A contract worth €200M (approximately £165M) to enhance the capability of the Eurofighter-Typhoon has been signed at an International Defence Exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
Alongside a number of avionics system upgrades, the contract will see the integration of the Brimstone 2 missile onto the world class combat aircraft and is expected to sustain more than 200 UK jobs based at BAE Systems in Lancashire and MBDA in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.
The Brimstone 2 close air support weapon will further enhance Typhoon’s effectiveness, enabling it to deploy the precision guided weapon against high-speed manoeuvring surface targets with low collateral damage.
The contract was awarded to Eurofighter Jadgflugzeug GmbH by NETMA – the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency - on behalf of the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Speaking at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi (IDEX), Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said:
This contract marks another significant milestone in the continuing development of the Eurofighter-Typhoon capability by delivering state of the art precision strike technologies, whilst also supporting highly skilled UK jobs.
Brimstone missiles have been combat proven by the Royal Air Force on the Tornado fast jet in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq and continue to prove their effectiveness in operations and provide our Armed Forces with precision capability to meet their air-to-ground demands.
Upgrades to the Typhoon made under the contract will be known as Phase 3 Capability Enhancements (P3E) and are expected to be delivered into RAF service in late 2018.
Bernard Gray, the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Chief of Defence Materiel, said:
The integration of Brimstone 2 represents a step change in Typhoon air to surface capability; providing for the first time both a low collateral moving target capability and multi-weapon launchers.
Typhoon is already regarded as a world-leading combat aircraft and this contract will further confirm the aircraft’s full capability.
When integrated, each Typhoon aircraft will be able to carry up to six Brimstone missiles on two launcher packs of three missiles each.
While the prime focus of the P3E upgrade is the introduction of the Brimstone 2 missile required by the UK RAF, it will also enhance the capabilities of the Storm Shadow long-range strike missile, the Meteor, Paveway IV and ASRAAM weapons.