The Eurofighter is the backbone of many European air forces and the fighter aircraft is field-tested. So that the Eurofighter can remain operational in the future, it needs to be equipped with new technologies which allow it to become part of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS). However, according to current planning status, the production of the Eurofighter is due to stop in 2030. This would also not allow any opportunities for further technical developments. In the course of a campaign week, the IG Metall is making an urgent appeal to the federal government to continue to invest in defense technology made in Germany. Diehl Aviation supports this position.
Germany’s air force is in urgent need of new aircraft; the Tornado fleet needs replacing. Even the federal government does not dispute this. At the same time, however, the further development of the Eurofighter and the ordering of the next generation - the Tranche 5 - after 2030 is being delayed. Florian Maier, CEO of Diehl Aerospace: “The Eurofighter is an expression of European innovative power. It is of paramount importance for our safety in the skies and the nucleus of the military aviation industry in Germany. We must secure the future of the Eurofighter in the long term.”
Key arguments in favor of continuing to order
The Eurofighter is a technologically state-of-the-art system which Germany can manage and further develop independently in cooperation with European partner states. This means that Europe is safeguarding its independence, which is of particular significance in times of increasing geopolitical tensions. A Tranche 5 of the Eurofighter means the further development of the platform, which means that the fighter aircraft will also be adapted in key aspects to meet future requirements e.g. for modern mission management. The planned Eurofighter Long Term Evolution (LTE) will substantially improve capabilities in terms of avionics and sensor technology and will thus form an essential bridge to FCAS. After all, the Eurofighter defines the military aviation industry in Germany like no other program. If it is discarded, the country will lose - irretrievably - the capabilities which have been built up over the last 70 years, and thus also the basis for future European technology projects.
Time is of the essence
Why does the company and its employees think that this topic needs to be put on the agenda now? Because the military aviation industry relies on planning reliability. Florian Maier says: “Further developing a high-tech system such as the Eurofighter and planning new production lines requires many years of lead time. We need to coordinate with partners and customers, the supply chains need to be maintained, and the high-end special expertise along the value chain needs to be secured.” With this in mind, the federal Association of the German Aerospace industry (BDLI) draws attention to the fact that parts of the supply industry may need to withdraw from the Eurofighter program as early as 2026/2027.
Diehl Aerospace, a joint venture of Diehl Aviation and Thales, is one of the most important suppliers for the Eurofighter. The company delivers key components in the product areas Cockpit and Display systems, Aircraft control and Utility systems. Florian Maier, CEO of Diehl Aerospace: “Political responsibility for security must also be reflected in concrete action. We are ready to take on responsibility as a key supplier. To do this, we need the order for the Tranche 5 of the Eurofighter. The commissioning is of existential importance for the military aviation industry in Germany."
About Diehl Aviation
Diehl Aviation is a corporate division of Diehl Stiftung & Co. KG and combines all aviation activities of Diehl Group under one roof. In the aviation industry, Diehl Aviation – including Diehl Aerospace (a joint venture with Thales) is a leading system supplier of aircraft system and cabin solutions. Diehl Aviation currently has more than 4,400 employees. Its customers include leading aircraft manufacturers Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer, military partners, manufacturers of eVTOL aircraft as well as airlines and operators of commercial and business aircraft worldwide.