for Eurofighter
Over 440 Mk16A Ejection Seats currently in service3 lives saved using a Mk16A ejection seat

The development of the Mk16A ejection seat for the Eurofighter Typhoon was carried out at Martin-Baker’s facilities at Denham, Chalgrove and Langford Lodge. Due to the capabilities and wide operating envelope of the aircraft, Martin-Baker was presented with a series of challenges which have had to be overcome during the development of the seat, such as the accommodation of a wider range of pilot models covering height and weight requirement, as well as achieving compatibility with equipment such as the Head Mounted Display (HMD), Chemical and Biological protection units (CB) and general aircrew equipment.

The Mk16A ejection seat utilises a second generation digital seat sequencer which incorporates a strategy of continuous sensing of external environmental parameters. Under certain speed and altitude conditions the recovery timings at which the parachute is deployed are varied in order to optimise the terrain clearance.

The Eurofighter is currently operational in the following countries: Austria, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Operating Ceiling 55,013ft (16,768m)
Minimum height/Speed Zero/zero in near level attitude
Crew boarding mass range 61.0 to 133.5 kg
Crew size range Eurofighter specific crew size range
Maximum Speed for ejection 600 KIAS
Parachute type GQ Type 5000
Parachute deployment Cartridge initiated
Drogue parachute Yes
Drogue deployment Cartridge initiated, electronic sequencer controlled
Automatic back-up unit Yes, barostat controlled
Electronic sequencer Yes, powered by thermal batteries
Timers Time delay for canopy jettison
Seat adjustment Up/down actuator operated 28 Vdc
Arm restraints Yes
Leg restraints Passive leg restraint system
Oxygen supply Bottled emergency oxygen
Personal survival pack Yes + automatic deployment and liferaft inflation
Aircrew services Aircrew services package, interface for:
- breathing gas
- NBC ventilation supply
- mic/tel
- anti-g trousers
Head equipment assembly services module
Liquid suit connector assembly
Auxiliary oxygen bottle
Command ejection Yes
Canopy jettison Yes
Miniature detonating cord No
Interseat sequencing system Yes, via mode selector
  • Eurofighter Typhoon
  • Seat firing handle pulled
  • Command firing initiated
  • Harness retraction unit operated
  • Emergency oxygen supplied to aircrew
  • Electrical/crypto-erase connector disconnected
  • Canopy jettison initiated
  • Thermal batteries activated, electronic sequencer powered up
  • Ejection gun time delays initiated
  • Ejection guns initiated after delay
  • Bottom latches engage, top latches disengage seat rises up rails
  • Aircraft services disconnect
  • Leg and arm restraints operate
  • Secondary cartridges fire as seat rises
  • Multi-purpose initiators fire
  • End of ejection gun stroke reached
  • Underseat rocket motor fires
  • Leg restraint lines become taut and rivets shear, freeing lines from floor brackets
  • Lower aerodynamic surfaces deploy
  • Pitots deploy
  • Barostatic back-up unit initialised
  • Start switches open to begin sequencer operation

Low speed, Low/Medium altitude

  • Sequencer senses low speed and low altitude
  • Sequencer selects immediate mode
  • Headbox deployment unit operates

Medium/high speed, Low/Medium altitude

  • Sequencer senses low speed and low altitude
  • Sequencer selects drogue mode
  • Drogue deployment unit operates
  • Sequencer restarts environmental sensing after delay
  • Headbox deployment unit operates when speed sufficiently reduced

Any speed/High altitude

  • Sequencer senses high altitude (any speed)
  • Sequencer selects high drogue mode
  • Drogue deployment unit operates
  • Drogue stabilises and decelerates seat
  • Emergency oxygen supply continued
  • Seat descends, stabilised by drogue
  • Sequencer continues to sense altitude
  • Emergency oxygen supply continued
  • Sequencer senses parachute deployment altitude
  • Drogue and bridle released
  • Headbox deployment unit operates (In the unlikely event of sequencer failure, the barostatic back-up unit initiates headbox deployment and harness release below the pre-determined height.)
  • Parachute deploys and begins inflation
  • Harness locks and aircrew services package/liquid suit connector assembly man portions released
  • Inflated parachute pulls aircrew from seat
  • Personal locator beacon activated
  • Personal survival pack retained (regardless of automatic deployment unit setting)
  • Headbox clears ejection path and is made safe using auxiliary drogue
  • Aircrew descends on parachute
  • Personal survival pack automatically lowered after 4 seconds (if automatic deployment unit was set to auto)
  • Liferaft inflates automatically when immersed in water
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