The recent German contract of 38 Eurofighter Typhoons for the Luftwaffe – the German Air Force is a major boost to the European defense industry.
According to reports, the new deal would greatly benefit the largest European defense manufacturer BAE Systems and give its facilities a critical boost of over 900 million pounds (around $1.1 billion).
Last week, the German parliament approved the purchase of 38 new Eurofighter Typhoons for its Air Force and ordered the Tranche-3 variant of the aircraft which will replace the older Tranche-1 variants.
The new Tranche-3 Typhoons are a significant upgrade over the basic early Tranche-1 models, having conformal fuel tanks, fiber optic cabling and computer upgrade, AESA Radar, defensive system upgrades. AESA radars are considered crucial for any modern 4.5 generation fighter.
The German Air Force currently operates 141 Typhoons, a number reduced when two of its aircraft were lost in a mid-air collision. These are in service since August 2003.
It is manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems, and Leonardo – via a joint holding company called Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH. NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency manages the project and is the prime customer.
According to the reports, BAE Systems will start manufacturing the front fuselages and tail sections at its Warton plant in Lancashire, UK. The company had hailed the deal. BAE’s chief executive, Charles Woodburn, said that Germany’s decision will also help the local economies keep pace.
More than 5,000 BAE employees work on the Typhoon program in the UK, with a further 10,000 jobs indirectly supported by the contract across the UK economy, he informed. The aircraft are also one of the primary exports of the country.
“These critical jobs are a key element of securing the UK’s sovereign skills and capabilities, which are central to realizing the government’s future combat air ambitions.”
He also said that the country’s decision to choose Typhoons over the American F-35s also reinforces its position as the finest aircraft in its category.
It would also help maintain its relations with France, which is always at a competition with the United States over arms sales. Dassault and Airbus are also collaborating on a project to make a new generation fighter aircraft to replace the Typhoons and Rafales in service with the respective nations.