The 38 EUROFIGHTERs in the Quadriga programme will be equipped with the upgraded PRAETORIAN Defensive Aids Subsystem (DASS). Prime contractor Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH has commissioned the EuroDASS consortium (consisting of Leonardo with Selex ES, Elettronica (ELT), Indra and Hensoldt) to further develop the protective electronic warfare system and provide it for the new fighter aircraft, the consortium said in a statement. In the PRAETORIAN eVo project, the DASS is being completely revised and aligned with future requirements. Next to the engine, DASS is the most financially demanding subsystem of the EUROFIGHTER.
PRAETORIAN is a composite system of:
- radar and laser warning devices
- decoy launchers
- other decoy equipment distributed throughout the combat aircraft.
This works so threats all around the aircraft can be detected and countermeasures deployed largely automatically. A central Defensive Aids Computer (DAC) evaluates the incoming data, corrects it according to the flight condition, determines the threat using integrated databases, warns the pilot and initiates or suggests countermeasures. The existing DASS system protects the EUROFIGHTER from radar- and infrared-guided missiles. The Integrated Sensor and Jamming Equipment also provides situational awareness and enables state-of-the-art electronic deception mechanisms.
The open and programmable system allows national operators to have full control over mission data and fine-tune the system to the actual situation on the battlefield. In mission and flight preparation, mission data can be fed into the PRAETORIAN system in a comparably short time.
Future Role of PRAETORIAN DASS
EuroDASS is keen to support technological de-risking for the next generation of combat aircraft, writes consortium leader Leonardo. PRAETORIAN provides a stable platform for the spiralled development of future technologies that will not only provide future capability growth for Eurofighter, but also deliver valuable knowledge and technology transfer into the next generation of future combat aircraft systems, Leonardo adds.
As part of the Eurofighter Long Term Evolution (LTE) study, EuroDASS is working with Eurofighter partner companies and nations to consider national requirements and how they can be met in an agile and cost-effective way that preserves the EUROFIGHTER’s capabilities until it is retired, while supporting the development of future combat aircraft.
Companies from the four Eurofighter nations are involved in the EuroDASS consortium, which ensures that the added value is distributed among the countries accordingly. From Germany, the sensor specialist Hensoldt is supplying key components for PRAETORIAN in a €90M order, which (for good reasons) is not specified in more detail. The delivery period is specified as 2023 to 2027. Hensoldt also supplies the AESA radar for the EUROFIGHTER.
The fourth tranche of EUROFIGHTERs was ordered by the NATO EF 2000 and TORNADO Development, Production & Logistics Management Agency (NETMA) under the Quadriga programme in November 2020. The 38 fighter aircraft are to be delivered from 2025 and replace the Tranche 1 EUROFIGHTERs. Completion of the operation is scheduled for 2030.
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