Typhoon jets to get £2.35 billion upgrade

Typhoon fighter jets will be fitted with what the Royal Air Force has called “the world’s most advanced radar” as part of a £2.35 billion investment announced at the Royal International Air Tattoo today.

The state-of-the-art European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk 2 radar will further transform the Eurofighter Typhoon’s capabilities, bringing a “world-leading electronic warfare capability which will allow the aircraft to simultaneously detect, identify and track multiple targets in the air and on the ground”.

The system will have the ability to suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming and engage targets whilst beyond the reach of threats.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, was quoted as saying:

“It’s vital the UK remains at the forefront of military capabilities to be able to deter and defend. These technological enhancements will maintain the cutting-edge capabilities of Eurofighter Typhoon and help underpin the development path towards the Future Combat Air System.”

According to a statement:

“The work also ensures the aircraft can integrate additional capabilities and weapons later in the decade to counter emerging threats until 2040 and beyond. This sees Typhoon enhanced with the latest mission computer and cockpit interface, as well as an improved navigation system and signal jamming technology.

ECRS Mk2 will be delivered into service towards the end of the decade and today’s announcement ensures that the advanced technical skills and expertise needed to develop, integrate and deliver these complex projects remain in the UK and are available to support the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme. The radar is a prime example of the UK’s world-leading onshore technology, being developed by Leonardo UK in Edinburgh and Luton and integrated by BAE Systems in Warton.”

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, was quoted as saying:

“The ECRS Mk2 radar is a transformational upgrade for our Typhoon aircraft, and a step change in capability. It will ensure Typhoon is ready and able to protect our skies into the future, in the face of fast-evolving threats to the UK and our allies.”

DE&S CEO, Sir Simon Bollom, was quoted as saying:

“The integration of ECRS Mk2 on Typhoon offers the RAF unparalleled radar capability for the next decade. It is an excellent example of DE&S working collaboratively to procure battle-winning technology that allows our Armed Forces to keep one step ahead of their enemy.”