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European consortium unveils plan to develop naval Typhoon

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The naval variant of Typhoon as shown in the 'Eurofighter World’ journal.

BANGALORE (BNS): European consortium Eurofighter GmbH, which is offering its Eurofighter Typhoon for India’s multi-million dollar medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal, is planning to develop a naval variant of the fighter aircraft.

The company, which unveiled a new issue of its ‘Eurofighter World’ magazine during the international Aero India 2011 show in Bangalore last week, said that it has discussed a navalised Typhoon with a number of “potential customers” and “is keen to pursue this exciting new phase in Typhoon’s development.”

The company, which is aggressively marketing its Typhoon fighter for the Indian defence market, also said that it was keen “to win India as a new industrial partner for the production and further development of the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft.”

The Eurofighter Typhoon, which bedazzled spectators with its breathtaking manoeuvres during aerial displays at the five-day air show, is one of the six contenders fighting for the over $10 billion MMRCA deal under which India will procure 126 fighters for its air force.

About the naval Typhoon, the company said, “For a number of years, Eurofighter GmbH and its industrial partners have been studying the feasibility of adapting Eurofighter Typhoon for the naval role.

“These studies have included the assessment of required design changes, piloted simulations to refine the aircraft’s handling qualities and discussions with key suppliers. The studies indicate that these changes are feasible, and would lead to the development of a world-beating, carrier-based fighter aircraft.”

The new fighter, with its exceptional thrust-to-weight ratio and capability to take off from a carrier using “ski-jump”, will have similar designs, sensors, systems and weapons like the original Typhoon.

In an increasingly affordability-conscious world, commonality between a nation’s air force and naval aviation fleets will be of increasing importance. A navalised Typhoon can deliver this commonality, without compromising on capability, the journal said.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is Europe's largest military collaborative programme with Germany, Italy, Spain and UK being its core customer nations.

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