Editor in chief:
CLARA MOSCHINI

Eurofighter Typhoon airplane (2): the cornerstone of Europe’s future air defence and the flagship of Italy’s high-tech-industry

Rome, Italy - 599 orders, 500 delivered and over 385,000 flight hours

The Eurofighter Typhoon is the latest-generation, multi-role fighter with the largest number of orders (599), aircraft delivered (500) and flight hours (over 385,000) worldwide. It is also the fighter aircraft with the best operational safety record. Eight customers (Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait) have already ordered the model. The programme is fundamental for the Italian aerospace industry and particularly for Leonardo, industry’s total industrial participation is about 36% of the entire programme value, which includes a share of the aircraft’s structure, avionics and on-board electronics. The Eurofighter Typhoon is the largest industrial collaboration programme in the history of Europe. The programme employs about 100,000 people in the four programme partner countries, 20,000 of whom are based in Italy (in direct, indirect and service employment). More than 400 suppliers provide components for the Typhoon, 200 in Italy, half located in Northern part of the country and half in Central/South. The programme is managed by the Eurofighter GmbH consortium, headquartered in Munich Germany). The Eurofighter partner companies are: Leonardo, BAE Systems, Airbus Defence & Space for Germany and Spain. On the Government side it is managed by the Eurofighter & Tornado Management Agency (NETMA), set up to meet the procurement requirements of the four participating nations: Italy, UK, Germany and Spain. Industrial collaboration The aircraft’s development, production and systems are assigned to the following consortia: - Eurofighter GmbH comprises Leonardo (21%), BAE Systems (33%), Airbus D&S Spain (13%) and Airbus D&S Germany (33%) and is responsible for project, development and final assembly of the aircraft, programme management and coordination of sub-contractors’ activities. - Eurojet Turbo GmbH, made up of Avio (Italy, 21%), ITP (Spain, 13%), MTU (Germany, 33%) and Rolls Royce (United Kingdom, 33%), responsible for the project and coordination of the production activities of the EJ200 engine used in the aircraft. - EuroRADAR designs and manufactures the Captor-M, the Typhoon’s currently-in-service mechanical radar system and the Captor-E, the new electronically scanned array radar (contract signed at the end of 2014).The consortium is led by Leonardo and includes Indra (Spain) and Airbus D&S (Germany); - EuroDASS designs and manufactures the Typhoon’s Praetorian Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS), which protects the aircraft from threats such as radar, laser or heat-guided missiles. The consortium is led by Leonardo-Leonardo and includes Elettronica (Italy), Indra (Spain) and Airbus D&S (Germany); - EuroFIRST provides the PIRATE system (Passive InfraRed Airborne Track Equipment) to provide target search and tracking. It is also led by Leonardo. Leonardo production sites involved in the Eurofighter programme The company is Italy’s national reference for the aircraft’s production programme. The Turin-Caselle facilities are responsible for building the left wing –with involvement from the Foggia site– and for the design and manufacture of the rear fuselage with BAE Systems. Leonardo is also responsible for design and integration of on-board systems, such as weapons management and navigation and for the integration of the entire propulsion system. Furthermore, the Turin-Caselle sites are involved in the final assembly of all aircraft for the Italian Air Force and of those export customers under Leonardo’s responsibility. Its site in Venegono Superiore (near Varese) designs, develops and produces the fighter’s sub-wing pylons, wing-fuselage fairings, and titanium engine fairings. An extensive wind tunnel testing programme has also been carried out. The site also participates in the design and construction of the Ground Support Equipment (GSE) specific to the aircraft: auxiliary power, hydraulic, electrical and compressed air generation units for the engine starter and air conditioning system. Leonardo is a key part of the Eurofighter programme, with an over 60% share in the Typhoon’s onboard electronics and provides avionics, communication, navigation and mission systems, advanced sensors, self-protection systems and simulation. The programme commitment involves activities at several sites in Italy and in the United Kingdom, in particular Nerviano (Milan), Turin-Caselle, Ronchi dei Legionari (Trieste), Pomezia (Rome), Genoa, L’Aquila, Montevarchi (Arezzo), Luton and Edinburgh. The Leonardo leads the consortium responsible for the Typhoon’s mechanically-scanned Captor-M radar and the Captor-E, the new EScan device that will be installed on future production aircraft. Leonardo also leads the consortium that delivers the Praetorian, the Typhoon’s self-protection DASS (Defensive Aids Sub-System) against air-to-air and ground-to-air threats. Leonardo has significant responsibility for the development of avionic sub-systems and devices, including parts of the cockpit display system and the navigation system (altimeter radar), of the weapon management system (computer and unit for the ‘weapons’ release) and of the flight control system. The industry also leads the consortium that provides the passive infra-red system PIRATE (Passive InfraRed Airborne Track Equipment), capable of detecting and tracking potential threats. This is one of the most advanced devices developed for the Eurofighter programme partner countries and for export countries excepting Germany and Austria. Leonardo’s contribution to the programme also entails the manufacture of a large part of the aircraft’s communications and navigation equipment: the Identification Friend or Foe system (IFF) for friend-enemy identification; the MIDS Interface Unit (MIU); the Crash Survivable Memory Unit (CSMU); the Microwave Landing System/MultiMode Receiver (MLS/MMR) and the Distance Measuring Equipment-Precision (DME- P) navigation system. Furthermore, the company participates in the supply of the Communication Audio Management Unit (CAMU) and of the V/UHF radio. The company also manufactures most of the Typhoon’s cockpit instruments. The equipment is on board of all the aircraft and is at the cutting edge of man-machine interfaces. It includes control panels, multi-functional keypads and displays wholly made in Montevarchi (Arezzo) plant. Furthermore, at the Italian Air Force base located in Grosseto and at Italian and UK sites, Leonardo carries out maintenance and guarantees the full operational capability of the Typhoon avionic suite both for Italian aircraft and for other countries. Leading-edge technologies under continuous evolution For its entire operational life-cycle, the Eurofighter Typhoon undergoes a defined programme of technological updates and improvement, designed to guarantee its competitiveness in a continually evolving scenario. Constantly-evolving technologies, both on-board the aircraft and in the logistic support field, have and will continue to increase the aircraft’s operational effectiveness, survival capabilities and decrease programme management costs. The Eurofighter is built using highresistance light materials (carbon fibre, glass fibre, titanium and aluminium alloys) and has been designed in close cooperation between engineers and pilots. The programme forms the cornerstone of European aerospace and defence technology and, as such, provides the industries involved with technological leadership that will guarantee competitiveness in many future military and civil programmes. Thanks to the technology developed, Leonardo plays an important role in the evolution of the Eurofighter, in particular in the new AESA radar and weapon system integration, two elements that will keep the Eurofighter Typhoon at the leading-edge of swing-role combat aircraft technology. Captor-E is the future primary sensor on Eurofighter Typhoon and has a full suite of Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface modes. The large radome of the Typhoon allows the installation of Captor-E’s optimised array whose field of regard is some 50 per cent wider than traditional fixed plate systems. This wide field of regard offers significant benefits in both Air-to-Air and Air-toSurface engagements and given the large power and aperture available provides the pilot with much enhanced angular coverage compared to fixed plate systems. Eurofighter Typhoon will see the constant integration of new, smart weapons in accordance with the demands of current and future customers. Storm Shadow, Taurus, Brimstone, Anti-Ship Missiles are just some of the upgrades planned. Soon the MBDA Meteor advanced long-range missile will provide the largest No Escape Zone of any Air-to-Air weapon, resulting in a long standoff range and high probability of interception to ensure air superiority and pilot survivability. Guidance is provided by an active radar seeker with mid-course updates via data link. See for details AVIONEWS.

fra/pec - 1203719
World Aeronautical Press Agency
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