500th Eurofighter Delivered

SHAH ALAM: The 500th Eurofighter Typhoon has been delivered to the Italian Air Force during a special ceremony held at Leonardo Aircraft Division’s Turin site on April 11. With 599 aircraft ordered, Eurofighter Typhoon is currently the largest collaborative industrial programme in Europe.

500th Typhoon delivered to the Italian Air Force. Eurofighter

Eight customers have ordered the Typhoon with almost 400,000 flying hours achieved worldwide. The first Eurofighter was delivered to the UK Royal Air Force at the end of 2003. The 100th Eurofighter was delivered to the UK Royal Air Force in September 2006.

The 500th Typhoon delivered. Eurofighter

The 200th aircraft was handed over to the German Air Force in November 2009. The 300th aircraft was delivered to the Spanish Air Force in October 2011, and the 400th to the German Air Force in December 2013.

The 400th Eurofighter Typhoon delivered to the German Air Force on Dec. 3, 2013. Eurofighter

Of these 599 Aircraft going into service, a total of 451 are from the Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 production runs, so are completely identical in construction and equipment other than a few fuel and cooling pipes for the Conformal Fuel Tanks able to be mounted on the Tranche 3 fuselage.

Kuwaiti Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon. CGI Leonardo

Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 can take CAPTOR-E Radar. Note that Tranche number does not mean the Aircraft capability, it means the physical standard of the aircraft, the capability comes from the Software and Weapons / Pod Clearances and is called Phased Enhancement Programme, with Typhoon currently developed to Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) and P4E currently in process of agreement across the various Typhoon users.

Spanish Air Force single and two seater Eurofighter Typhoon from ALA-11 based in Moron, Spain. The aircrat are flying with drop tanks and IRIS-T missiles. Eurofighter

Malaysia will get Tranche 3 standard with at a minimum, P3E capability, maybe P4E depending on timing. But changing from P3E to P4E is just a software load anyway.

Royal Saudi Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon. Internet.

When these big Typhoon numbers are compared to the total Rafale order book of only 204 aircraft, there will be at least double the number of identical Repairable Items (Avionics, Engines etc.) in the global supply chain for the next 30-40 years.

Austrian Air Force Typhoon. Eurofighter

This creates very good “economies of scale” for through life support which will provide the RMAF with the chance of a better Operational Expenditure after the Typhoon aircraft is in service. This is particularly important for the large expensive LRI’s such as Engine and Radar. RMAF have already experienced how fast OE can disappear on engines with their Russian equipment and even the MB-339 due to having the last remaining Viper Engines in operation.

Eurofighter Typhoon BS117 with full P3E weapons fit.
Pictures by Jamie Hunter

Having more than 1,200 EJ200 engines in service (not counting maybe 25-30 spares across all the countries) as compared to only 408 M88 engines should be a significant point for RMAF. Especially since it is known that EJ is extremely reliable and M88 not at all and with no future fixes.

German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon. Eurofighter.

In addition to the Repairable Items advantage, having eight nations in the team who have positioned Typhoon as the backbone of their Air Force capability, rather than a few here and there such as Egypt, means that development of the weapons and aircraft through life will be guaranteed and not just dependent on the selling country making investment. Rafale is very dependent on French investment, Typhoon does not depend on the UK only.

RAF Eurofighter Typhoon. Crown Copyright

These numbers do not include a potential second batch of 72 aircraft to Saudi Arabia, who is becoming one of Malaysia’s key political partners. So if the Saudi’s buy more, then there will be over 670 Typhoon’s versus only 204 Rafale (3.3:1 advantage to Typhoon) – Safety in Numbers.

— Malaysian Defence

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