BAE spells out Eurofighter Block 5 upgrade

Aug. 9, 2007 at 12:24 PM
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WARTON, England, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- BAE Systems this week announced details of its Block 5 Retrofit 2 upgrade program for the British Royal Air Force's Eurofighter.

The company said in a statement Monday that its Retrofit 2 program would "bring 115 aircraft from across Europe up to Block 5 standard. A further 25 Block 5 aircraft will be produced as part of the production program."

"BAE Systems’ employees on the Typhoon (Eurofighter) program will be working side by side with Royal Air Force personnel at bases in (Britain) and overseas supporting men and women on active operations," it said.

Chris Boardman, managing director Typhoon at BAE Systems, said, “We have worked in close partnership with the Ministry of Defense to introduce these enhancements and provide the RAF with a state-of-the-art combat aircraft.

“By applying the principles of the Defense Industrial Strategy, we have also jointly developed a program of combined maintenance and upgrade which will help minimize the cost of this work to the taxpayer, whilst maximizing the RAF’s effectiveness,” Boardman said.

"The maiden flight of the first Block 5 production aircraft has already demonstrated the benefits of continued improvements on the Typhoon development program," BAE Systems said.

“The aircraft performed exceptionally well, achieving a high level of performance. This production flight acceptance testing flight was one of the best ever, achieving 90 percent of the planned schedule,” said Martin Topping, Typhoon final assembly operations manager.

"The Block 5 standard gives Typhoon full air-to-air and initial air-to-ground capability with full carefree handling," BAE Systems said.

"The aircraft is cleared for the 9g envelope as intended, with additional features such as sensor fusion; full direct voice input; enhanced global positioning system; defensive aids sub-system countermeasures including automatic chaff and flare dispensers; radar air-to-surface modes including ground mapping; and initial Forward Looking Infra-Red," it said.

"The Block 5 Typhoon will be equipped with air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, plus laser-guided bombs. External fuel tanks are certified for supersonic flight, while air-to-air refueling is cleared for all customer-specified tanker types," the statement said.

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