Friday, July 31, 2009

New batch of Typhoon aircraft announced

New batch of Typhoon aircraft announced

An Equipment and Logistics news article
July 31, 2009

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, has today, Friday 31 July 2009, announced the order of a further 40 multi-role Typhoon aircraft for the Royal Air Force.

In the £3bn contract the additional Tranche 3 standard Typhoon aircraft, which each have a payload including a maximum of eight air-to-air weapons and up to six air-to-surface weapons, will be based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and at RAF Leuchars in Fife, Scotland.

The contracts for the 40 aircraft include 24 replacements for aircraft already on order for the RAF under contracts placed in 2004, which were diverted to satisfy exports to Saudi Arabia, along with an additional 16 aircraft.

The first of the new aircraft is expected to enter service with the Royal Air Force in 2013.

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, said:

"This is excellent news for both our Armed Forces and UK industry and represents another major milestone for the Typhoon programme. Typhoon is an outstandingly capable, state-of-the-art aircraft with the flexibility to contribute across a wide range of operations delivering air superiority and precision ground attack.

"This order builds upon the success of the in-service Typhoon force, which now numbers some 56 aircraft, which are demonstrating outstanding performance in operation with the RAF.

"These contracts form part of what is thought to be the largest defence programme ever enacted in Europe, reflecting the successful and continuing co-operation between the four partner nations and European industry.

"The contracts have also enabled partner nations to programme significant through-life support savings. For the UK this is of the order of £900m."

The 40 Tranche 3 aircraft will be equipped for electrical, cooling and computing power to deal with projected high-technology future updates, such as new radar and new weapons, to maintain its combat edge over predicted and emerging threats.

The airframe will also accommodate future installation of additional fuel tanks mounted on the fuselage to greatly increase range and endurance.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, incoming Chief of the Air Staff, said:

"Today's contract signature is a significant step towards the RAF building a credible and capable multi-role fleet of Typhoons in support of the UK's defence requirements well out into the second and third decades of the 21st century.

"Typhoon is already proving to be a highly effective multi-role aircraft, with huge long-term growth potential. Whether conducting close air support, precision attack or air superiority operations, Typhoon, together with the Joint Strike Fighter, will provide the UK with a world-beating and adaptable fast jet force that is configured for whatever challenges we may face in the years ahead."

The contract will ensure continued work for some 15,000 people in the UK who work full-time on the building and equipping of the aircraft out to the middle of the next decade.

BAE Systems will assemble the new jets at its existing production line at Warton in Lancashire, supported by key sub-contractors across the UK, including Selex in Edinburgh (for the radar). The jet engines will be manufactured by Rolls-Royce in Bristol.

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