Typhoon’s £2.35bn upgrade supports 1,300 UK jobs

  • Typhoon fighter jets will be equipped with the world’s most advanced radar
  • Additional upgrades will allow the aircraft to counter emerging threats
  • Funding supports 1,300 engineering jobs across the UK

The state-of-the-art European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk 2 radar will further transform the air control of the Eurofighter Typhoon, bringing cutting-edge electronic warfare capability that will allow the aircraft to detect, simultaneously identify and track multiple targets in the air and on the ground.

It will support operations in the most challenging situations, equipping pilots with the ability to suppress enemy air defenses with high-powered jamming and engage targets while out of range of threats.

Defense Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said:

It is vital that the UK remains at the forefront of military capabilities to be able to deter and defend.

These technological enhancements will maintain the advanced capabilities of the Eurofighter Typhoon and help underpin the development path to the future combat air system.

The work also ensures the aircraft can integrate additional capabilities and weapons later in the decade to counter emerging threats through 2040 and beyond.

This sees Typhoon upgraded with the latest mission computer and cockpit interface, as well as an improved navigation system and signal jamming technology.

The ECRS Mk2 will enter service towards the end of the decade and today’s announcement ensures that the advanced technical skills and expertise needed to develop, integrate and deliver these complex projects remain in the UK and are available to support the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program.

The radar is an excellent example of cutting-edge UK land technology, developed by Leonardo UK in Edinburgh and Luton and integrated by BAE Systems in Warton.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston said:

The ECRS Mk2 radar is a transformational upgrade for our Typhoon aircraft and a step change in capability. This will ensure that Typhoon is ready and able to protect our skies in the future, in the face of rapidly evolving threats to the UK and our allies.

The Typhoon program continues to support over 20,000 jobs across the UK. The latest investments, brokered by Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S), maintain over 1,300 jobs across the UK, including Leonardo UK sites in Edinburgh, Luton and Lincoln, BAE Systems in Warton and Samlesbury, Lancashire, Kent, Meggitt in Stevenage and II–VI in County Durham.

DE&S CEO Sir Simon Bollom said:

The integration of the ECRS Mk2 on Typhoon provides the RAF with unrivaled radar capability for the next decade. It’s a great example of DE&S working together to procure winning technology that keeps our armed forces one step ahead of their enemy.

The announcement builds on the Integrated Review and Defense Command Document – ​​which was backed by an additional £24billion for defense in cash over four years. This funding will allow for long-term investment in vital capacities, while adapting to a more dangerous and competitive world.

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