Germany has given the green light to replace its Tornado ECR aircraft with Eurofighter Typhoon EK, a dedicated variant for electronic combat and SEAD.
Germany is set to replace its Tornado electronic combat/reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft with Eurofighter Typhoon Elektronischer Kampf (EK) for the task of suppression of enemy air defence (SEAD) following parliamentary approval by the Budget Committee.
The Typhoons will be fitted with Saab’s Arexis Electronic Warfare (EW) suite, a missionised pod, and the supersonic, medium-range, air-launched tactical missile Northrop Grumman/MBDA’s AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM).
The Eurofighter EK will be NATO-certified by 2030 and will then replace the Tornado in the SEAD role.
A corresponding contract between Eurofighter GmbH, as prime contractor, and NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency) has been expected to be signed before the end of the year and Airbus will receive an official order to integrate the selected technical solutions into the Eurofighter.
Airbus has been working with the BAAINBw procurement office, the German Air Force and the Bundeswehr Aviation Office on a detailed schedule for the implementation of the selected EK solutions in 15 Eurofighters.
Arexis, an electronic counter-measure, ISR and radar warning receiver concept, was developed by Saab to support fighter aircraft requirements by providing situational awareness for self-protection through its RWR. It features an advanced electronic attack application and a version will be installed onboard the new version of the Gripen E/F. The first flight was in November 2019.
The core technologies in Arexis are ultra-wideband digital receivers and digital radio frequency memory devices, gallium nitride (GaN) solid state active electronically scanned array (AESA) jammer transmitters and interferometric direction-finding systems.
Germany decided in March 2022 that it would buy Eurofighter electronic combat role aircraft, a change from the previous government which proposed buying Boeing E/A-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.