The Prime Minister has today confirmed that the UK will move ahead with its international partners with the final stages of procuring a third batch of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft for the Royal Air Force.
The NATO Eurofighter Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) will continue negotiations with industry with a view to getting the best possible deal for the Partner Nations (UK, Germany, Italy and Spain). Negotiations will address both procurement and support costs.
The Prime Minister said:
“I am pleased that we are moving forward with this important programme with our partner nations. This will strengthen Britain’s defence capability, and will create new jobs in advanced manufacturing that Britain needs to emerge stronger and fitter from this global downturn.
The Defence Secretary John Hutton said:
“We look forward to receiving an affordable bid from European industry that will allow us to proceed with a programme that will deliver advanced multi-role aircraft to the Royal Air Force and maintain high-technology skills and industrial capability across the UK and Europe.
“Subject to the satisfactory outcome of these negotiations, I hope that we will be in a position to sign a contract later this year.”
The MoD will now initial the ministerial agreement which the other partner nations (Germany, Italy and Spain) signed on 2 April 2009. This agreement contains a statement of principles, including the need to achieve significant through-life savings, which will underpin the next stage of negotiations between NETMA which acts as the contracting agent on behalf of the partner nations and industry.
The contract for the third tranche of Typhoon aircraft will be signed once there is a satisfactory conclusion to these negotiations, and each Partner Nation’s Approving Authority has accepted the terms of agreement.
- Today’s statement maintains the momentum of the discussions with partner nations on the Eurofigher programme. It is not a contract signature: the number and cost of the aircraft are still to be determined and are part of the negotiations.
- The Typhoon provides the RAF with a highly capable and extremely agile multirole combat aircraft, capable of being deployed in the full spectrum of air operations, such as air policing – protecting our own airspace from the threat of international terrorism – peace support, and high intensity conflict.
- Our initial production aircraft will be deployed primarily as air-superiority fighters, but will quickly be equipped with a potent precision ground-attack capability.
- At peak production, the Typhoon programme will help sustain 5,000 jobs at BAE Systems, 4,000 throughout Rolls Royce and its supply chain and up to 16,000 in total in the UK aerospace industry.