EURO FIGHTER [TYPHOON]  

he Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine canard-delta wing multirole aircraft designed and built by a consortium of three companies: Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, and EADS working through a holding company Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986. The project is managed by the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, which acts as the prime customer.The series production of the Eurofighter Typhoon is underway, and the aircraft is being procured under three separate contracts (named "tranches"), each for aircraft with generally improved capabilities. The aircraft has entered service with the British Royal Air Force, the German Luftwaffe, the Italian Air Force, the Spanish Air Forceand the Austrian Air Force. Saudi Arabia has signed a contract worth £4.43 billion (approx. €6.4  billion c. 2007, $9.5 billion) for 72 aircraft.

The maiden flight of the Eurofighter prototype took place on 27 March 1994 Dasa chief test pilot Peter Weger took the prototype on a test flight around Bavaria. The 1990s saw significant arguments over work share, the specification of the aircraft and even participation in the project.On 9 December 2004, Eurofighter Typhoon IPA4 began three months of Cold Environmental Trials (CET) at the Vidsel Air Base in Sweden, the purpose of which was to verify the operational behaviour of the aircraft and its systems in temperatures between -25 and -31°C.In May 2007, Eurofighter Development Aircraft 5 made the first flight with the CAESAR demonstrator system, a development of the Euroradar CAPTOR incorporating Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology.The maiden flight of Instrumented Production Aircraft 7 (IPA7), the first fully equipped Tranche 2 aircraft, took place from EADS' Manchingairfield on 16 January 2008.The production version of the CAPTOR-E radar was being proposed as part of Tranche 3 of the Typhoon from 2012. Tranche 2 aircraft use the non AESA, mechanically scanned Captor-M which incorporates weight and space provisions for possible upgrade to CAESAR (AESA) standard in the future. The Italian Air Force doubted that the AESA radar would be ready in time for Tranche 3 production. In July 2010, Eurofighter announced that the AESA radar would enter service in 2015.COSTS.In 1988 the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces told the UK House of Commons that the European Fighter Aircraft would "be a major project, costing the United Kingdom about £7 billion". It was soon apparent that a more realistic estimate was £13 billion, made up of £3.3 billion development costs plus £30 million per aircraft. By 1997 the estimated cost was £17 billion; by 2003, £20 billion, and the in-service date (2003; defined as the date of delivery of the first aircraft to the RAF) was 54 months late. Since 2003 the Ministry of Defence have refused to release updated cost estimates on the grounds of 'commercial sensitivity'.

DELAYS-POLITICAL. The financial burdens placed on Germany by reunification caused Helmut Kohl to make an election promise to cancel the Eurofighter. In early to mid-1991 German Defence Minister Volker Rühe sought to withdraw Germany from the project in favour of using Eurofighter technology in a cheaper, lighter plane. However due to the amount of money already spent on development, the number of jobs dependent on the project, and the binding commitments on each partner government, Germany was unable to withdraw; "Rühe's predecessors had locked themselves into the project by a punitive penalty system of their own devising."In 1995 concerns over workshare appeared. Since the formation of Eurofighter the workshare split had been agreed at the 33/33/21/13 (United Kingdom/Germany/Italy/Spain) based on the number of units being ordered by each contributing nation. However, all the nations then reduced their orders. The UK cut its orders from 250 to 232, Germany from 250 to 140, Italy from 165 to 121 and Spain from 100 to 87. According to these order levels the workshare split should have been 39/24/22/15 UK/Germany/Italy/Spain, Germany was however unwilling to give up such a large amount of work.In January 1996, after much negotiation between UK and German partners, a compromise was reached whereby Germany would purchase another 40 aircraft. The workshare split is now 43% for EADS MAS in Germany and Spain; 37.5% BAE Systems in the UK; and 19.5% for Alenia in Italy.

2017 (c)