An RAF Eurofighter Typhoon is displayed May 21 in Coningsby, England. (Stephen Pond / Getty Images)
SEVILLA, SPAIN — Eurofighter is looking at giving the Typhoon a maritime attack capability and is investigating at least three missiles to meet potential requirements for export, according to the executive leading Airbus Defence and Space combat aircraft sales effort.
At least two of Typhoon’s current export targets are requesting a maritime attack capability. Peter Maute, the head of combat aircraft sales at Airbus Defence, said the Boeing Harpoon and MBDA’s Marte and Sea Brimstone missiles were being considered as possibilities for the European multi-role combat jet.
Talking during a briefing to reporters at the Airbus military aircraft factory in Sevilla, Spain, Maute said that work on the weapons was done by Eurofighter in its development simulator but that full integration would have to await a customer.
Qatar and Malaysia are known to have stipulated a maritime-strike capability for their next purchase of combat jets.
A decision on a new fighter purchase could be made soon by Qatar. Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, which is capable of carrying the Exocet, and the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet provide the main opposition.
Harpoon is already integrated on the Super Hornet.
Malaysia is caught up with budget issues and is more likely to lease jets than purchase them outright. Saab’s Gripen and the Super Hornet are both contenders along with the Typhoon.
The British are already looking at integrating the standard Dual Mode Brimstone missile on to Typhoon.
MBDA has done air and land launches of a maritime version of a weapon it’s see’s as providing a solution to the threat posed by swarms of fast attack craft in the littoral.