Eurofighter Typhoon Lagging Behind Rivals

  • Defenseworld.net Analysis
  • 02:04 PM, November 11, 2015
  • 6207
Eurofighter Typhoon Lagging Behind Rivals
Eurofighter Typhoon

The Eurofighter Typhoon may be lagging behind the Dassault Rafale and F-16 in terms of radar and advanced weapons as it pitches for contracts in the Middle East.

When the Eurofighter team provided a briefing at the Dubai Air Show on the fighter's planned upgrade program it was not lost on the media about how behind the European consortium's aircraft was as compared to its main rivals in the Middle East market.

While the Eurofighter is expected to integrate the Captor E-Scan active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar beyond 2017, in what is called the Phase 4 enhancement, the Dassault Rafale installed the Thales RBE2 AESA radar in 2013 along with the new-generation missile launch detector (DDM NG) and new front sector optronics.

Lockheed Martin released the F-16 V upgrade in July this year which comes equipped with a Northrop Grumman APG-83 AESA Scalable Agile Beam Radar and changes to the cockpit display, communications bus and weapons control systems which will enable it to carry some of the latest missiles and bombs in the arsenal of the US Air Force.

“Our Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) Programme will enable Eurofighter operators to integrate the Brimstone 2 on the aircraft and will also further enhance other existing weapons capabilities – including Storm Shadow, Meteor, Paveway IV and ASRAAM. We aim to deliver P3E to the Customer in 2017,” an Eurofighter official said during the Dubai briefing.

Some or all of these weapons capabilities are already existing in the Dassault Rafale and the F-16 V.

Many believe that the Eurofighter losing out in the UAE bid two years ago was due to its below-par configuration. The French are now seen roaming around Abu Dhabi confident that the Sheikhs will stop their Ferraris and hand them a cheque to buy the Rafale.

A telling comment about the reasons why Eurofighter lost the UAE bid was published in Aviation Week, “The UAE’s message to Eurofighter may have been a stern warning…, Don’t come back until you’re qualified—Rafale is flying with things you’re still talking about.”

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