MUNICH --- The first single-seater production Eurofighter destined for the German Luftwaffe left the final assembly hall of EADS Military Aircraft in Manching in early July.
The aircraft, which has been designated GS 001 (German Single-Seater), is now undergoing those functional tests that for reasons of industrial safety could not be carried out in the final assembly hangar. These include the already completed fuel tests and the subsequent engine runs. There then follow extensive measuring campaigns on the EADS-own test facility to establish the electromagnetic compatibility of the GS 001 in the so-called “heavy fighter configuration”, in which the aircraft is equipped with short- and medium-range air-to-air guided missiles and external tanks.
Handover of the first single-seater aircraft to the Luftwaffe is planned for the end of this year, reports EADS, the German partner in the four-nation Eurofighter consortium. Currently, a further ten single-seaters and also a twin-seater are under construction on the Eurofighter final assembly line at Manching. In the meantime, the twentieth German production aircraft is in final assembly at EADS Military Aircraft, with eight twin-seaters already delivered to the Luftwaffe, who have successfully been using them since 2003 for training and in flight operations.
The production and entry into service in 2002 of the instrumented – i.e. fitted with test instrumentation – twin-seater production Eurofighter IPA 3 marked the start of delivery from Manching of the first production tranche of Eurofighter aircraft, which comprises 44 of the 180 aircraft ordered for the Luftwaffe. The first tranche for the European partners consists of 148 aircraft in all.
At the moment, a total of 22 twin-seater production aircraft are in operational use in the four Eurofighter partner countries. But in these countries too the single-seater era has begun. At EADS CASA in Spain, the instrumented production aircraft IPA 4, which had entered service on 26 February 2004, was transferred to the Spanish Air Force base Morón de la Frontera on 13 July 2004 for the purpose of investigations into operational mission use at high temperatures. In the coming winter this aircraft will be subjected to arctic operational conditions in Scandinavia before being tested in the extreme heat of the Arizonan desert next year.
On 7 June this year, a further instrumented production aircraft, IPA 5, took off on its first flight from BAE Systems at Warton in Great Britain. The task of IPA 5 is to demonstrate the functionality of the production single-seaters through flight qualification tests. The aircraft is thus making an important contribution to the qualification for full acceptability for service use with the four air forces (final operational clearance), planned for 2006 on. In addition, flights to test further performance improvements for the aircraft of the second production tranche are being undertaken by an instrumented twin-seater production aircraft (ISPA1, first flight at BAE Systems on 11 May 2004) and a single-seater Eurofighter (ISPA2, first flight at Alenia Aeronautica, Turin, on 9 July 2004). With these two “new arrivals”, the Eurofighter consortium now has a total of 13 flying testbeds at its disposal at the flight test centres in all four partner countries.
In the Military Aircraft Business Unit, which is an integrated part of the EADS Defence and Security Systems Division (DS), are concentrated all the EADS capabilities in the areas of high-performance combat aircraft, unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs), manned mission aircraft and training aircraft and the ground support equipment for these systems.
With revenues of approx. 5.2 bn euros in 2003 and roughly 24,000 employees across nine nations, DS forms the defence pole within EADS. It offers integrated systems solutions to the new challenges confronting armed forces and homeland security units. It is active in the areas of military aircraft, missile systems, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems with manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), battlefield management systems, defence electronics, sensors and avionics, and related services.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2003, the Group generated revenues of 30 billion euros and employed a workforce of more than 109,000. (ends)