Orders
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2014 – 2023
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