TechGermany lifts ban on Eurofighter Typhoon sales to Saudi Arabia. Examining the aircraft's might

Germany lifts ban on Eurofighter Typhoon sales to Saudi Arabia. Examining the aircraft's might

Eurofighter Typhoon Fighter Jet of the Royal Air Force
Eurofighter Typhoon Fighter Jet of the Royal Air Force
Images source: © Licensor
5:44 PM EST, January 9, 2024

Saudi Arabia, already satisfied with the performance of over 70 of its Eurofighters, expressed a desire to acquire more. Britain agreed to the sale of an additional 48 aircraft but was thwarted by Germany, one of the countries involved in creating the aircraft, in 2018.

The causal factor for this blockade was Saudi Arabia's part in the Yemeni civil war and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Germany has historically possessed the power to block weapon sales to countries that violate human rights, which has often led to complications in joint European projects. This issue has been managed considerably more liberally by most other involved countries.

However, as Reuters reports, the German veto has been lifted, enabling Britain to fulfill their contract. It's noteworthy to mention that the French have expressed a readiness to supply their Rafale planes in place of the Eurofighters in recent months.

Eurofighter Typhoon — Guardian of European skies

The versatile Eurofighter Typhoon jets form one of the largest fleets amongst European NATO members. The aircraft, the product of a multinational collaboration between the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain, had its first flight in 1994, even though its roots trace back to the 70s. It is counted among the top three European modern fighters, alongside the French Rafale and Swedish Gripen.

The most recent versions produced in the third Eurofighter production phase are highly adaptable units designed for air superiority and ground attack missions. They can engage targets located hundreds of miles behind enemy territory using TAURUS KEPD-350 cruise missiles or Storm Shadow.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is powered by two high-performance Eurojet EJ200 engines that generate 90 kN of thrust each. This allows it to achieve a maximum flight speed of Mach 2 or Mach 1.2 without an afterburner. The aircraft can bear over 9 tons (around 19,842 lbs) of weaponry, which includes a BK-27 27 mm onboard cannon that can fire up to 1,700 rounds per minute, and a collection of 13 pylons compatible with an extensive range of armaments.

The plane can be equipped with AIM-120 AMRAAM medium-range air-to-air missiles, the more modern Meteor missiles, or short-range AIM-132 ASRAAM missiles. The aircraft can also carry maneuvering missiles and JDAM-guided bombs, or similar artillery.

The aircraft is installed with a highly sophisticated sensor system, including a CAPTOR-E radar with a 200 km (approximately 124 miles) range for targets with an RCS of 1m2, and a passive PIRATE (Passive Infra-Red Airborne Track Equipment) system. The latter can detect even stealth aircraft and operates in the 3-5 um and 8-11 um wavelengths allowing for target detection at a distance of up to 100 km (about 62 miles) under optimal conditions, such as the absence of clouds or fog.

All this data is projected onto multifunctional screens (Head Down Display Systems - MHDD) or directly before the pilot's eyes using a helmet-mounted display (Helmet Mounted Symbology System - HMSS), which can alternatively be swapped out for the newer Striker II model.

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