Airbus DS offers a version of Typhoon for the elimination of anti-aircraft defenses

The Tornado ECR is today the only aircraft in Europe specialized in missions to suppress the adversary's anti-aircraft defenses, or SEAD. The Italian Air Force still has 5 in use, to the ECR A-200 standard, while the Luftwaffe still has 35 to the ECR standard, of which 28 are still in service. With a view to replacing the fleet of 85 Tornadoes in line in the Luftwaffe, including the 28 ECRs, Airbus DS is today presenting a version of the Typhoon specialized in this mission, identified for the moment as the Typhoon ECR/SEAD.

The new version proposed by Airbus DS carries two jamming pods positioned on the middle pylons under the wings of the aircraft, as well as 3 additional 2000 l cans in the ventral position, and on the interior pylons, requiring modification of the configuration diagram. power supply of the device to connect these drivers to the fuel network. The device will also carry the SPEAR-EW missile presented by MBDA a few months ago, as part of the Tempest program. State given the new HARM missile order passed through the Luftwaffe this year, we can also assume that the aircraft could be equipped with it. Given the very heavy workload for SEAD missions, it is more than likely that the Typhoon ECR/SEAD is a two-seater version.

Tornado ECR Defense News | Germany | Awacs and electronic warfare
The Tornado ECR is the only European aircraft specialized in the SEAD mission

The investments proposed by Airbus DS to design the electronic warfare version of the Typhoon could also represent a good working basis for the dimension Rafale/Typhoon of FCAS. As we mentioned in this article, the Air Force, like the National Navy, desperately need a version of Rafale specialized in this mission, in order to neutralize opposing anti-aircraft defenses if necessary. However, jamming Pods and Spear-EW missiles can constitute a common base for a European version of jamming capabilities, so as to be able to simultaneously equip Typhoon and Rafales specially modified. Such an initiative would represent a “Quick Win” in the FCAS program who desperately need strong symbols To advance. In addition, for France, it would represent significant potential in terms of exports, particularly to Egypt and India.

This would also make it very difficult the selection of the F18 E/F to replace the German Tornados, even by separating the files. Technological advances would be integrated into the technological “common pot” of the FCAS, and France would become, indirectly, an essential player in the file, so as to support the Typhoon in this competition.

Above all, this would allow the French air forces to re-allocate a capacity lost since the mid-90s, and which is now absolutely essential when considering intervention beyond counter-insurgency missions. THE Spectra system which protects the Rafale, like the Pretorian system which protects the Typhoon, are certainly efficient, but faced with solid air defenses, they would quickly find themselves overwhelmed. Note also that the F4 standard of Rafale plans the design of such a jamming pod. It would therefore be coherent to merge the needs and the responses to them within the FCAS program.

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