Airbus Defence Present Eurofighter ECR Concept
For the first time, Airbus has announced details of a new concept for the Eurofighter, which will introduce an electronic combat role (ECR) variant to the multi-role fighter.
Airbus presented the Eurofighter ECR concept at the International Fighter Conference in Berlin on November 12 - with the company stating that an initial capability is expected to be available for the fighter by 2026. This will then be followed by further development for full integration into the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which is due to enter service around 2040.
The Eurofighter ECR concept will enable the Typhoon to perform active jamming of threats as well as provide a passive emitter location capability. A Eurofighter with these capabilities would be able to perform electronic attack (EA) and suppression/destruction of enemy air defence (SEAD/DEAD) missions.
The platform includes a twin-seat tandem cockpit configuration, featuring a multi-function panoramic touch display and dedicated ECR mission suite for the operator in the rear seat. It will also include the latest in national escort jammer technology, which controls mission data/data analysis.
The concept specifically targets the Luftwaffe (German Air Force), which is currently seeking a replacement for its ageing fleet of Panavia Tornado IDS/ECR combat aircraft by 2025. The Tornado ECR variant is operated in a SEAD role and has been in German military service since 1990. The Luftwaffe wants a platform which can effectively continue to provide the capabilities of both Tornado variants.
Germany is currently deciding whether to replace its Tornado fleet with either the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (which includes a potential for EA-18G Growlers to provide the air arm's ECR) or with more Eurofighters. The Eurofighter ECR concept will be delivered by Airbus, Hensoldt, MBDA, MTU, Premium Aerotec and Rolls-Royce. The proposal also has attained support from German national industry bodies BDSV and BDLI.
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