The rapid modernization of the Russian Air Force as well as the much-publicized failure of the Eurofighter to win the Indian MRCA competition necessitated a considerable upgrade to keep the Typhoon on the cutting-edge of modern fighter technology.
The Spanish representative to the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) requested that a full review be conducted on the feasibility of upgrades previously identified in the Eurofighter 2020 program. The following modifications have been proposed:
-Addition of conformal fuel tanks and larger external tanks
-Replacement of CAPTOR radar with the CAPTOR-E AESA
-Replacement of EJ200 with EJ2x0 Stage 2 with thrust vectoring control
-Addition of leading edge root extensions
-Upgrades to the fighter’s GPS, IFF, MIDS (NATO datalink), IDM and Rover (datalink to Forward Air Controllers) and SATCOM in line with NATO’s Network Enabled Capability program
-Improved autopilot with Automatic Critical Altitude Recovery
-Upgrade the Defensive Aid Sub-System with Passive Infra-red Missile Approach Warning System
-Addition of miniaturized Directional Infrared Counter Measures system
-Integration of various weapons systems, including: MBDA Meteor, AGM-65 Maverick, AGM-88 HARM, Storm Shadow, Brimstone, Taurus KEPD 350, NSM, AGM Armiger, JDAM, HOPE/HOSBO, EGBU-16/GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway, and RecceLite pod.
With the Eurofighter partner nations having recovered from the economic calamity of the last decade and heightened tensions in Southeast Asia and across the world, the Spanish contingent believes that the political will and financial capacity exists to proceed with the much-needed Eurofighter 2020 program. Spain will commit to procuring at least 30 new-build aircraft, in addition to upgrading our existing fleet.
We now request input and statements of intent from our Eurofighter partners. Considering recent purchases from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, we suggest that they might be brought into the program as well.