How Germany Fixed The Eurofighter Typhoon
YouTube / Military Aviation History
The self-made Eurofighter Typhoon problem of Germany now stands on the precipice of being solved.
For over a decade, Germany pushed the decision of replacing the Tornado in the Luftwaffe. Then, in 2022, Germany announced they would purchase 35 F-35s and 15 Eurofighters for ECR missions.
This will substitute roughly 70 Tornado IDS and 30 Tornado ECRs. The problem? There’s no electronic warfare variant of the Eurofighter.
When the Eurofighter ECR was introduced, it encountered several controversies. People criticized this decision saying that there’s no market for this, the development takes too long, it’s not expensive, it’s relatively unclear what this jet will look like, and that 15 aren’t enough.
However, replacing the Tornado ECR with an electronic warfare variant of the Eurofighter does have its advantages – parts commonality, existing logistic infrastructure, familiarity with the aircraft crews and maintainer, and potentially influencing the FCAS or the Franco-German 6th gen aircraft that’s in development.
It would also boost the NATO air electronic warfare package.
The Big Picture Solution
Germany launched a project testing the viability of various approaches in developing the Eurofighter ECR, rechristened Eurofighter EK, in German, stands for Elektronischer Kampf- Electronic Warfare.
Now, the Eurofighter EK is as official as it can get at this stage but there has to be a governmental order for it.
The Eurofighter EK is not a complete redesign, rather it’s the EW analog to Eurofighter. It took the existing aircraft and integrated new systems that specialized in Electronic Warfare.
The Eurofighter EK is to be equipped with a modern and capable EW system. AESA radars let it jam or deceive radar sets, ping multiple radars in sequence, and the onboard systems assist to counteract enemy missiles – all this data is stored and processed in real-time without occupying the operator.
Northrop Grumman adds the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile to the package which is an upgrade to the AGM-88 with extended range to neutralize radar sets. As such the Eurofighter EK can fulfill the SEAD (suppression of Enemy Air Defense) and DEAD (Destruction of Enemy Air Defense) roles.
Additionally, it can also suppress and destroy enemy air defenses by taking out their radar observation.