NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NATMA) has awarded production contracts worth over €9 billion for Tranche 3 Typhoon fighter aircraft, to be produced by the principal Typhoon manufacturers – Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH and EUROJET Turbo GmbH. The two contracts are funding production of 112 Typhoon aircraft and 241 engines, for the four partner Nations: Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
With the future production of the Typhoon being confirmed well into the next decade, the program is on track to continue and develop the current technological capability in Europe, enhancing future export opportunities. Having already secured two export contracts with Austria in 2003 and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2007, Eurofighter is pursuing more export opportunities in Switzerland, India, Japan, Romania, Greece and Turkey. Opportunities are also looming in South Korea, Bulgaria and Croatia. With 559 units under production contract, NATO’s Eurofighter Typhoon has positioned itself as the best selling 4th generation fighter aircraft on the market. The Eurofighter program represents the largest European industrial program, supporting 100,000 jobs in 400 companies across the continent.
The UK submitted one of the largest orders for the Tranche 3 Typhoons, allocating £3bn for the procurement of 40 aircraft for the RAF. These fighters are to replenish RAF inventories of 24 Typhoons, the first shipment of the 72 ordered by Saudi Arabia. As a result, the RAF will receive 24 newer models, in addition to the 16 Tranche 3 fighters originally scheduled for this buy. The first of the new aircraft is expected to enter service with the Royal Air Force in 2013.
The 40 Tranche 3 aircraft will be equipped with electrical, cooling and computing power to accomodate future systems, including a new radar, weapons, and electronic warfare systems. The airframe will also accommodate future installation of additional fuel tanks carried under the fuselage, greatly increasing range and endurance. Each of the new Typhoons can carry up to eight air-to-air missiles and up to six air-to-surface weapons.