Radom Air Show 2015 event was attended by two Eurofighter jets coming from Germany and Italy. The latter aircraft was presented in a dynamic display. Representatives of the Eurofighter GmbH consortium hope that the Polish Air Force would be interested in acquiring the Typhoon. The European fighters may be considered to be the potential successors of the Su-22 and MiG-29 fighter jets.
The representatives of the Eurofighter GmbH consortium hope that the Polish Air Force would be interested in acquiring the Typhoon, as the Polish Air Force would be in need to replace the Su-22 and MiG-29 fighters, during the upcoming decade. The need of acquiring 16 new multi-role jets was identified and defined by the Polish Armed Forces modernization plan, covering the period between 2013 and 2022. The first jets were planned to be acquired as early as in 2019. Even though a decision was made to leave the Su-22 in the active service until 2025, and the procurement programme regarding the new jets would also be postponed, the Eurofighter GmbH consortium started to promote the fighter on the Polish market. Radom Air Show 2015 was one of the occasions to do it.
Besides the F-35 and F/A-18 Super Hornet, the European design is one of the serious contenders, when it comes to replacement of the Polish Sukhois and MiGs. Up until now, 440 Eurofighters have been delivered for the air forces of Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia. In 2017 Oman is going to become another user of the jet. The aircraft has already been combat-proven. RAF and Italian Air Force’s Eurofighters were used during the air operations over Libya. On the other hand, the Saudi Air Force used their jets in Syria and against the Huti rebels in Yemen. The NATO jets were also deployed multiple times to Lithuania and Estonia within the scope of NATO Baltic Air Policing.
The Eurofighter which is being manufactured now is very different from the jets that were introduced into service back in 2003. Even though the initial examples were only capable of executing air superiority tasks, the Tranche 3 jets have gained full multi-role capabilities. They may be used both in air-to-air and air-to-surface sorties, with the use of a wide array of armament, including the light Brimstone 2 missiles and a wide variety of guided bombs. The aircraft is also capable of carrying the Storm Shadow and Taurus long range cruise missiles.
The representatives of the Eurofighter company claim that the modernization programme has not yet come to the end. The fighters are going to be usable for decades. Currently, the producers assume that the jets would be constantly modified until 2040, they are going to remain active until 2050. In the nearest future the Eurofighter is going to receive an advanced AESA Captor-E radar, with a widened field of scanning, conformal fuel tanks, overlays which would reduce the jet’s RCS and a bundle which would enhance the jet’s aerodynamics.
As it was stressed by the representatives of the consortium, the Eurofighter is also going to be integrated with new types of payload. Besides the air-to-ground weaponry, they would be tailored to carry the Meteor air-to-air missiles, with a range exceeding 100 km, along with the Marte ER anti-ship missile. Anti-radar missile integration is also an option, should such need arise on the part of the users. In the future, the manufacturer is also willing to expand the UAV-cooperation capabilities, including provision of the capacity of controlling the UAV for the fighter pilot.
In case of the Eurofighter, cooperation with the Polish companies would be quite important, should Poland decide to select this design. This type of activities is in line with the mission pursued by the consortium, however, it’s too early to start specific negotiations within that scope. It is worth to stress the fact that the Eurofighter Programme is the most significant military procurement initiative in Europe. Manufacturing process and operations of the European multi-role jet provides ca. 100 thousand jobs at 400 companies located in the countries which are operating this type of combat aircraft.