Bangalore, Feb 18 (Calcutta Tube) Two Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets arrived here Thursday for flight evaluation trials for an Indian Air Force (IAF) order for 126 planes in a deal valued at $10 billion.
‘During the next two weeks, the Typhoon will demonstrate its outstanding operational capabilities to the Indian Air Force,’ a statement from EADS Defence and Security said.
Starting February 22, experienced IAF test pilots ‘will examine the Typhoon’s flight performance under specific Indian conditions. Further trials will be conducted in Jaisalmer and Leh, where the aircraft will demonstrate its excellent desert as well as high altitude capabilities’, the statement said.
The IAF test pilots have already undergone extensive training in Germany.
Both Typhoons for the trials are part of Air Squadron 73 of the German Air Force, which is based at Laage in northern Germany. On completion of the current phase of trials on March 5, the aircraft will return to their home base.
In April, the Typhoon will undergo the final phase of the trials in Europe.
‘There, the Indian Air Force will test the aircraft’s cutting edge weapons systems and advanced sensors. Exercises will include dropping precision guided munitions and launching air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles,’ the statement said.
The Typhoon’s manufacturers have positioned it as ‘the most advanced multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft available on the world market’.
With 707 Typhoons under contract, it is also Europe’s largest military programme.
The Typhoon is one of the six aircraft contending for the IAF order. The others are the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Lockheed Martin F-16IN Super Viper, the Dassault Rafale, the Saab Gripen and the MiG-35.
The other aircraft have completed their trials in India and these will now be conducted in the country of manufacture. Thereafter, a short-list will be drawn up and price negotiations conducted before the final choice is made.