A navalised version of the Eurofighter Typhoon multirole combat aircraft could be produced for India, its developers said on the opening day of the vast Aero India exhibition that runs between 9-13 February.
Navalised version of Eurofighter Typhoon offered with stronger undercarriage, arrestor hook and thrust-vectored engines
The naval Typhoon would be paired up with a future Indian Navy aircraft carrier design, they explained, if the type emerges as the ultimate winner of India’s current MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) contract, which six fighter jets are battling to win.
“If Typhoon wins MMRCA then India will have the indigenous skills to develop a navalised version”, BAE Systems’ Paul Hopkins was quoted by Flight Global as having stated.
“This is a perfect opportunity for the nation to add aircraft with both land and sea capabilities.”
A model of the naval Typhoon is being exhibited at Aero India, which illustrates the changes that would need to be made to the airframe to make it suitable for carrier deck landings and the general impact of life on a floating airbase. These include a reinforced undercarriage design, an arrestor hook and the addition of thrust-vectoring engine components.
The Typhoon is powered by a pair of Eurojet EJ200 engines that, if vector-enhanced, would give navy pilots an advantage when on the approach to an aircraft carrier, by offering the benefits of slow flight without requiring the approach angle to change. In other words, the aircraft could maintain a relatively flat flight profile, while the engines tilted.
Indian Jet Contract
The Eurofighter Typhoon presently equips the Royal Air Force, Spanish Air Force, Italian Air Force, Austrian Air Force, German Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force. The Indian Air Force would join this list of operators if the Typhoon managed to win the Indian jet contract ahead of five other modern-day combat aircraft – the Russian Mig 35, the US F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A18-E/F Super Hornet, the French Rafale and the Swedish Gripen.
Of these, the Fighting Falcon and the Super Hornet would both serve in specially adapted versions as the F-16IN and the F/A18IN, respectively.
“Typhoon is the world’s best new generation, multi-role combat aircraft”, BAE Systems India’s MD and CEO, Andrew Gallagher, stated on the eve of Aero India.
“Not only is it already the most modern aircraft in the competition, Typhoon is also at the beginning of a 40 year development path. So it offers the Indian Air Force 40 years of further capability growth through upgrades. Just as importantly, Typhoon provides 40 years of opportunity for India in managing the upgrade path of its aircraft on its own terms.”
Aero India is described by its organisers as ‘Asia’s Premier Air Show’ and serves as a showcase for the best in new military and civil aviation technologies. Held every two years, it’s staged at Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bangalore – a base used by the Indian Air Force to train new transport aircraft pilots and navigators.