The 400th Eurofighter Typhoon has been delivered to the Programme’s worldwide customer base. The German Air Force took delivery of the 400th aircraft on Wednesday 4th December 2013 during special ceremony at Cassidian’s Military Air Systems Center in Manching, Southern Germany.
At the Ceremony, the State Secretary of the German Ministry of Defence, Christian Schmidt, received the aircraft with the markings ‘31+06’. The event was witnessed by several high ranking representatives from politics and industry including: the Bavarian Minister for Economic Affairs, Media, Energy and Technology, Ilse Aigner; the Chief Executive Officer of Cassidian, Bernhard Gerwert, and representatives from the British, Spanish and Italian Eurofighter Partner Companies.
Alberto Gutierrez, Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, said: “The delivery of the 400th Eurofighter Typhoon marks a historic milestone in Europe’s largest defence programme. Now we must focus much more strongly on export campaigns in order to win new contracts and new customers for this outstanding aircraft. Right now, especially in these difficult times in the defence industry, it is more important than ever that we stand up and be counted. That is what today is all about.”
The General Manager of NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA), Jesus Pinillos, added: “Eurofighter Typhoon secures the airspace of six nations 24 hours a day, seven days a week even under extreme arctic weather conditions on the Falkland Islands. The aircraft has proven itself as a reliable backbone of the Air Forces in Germany, Italy, Spain, and in the UK as well as in Austria and Saudi Arabia. The reliability of the Eurofighter Typhoon in its global missions has surpassed expectations.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Cassidian, Bernhard Gerwert, said: “As a partner in the Eurofighter consortium, we are proud that we have assembled the 400th Eurofighter and that today we can hand over to the German Air Force its 112 aircraft. Our customers are fully convinced of the performance of the Eurofighter Typhoon. The most modern combat aircraft in the world will also be a significant part of the product portfolio in the new Division “Airbus Defence and Space.”
The delivery of the very first Eurofighter to the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom took place end of 2003. The 100th Eurofighter was delivered also to the Royal Air Force in September 2006. The 200th aircraft was handed over in November 2009 to the German Air Force. The 300th aircraft was delivered to the Spanish Air Force in November 2011.
In the past 10 years the global Eurofighter fleet has demonstrated its high operational effectiveness in international missions and trainings and accumulated more than 210,000 flying hours. Several developments such as the Phase 1 Enhancement, the integration of the METEOR air-to-air missile, the new electronic radar (E-Scan) and additional weaponry increase the capabilities of the Eurofighter Typhoon and secure the future of this modern combat aircraft in the next decades.
At present, the Eurofighter Typhoon fleet comprises 20 operating units with locations in Europe, the South Atlantic and the Middle East. Specifically there are: 7 units in the UK (4 in Coningsby, 2 in Leuchars and 1 in Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands); 5 in Italy (2 in Grosseto, 2 in Gioia del Colle, 1 in Trapani); 3 in Germany (Laage, Neuburg and Nörvenich), as well as 3 in Spain (2 in Morón, 1 in Albacete) and one each in Austria (Zeltweg) and Saudi Arabia.
Eurofighter Typhoon is the most advanced new generation multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft currently available on the world market. Seven nations (Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman) have already ordered the Eurofighter Typhoon. With 719 aircraft under contract and 571 on order, Eurofighter Typhoon is currently the largest military procurement programme in Europe. Its high technology strengthens the position of European aerospace industry in the international market. The programme secures more than 100,000 jobs in over 400 companies.
Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of the Eurofighter Partner Companies Alenia Aermacchi/Finmeccanica, BAE Systems and Cassidian in Germany and Spain, which are the most important aviation and aerospace companies in Europe with a turnover of about 126 billion euro (2012).