Executive Calls for Typhoon Upgrade After Radar Announcement
Moves to add the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar to the Eurofighter have prompted fresh calls from industry to upgrade the aircraft’s nozzles to add maneuverability.
The NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency issued a request for proposals for an AESA radar for the Eurofighter on the eve of the Farnborough International Airshow.
That in turn has prompted an official at a member company of the consortium that builds the Typhoon aircraft’s engine to suggest partners take a fresh look at introducing thrust vectoring nozzles at the rear of the aircraft.
The nozzles, which change position, can improve thrust and direct thrust, granting greater maneuverability to the aircraft.
The two upgrades are linked, said the official, Salvatore Miglietta, head of military programs at Italian propulsion firm Avio, which is part of the Eurojet consortium that builds the EJ2000 engine for the Eurofighter.
“Placing an [AESA] radar in the nose of the aircraft will add weight to the front of the aircraft,” he said. “The center of gravity of the aircraft moves forward and to counterbalance this you can either put dead weight further back, or a clever weight.”
The need for weight at the rear of the aircraft represents an opportunity to install tilting nozzles that produce vectored thrust, he added.
Eurojet has already developed a thrust vectoring nozzle (TVN) that it argues would add maneuverability to enhance the aircraft’s air-to-ground credentials, increasing thrust, decreasing fuel consumption, reducing take-off distance, reducing landing speed and improving roll rate.
“Thrust vectoring would allow the aircraft to get closer to targets and maneuver faster,” said Miglietta, who added that thrust vectoring helps prolong engine life.
The Eurojet consortium comprises Italy’s Avio, Germany’s MTU, Spain’s ITP and the UK’s Roll-Royce.