Strategy to improve the supply of 64 fighters
Aesa E-Scan radar mounted on a Eurofighter. Photo: Eurofighter
04/09/2021 | London
The United Kingdom has put on the table an invitation to Finland to participate in the development of a new radar AESA for the fighter plane Eurofighter as a way to improve the chances that this hunting model will be sold to the country. The Minister of State for Defense Acquisitions British, Jeremy Quin, has revealed “that a role in the development of revolutionary new technology ECRS Mk 2 is part of the best and last offer of Eurofighter for the fighter acquisition program HX Finland “, as revealed in a statement by the British company BAE Systems. This company is in charge of integrating the new active electronic scanning radar (AESA) called ECRS (E-Scan Common Radar System) Mk 2, which develops in an Italian-British invoicing program led by the Italian firm Leonardo.
In its statement, BAE explains that the European consortium that manufactures the Eurofighter, backed by Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, “is also developing 70 work packages that will create a significant number of high-quality jobs in the long term with more than 100 Finnish companies ”.
Who has expressly invited Finland to join the radar program ECRS Mk2 from the UK in a virtual briefing. The British military procurement officer has stressed that he is not “the only one who wants the Finnish experience to be part of the development of our future capacity, the other Eurofighter partner countries are committed to ensuring that Finland is part of the decision-making process. decisions ”.
The Supreme Commander of the British Air Force, the Air Chief Marshal Michael Wigston, has explained that the acquisition of the Eurofighter by Finland “it would be a gateway to Europe’s defense and aerospace programs.”
The offer to acquire the HX program includes the involvement of the Nordic country’s industry in the production of engines EJ200 for him Eurofighter, developed by the consortium Eurojet, formed by the British firm Rolls-Royce, the Italian Airplane, the Spanish E.T.C (part of the Rolls-Royce group) and the German MTU Aero Engines. Rolls Royce Defense Executive Vice President of Business Development and Future Programs, Alex Zino, has pointed out that, “as part of our offer, Finnish defense personnel and strategic industry partners will receive [si eligen el Eurofighter] the sovereign ability and skills, as well as operational knowledge about the engine, to lead all activities in which Eurojet will become a supplier to Finland. ” This is a transfer, which equates to “a combined workload of approximately 1.5 million hours over 40 years”.
The Finnish military purchasing authorities sent the fighter manufacturer Eurofighter at the end of last January the formal request to present its best final offer (a concept known by the acronym in English). BREATH) to this program. European companies also compete in it Dassault Aviation, and Saab, and the Americans Boeing Y Lockheed Martin. The program H-X intends to acquire up to 64 fighter jets to replace its aging fighter fleet F/A-18C/D Hornet
The ECRS Mk 2 is a version of a radar AESA based on the Captor-E, which is the model on which the Eurofighter has been working since 2014, and on which the ECRS Mk 1. The latter is the project to provide this type of sensors to the Eurofighter Germans and Spanish. The ECRS MK 1 is more advanced than the Mk 2. Specifically, last July it was commissioned by Airbus (main partner of the manufacturer of these aircraft) the supply of 130 radars AESA of this type to the German firm Hensoldt for 1,500 million euros. For its part, the United Kingdom committed last summer a disbursement of 317 million pounds (about 370 million euros at the current rate) on its radar. which is equivalent to less than a quarter of what was injected into the German-Spanish project, and only covers the development of the sensor, and not its production and implementation in airplanes.
Adopting a radar AESA is considered a fundamental milestone for the fighter Eurofighter Typhoon It can compete in the export market against combat aircraft programs in the US, France and Sweden, which either already have this capability or are firmly committed to having it.
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