Airbus will equip 15 German Eurofighter Typhoons for electronic warfare

Eurofighter RK fighters will replace the Tornados ECR in the role of Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD)

Airbus Defence confirmed on Wednesday that it will begin preparing 15 Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fighters for the electronic warfare role.

The project won approval from the German parliament, allowing the company to prepare them to replace the Tornados ECR in SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense) missions.

To take on the electronic combat task, the Typhoon will be equipped with a transmitter location and self-protection system supplied by Saab, in addition to AARGM anti-radar missiles from Northrop Grumman.

Called the Eurofighter EK, the supersonic jet is expected to be certified by NATO by 2030.

“Electronic warfare and reconnaissance are an important NATO requirement: current conflicts and the present security situation show how important the two capabilities are,” said Airbus Defense and Space CEO Michael Schöllhorn. “In this respect, the German government’s decision to include such an important capability as electronic warfare in the Eurofighter capability portfolio is an important measure. EK will add this important capability to the already broad operational spectrum of the Eurofighter while strengthening European sovereignty and autonomy. “

Eurofighter EK infographic (Airbus)

The contract between Eurofighter GmbH, as prime contractor, and NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency) is expected to be signed before the end of the year.

The Eurofighter EK will be able to detect, localize and disable anti-aircraft radars in addition to utilizing jammers for self-protection.

“The Eurofighter EK also has technologies on board that were developed by small and medium-sized enterprises and a start-up. These include an AI solution that makes it possible to analyze radar data on-board and quickly determine precise self-protection measures” , said Airbus.

Panavia Tornado ECR (Ronnie Macdonald/CC)

The Eurofighter electronic warfare project was announced in 2019 but only in March 2022 did it win a customer.

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Germany revealed its intention to convert 15 jets days after confirming the acquisition of 35 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighters, which will have nuclear weapons attacks among their tasks.