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Eurofighter ready to "fight" extremely cold temperatures

* From Central Spain to the Swedish Polar Circle
* Operations until mid-February at around –30°C

Madrid / Munich / Vidsel, 09 December 2004

The Eurofighter Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) 4, operated by EADS CASA at Getafe near Madrid, has been deployed to Vidsel in the very north of Sweden, near the Polar Circle, to start with the implementation of special “Extreme Cold Weather Trials”. There, the aircraft and the test team will face permanently temperatures between –25 and –31º Celsius in this time of the season. Therefore, the 50 Spanish staff members participating in this two months’ exercise have received a specific arctic training and were provided with special protective garnment.

EADS CASA Chief Test Pilot Eduardo Cuadrado took off at Getafe on Tuesday, 7th at 09:30 hrs. The deployment to Vidsel was planned in two legs and the first destination was Laage Air Force Base near Rostock (Germany), where the Luftwaffe operates their first Eurofighter squadron. In order to achieve a smooth flight and to cover the 1,200 miles between Getafe and Laage in the fastest way, the Eurofighter carried out an in-flight refuelling over Zaragoza, where an F-18 of the Spanish Air Force was also waiting to escort IPA4 during the ferry flight. The flight to Laage lasted 2 hours and 50 minutes as planned. In the morning on the 9th, both aircraft then headed for Vidsel, flying the distance of 850 miles in about two hours.

Within the overall Eurofighter programme, EADS CASA is the partner company responsible for all environmental tests, including their performance and validation. Eurofighter IPA4 has thus recently been modified to an upgraded configuration that includes the latest standard of the equipment, and with the appropriate test instrumentation required. To support this campaign and to monitor and store the test data on the ground, EADS CASA have also deployed their mobile MIDS (Multiple Information Distribution System) station to Vidsel.

The campaign consists of both ground and flight tests to verify the correct performance of all aircraft systems at extreme low temperatures. The aim of the exercise is to define the best operational procedures of the aircraft in such an environment. All tests include a previous exposition (soak) of the aircraft to the external temperatures. The trials will include, among others:

* Alert Mode operations (Stand-by, Auxiliary Power Unit)
* Power-up
* Electrical System evaluation
* Hydraulic fluid behaviour
* Liquid Conditioning Vest and Environmental Control System operations
* Fuel System operations
* Landing Gear actuations
* Loading and unloading of external stores.

After some research, Vidsel Air Base has been chosen for being the airfield where all the necessary ‘inclement’ conditions, such as consistent low temperatures and varying rates of humidity, can most probably be met. This Swedish Air Base is part of the “Missile Test Range North” and is also used to carry out specific trials with new Unmanned Air Vehicles.

“I would like to thank the Swedish authorities who have supported us in preparing this campaign”, said Pablo de Bergia, CEO of EADS Military Aircraft in Spain. He continued: “I’m aware of the immense value of these trials for the programme, especially now that we are entering a new phase of further enhancing the aircraft’s operational combat capabilities. I wish all my people the best in this campaign, and I’m confident that it will be a great success.”

In the Military Aircraft Business Unit, which is an integrated part of the EADS Defence and Security Systems Division (DS), all the EADS capabilities in the areas of high-performance combat aircraft, unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs), manned mission and training aircraft and the ground support equipment for these systems are concentrated.

With revenues of approx. € 5.2 bn in 2003 and roughly 24,000 employees across nine nations, DS forms the defence pole within EADS. It offers integrated systems solutions to the new challenges confronting armed forces and homeland security units. It is active in the areas of military aircraft, missile systems, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems with manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), battlefield management systems, defence electronics, sensors and avionics, and related services.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2003, the Group generated revenues of € 30 billion and employed a workforce of more than 109,000.

Your point of contact:
Wolfram Wolff
EADS Military Aircraft
Tel.: +49-89-607 25711
Fax: +49-89-607 22455

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