The Eurofighter Typhoon is set to race past European rival Dassault's Rafale in new orders if the proposed German contract for 93 aircraft comes through.
Germany’s defense minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced earlier this week the country plans to buy 93 Eurofighters and 45 F-18 jets to replace its ageing Tornado fighter-bombers.
With the new contract expected to be signed soon, Eurofighter’s order book will stand at 145. Kuwait bought 28 Typhoons in 2016 and Qatar ordered 24 jets in 2018.
The first Kuwaiti Typhoon equipped with Captor E-Scan AESA radar made its first flight in December last year. It is expected to enter service by the end of 2020.
As of 2019, over 550 Typhoon jets had been sold to Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
On the other hand, its European competitor Rafale has won export orders from India (36), Egypt (24) and Qatar (36)- a total of 96 jets on order. France has procured 180 out of a planned 286 Rafale combat aircraft.
The French bird has lost out on sales in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Kuwait, Singapore and South Korea. The Rafale’s sales prospects are said to be affected due to high purchase price of the aircraft besides high operational costs.
The two jets are in currently in the race and are courting Finland (HX program), Spain, Switzerland (Air 2030 program) and the United Arab Emirates to bag additional orders.
Latest upgrades to Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon jets:
Dassault Aviation has been developing the Rafale F4 (F3R generation) since January 2019 after having produced 3 variants: single-seat Rafale-C (F1 generation), two-seat Rafale-B (F2 generation) and carrier-based single-seat Rafale-M (F3 generation).
Besides other advantages such as helmet-mounted display capabilities, improved radars and new weapons, the Rafale F4 introduces network-centric warfare capabilities. This will provide new satellite and intra-patrol links, communication server, and software defined radio.
In November of the same year, Airbus and partners unveiled details of the new Eurofighter electronic combat role (ECR) concept intended to provide airborne electronic attack capability to the Typhoon jet.
Eurofighter ECR will be able to provide passive emitter location as well as active jamming of threats, and will offer a variety of modular configurations for electronic attack (EA) and suppression/destruction of enemy air defence (SEAD/DEAD). Latest national escort jammer technology will ensure national control over features such as mission data and data analysis. The concept also features a new twin-seat cockpit configuration with a multi-function panoramic touch display and a dedicated mission cockpit for the rear-seat.