Block 5 supports full air-to-air and initial air-to-ground
capabilities. The aircraft is cleared for the 9g envelope as
intended, with additional features such as sensor fusion, the
full Direct Voice Input, enhanced GPS, and Defensive Aids Sub-System
(DASS) countermeasures including automatic chaff and flare dispensers.
The radar air-to-surface modes are enhanced with ground mapping,
and the aircraft also provides initial FLIR (Forward Looking
Infra-Red) capability. Block 5 Eurofighter Typhoon is cleared
to carry AMRAAM, ASRAAM, IRIS-T and AIM-9L air-to-air missiles,
as well as Paveway II laser-guided bombs and GBU-16s. External
fuel tanks are certified for supersonic flight, while air-to-air
refueling is cleared for all customer specified tanker types.
RAF and Italian
Air Force received its first Block 5 aircraft in August
Tranche 2 Production Phase:
251 of the total 620 production Typhoons will
be "Tranche 2" standard. These comprise 236 aircraft for the core nations plus 72 Tranche 2 aircraft ordered by the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia and 15 Tranche 2 replacing Tranche 1 aircraft in the nations that have been delivered to Austria. Early aircraft for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be taken from the UK final assembly line and the RAF will receive this number of diverted aircraft later.
Typhoon aircraft production will soon progress to the next stage,
with the first flight of the Tranche 2 Typhoon which took place
at EADS Military Air Systems' site in Manching on January
16, 2008, piloted by EADS Test Pilot Chris Worning. The
significant Tranche 2 capabilities focus mainly on the new mission
computers which deliver the higher processing and memory capacity
required for the integration of future weapons such as Meteor,
Storm Shadow and Taurus. Differences in the build standard to
Tranche 1 are related to changes in production technology or
The first aircraft fitted with full Tranch 2 avionics
is Instrumented Production Aircraft Seven (IPA7), is a German
single seat variant, representing the full Tranche 2 build standard.
The aircraft will be used to test and certify 'Type Acceptance'
for Typhoon Block 8 - the first capability standard of Tranche
2, anticipated for April 2008. This work will be carried out
together with the BAE Systems-operated IPA6 Tranch 1 Typhoon
fitted with Tranche 2 mission computer suite and avionics features.
The first series of EJ200 engine flight testing for Tranche
2 was successfully concluded at the end of November with IPA2
in Italy. Deliveries of Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoons to all
four Partner Nations will begin in Summer 2008. Deliveries are scheduled to run until 2013.
By July 2009, Tranche 3 is already underway. The initial order for 112 Tranche 3 Typhoon aircraft was awarded by NAMSA on July 31, 2009. These aircraft will be equipped with electrical, cooling and computing power to accomodate future systems, including a new radar, weapons, and electronic warfare systems. The airframe will also accommodate future installation of additional fuel tanks carried under the fuselage, greatly increasing range and endurance. Each of the new Typhoons can carry up to eight air-to-air missiles and up to six air-to-surface weapons. These aircraft are expected to become operational by the year 2013.
enhancements are currently considered within the Main Development
Contract (MDC), currently in final negotiation, formulating
the roadmap for the integration of future capabilities. Another
future enhancement will include the fielding of the e-scan AESA
radar capability. Recently, the Euroradar consortium conducted
the first flights of the CAESAR (Captor Active Electronically
Scanning Array Radar) antenna on DA5 at Manching, Germany.
Eurofighter Typhoon: Retrofit and Upgrade Programs
The R2 Retrofit program is intended to bring all the earlier
Typhoons up to the Block 5 standard. All 115 Tranche 1 Eurofighter
Typhoon aircraft will be standardized through a series of "Capability
Upgrade" projects. Aircraft in Blocks 1, 2 and 2B, are
now being upgraded to Block 5 capability, also known as Final
Operational Capability (FOC), in order to maximize the aircraft
capability at the national fleet level. Upgrades will be included
in scheduled maintenance activities to enhance overall fleet
The first non-Block 5 aircraft to be brought to FOC standard
is BS021, the 21st single seater of UK production. Only a few
days later, German aircraft GS019 joined the program. Both are
Block 2B aircraft. This functionality standard represents the
full air-to-air functionality, whereas Block 5 includes this
plus the enhanced carefree handling air-to-ground capability
to drop laser guided bombs. As of February 2007,
six aircraft are undergoing retrofits (three in Germany, two
in the United Kingdom and one in Spain) with a seventh aircraft
soon to join the project in the UK.
Priority in the R2 programme is on the upgrade of Block 2B
aircraft, as less work is required to bring these aircraft to
the higher performance level. By the end of 2007, the combination
of Block 5 new aircraft deliveries and upgraded R2 aircraft
will enable the Partner Air Forces to meet their NATO commitment
Following on from Block 2B aircraft, Block 2 Eurofighter Typhoons
with the initial air-to-air capability will be upgraded. Finally
early Block 1 aircraft (all of them twin seaters) will enter
the program. All Tranche 1 aircraft are scheduled to complete
upgrade to Block 5 FOC standard by early 2012.
Eventually, all Tranche 2 aircraft will also go through the Phase 1 Enhancement program beginning 2011, covering new software architecture, enhanced multirole man-machine interface (MMI), integration of a new targeting pod, enhancements of MIDS (Multifunctional Information and Distribution System) datalink, Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system, Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS), communications, improving ‘network centricity’ and expanded weapon support including Paveway IV and Enhanced GBU-16.
A second batch of future enhancements has been submitted during the Berlin Air Show this year. “Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E)” is targeted to be implemented by the end of 2014. It focuses on the introduction of enhanced weapons expected at this time, like enhanced Storm Shadow, Taurus, supersonic delivery of Paveway IV weapons, Brimstone, Small Diameter Bomb, AMRAAM C-5/7, and Meteor. Other improvements of subsystems are also expected, including further enhancement of DASS. Further enhancements are expected for Tranche 3.
Note: By mid- 2008 all Block designations have been deleted from the Typhoon program, except for Block 9 which has been instituted as a placeholder for future capabilities, to be more flexible in adapting future customer requirements.