Customer proximity and being on duty is a requirement for Airbus – even if it means travelling to the other side of the globe for it. At the Pitch Black 2022 exercise, an Airbus Field Services Representative is currently supporting the Eurofighter operations of the German Air Force for what is the Luftwaffe’s largest deployment to date.

Martin Beltz is one of four Field Services Representatives and is based at Neuburg Air Base in the south of Germany, north of Munich. Basically, Beltz serves as an advisor to the 74th Fighter Wing for the radar and the Defensive Aid Sub-System (DASS) on the Eurofighter.

Beltz brings the necessary credibility to the job. Before joining Airbus in 2018, he was an officer in the German Air Force and an accomplished Weapons Systems Officer in the F-4 Phantom.

“There’s a Field Services Representative at every Eurofighter wing in Germany and our job is to be a vital, daily link between the System Support Centre Eurofighter and the fighter wings”, said Beltz.

For almost two months, Beltz traded his office in Neuburg for a small desk in a container right next to the flight ramp at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin in the north of Australia.

The Field Service Representatives are part of the System Support Centre Eurofighter, a cooperation between Airbus and the Luftwaffe, Germany’s Air Force, in Manching. Within the System Support Centre Eurofighter military and industrial personnel work in mixed teamsensuring operational readiness of the Eurofighter fleet by providing in-service support including national hard- and software modifications.  

“Since Neuburg was the contingent lead for Rapid Pacific, the local respective Field Services Representative got to join the mission. I am very glad and proud to support this important mission”, he said.

Beltz will return to Germany in late September when the Luftwaffe’s participation in the exercises Pitch Black and Kakaku, both hosted by the Royal Australian Armed Forces, have concluded.

In his day-to-day job, “Erwin” as he is affectionately called since his military flying days, exchanges with the crews who are flying the Eurofighter in order to analyse data.

“Basically, I get information after each flight to verify if things went well with respect to the radar and the DASS or whether we need to take a look and perhaps take corrective actions. Both the radar and DASS are critical elements in the Eurofighter so we have to ensure their flawless operation as best as possible,” explained Beltz.

For that, he usually spends time with the pilots to perform an analysis after each of the two flight shifts at Neuburg in the morning and afternoon.  

“Oftentimes, the systems work perfectly well, but basically there’s always a finding that is worth discussing and looking into. And that’s good since it helps both the Luftwaffe and Airbus to improve the system and make it even more effective for the users”, said Beltz.

On day 3 of Pitch Black in Darwin, smiling faces met Beltz on the ramp after their late afternoon flight against French Rafales. The four-ship of pilots had no major issues during their mission.

“We, the pilots in Neuburg, are enjoying a very trustful relationship with Erwin - this is fundamental for this job, I would say. Not least through his past as a flyer, he knows exactly what matters to us and how crucial his and the services of the System Support Centre Eurofighter are to us with respect to the radar and DASS”, said Capt. “Noble”, an experienced Eurofighter pilot in Neuburg’s 74th Fighter Wing. “It’s great to have a Field Service Representative on site since it allows us to exchange quickly after our missions and to mitigate any potential issues right away. It’s very effective and helps significantly to keep our flight operations steady.”

Martin Beltz, Field Services Representative and adviser to the 74th Fighter Wing for the radar and the Defensive Aid Sub-System (DASS) on the Eurofighter, during Rapic Pacific exercise in Australia.


See also Pitch Black 2022 previous story