The new electronic combat role (ECR) concept was outlined, which is seen as essential for future combined air operations alongside 5th and 6th generation fighters.
Initial Eurofighter ECR capability, which will enlarge Eurofighter’s multi-role capabilities, is expected to be available by 2026, followed by further development steps and full integration into the future combat air system (FCAS) ecosystems.
FCAS is a Franco-German-Spanish combat air system project, which will consist of a 6th generation fighter, new missiles such as cruise missiles, swarming drones called Remote Carriers, satellites, existing aircraft and NATO navies.
All of them are to be networked together through a combat cloud, a shared internet database, and this combat system is expected to achieve full operational capability by 2040.
The concept, which was announced at the International Fighter Conference in Berlin, is driven by the leading aerospace companies Airbus, Hensoldt, MBDA, MTU, Premium Aerotec, Rolls-Royce.
Eurofighter ECR will be able to provide passive emitter location as well as active jamming of threats, and will offer a variety of modular configurations for electronic attack (EA) and suppression/destruction of enemy air defence (SEAD/DEAD). Latest national escort jammer technology will ensure national control over features such as mission data and data analysis. The concept also features a new twin-seat cockpit configuration with a multi-function panoramic touch display and a dedicated mission cockpit for the rear-seat.
It specifically targets the German Air Force requirements for an airborne electronic attack capability. Furthermore it is the single opportunity to deliver such capabilities on the basis of national sovereignty, whilst also securing key military technologies within Germany.