Eurofighter’s Future: Tranche 3, and Beyond
February 14/18: Austria Corruption Probe-Defense Ministry Statement The Austrian Defense Ministry has announced that the government has handed over its findings on suspect money flows related to its 2003 purchase of Eurofighter jets to international bodies including the US Department of Justice. “Foreign authorities were informed about the results of the defense ministry’s investigation in the context of the international fight against corruption. The Department of Justice has also been informed,” it said, adding that the documents were handed over two months ago. The sale is being investigated by Austrian prosecutors over allegations of fraud against Airbus and the Eurofighter consortium based on earlier complaints from the defense ministry. Austria is seeking up to 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in compensation, while the consortium dismiss any wrongdoing, calling the accusations politically motivated. Another investigation into the sale by German prosecutors, was closed after Airbus agreed to pay fines nearing $99 million.
February 14/18: Potential Sale-Malaysia BAE Systems has offered the Malaysian government a UK government-sanctioned financing deal, if Kuala Lumpur selects the Eurofighter Typhoon as its new fighter jet. “We have an offer on the table…It’s competitively priced and we have offered UK government financing so the Malaysian government can spread the payment over a longer period,” Alan Garwood, the Group Business Development Director for BAE Systems, said from the Malaysian capital. “We can offer training, local partnership and lots of jobs,” he added. Malaysia could buy as many as 18 fighters in a $2 billion program to replace its MiG-29 fighters, with Dassault’s Rafale also in the running for selection. However, a decision on the acquisition has been delayed until after elections, which much be held by August.
The multi-national Eurofighter Typhoon has been described as the aerodynamic apotheosis of lessons learned from the twin engine “teen series” fighters that began with the F-14 and F-15, continued with the emergence of the F/A-18 Hornet, and extended through to the most recent F/A-18 Super Hornet variants. Aerodynamically, it’s a half generation ahead of all of these examples, and planned evolutions will place the Eurofighter near or beyond parity in electronic systems and weapons.
The 1998 production agreement among its 4 member countries involved 620 aircraft, built with progressively improved capabilities over 3 contract “tranches”. By the end of Tranche 2, however, welfare state programs and debt burdens had made it difficult to afford the 236 fighters remaining in the 4-nation Eurofighter agreement. A 2009 compromise was found in the EUR 9 billion “Tranche 3A” buy, and the program has renewed its efforts to secure serious export sales. Their success will affect the platform’s production line in the near term, and its modernization plans beyond that.
Eurofighter: Design & Evolution
Eurofighter: What’s Next?
A Weak Core
Typhoon at Sea?
Eurofighter: Industrial Structure & Orders
Contracts & Key Events
2014 – 2018
2009 – 2010
News & Views
Other Eurofighter Contracts
Fill in the secure form below to activate your subscription right away (or pick another plan)