EUROFIGHTER GMBH announced on October 26 that the first Typhoon aircraft to Tranche 2 standard are about to begin final assembly at Manching, Germany, and Warton, Lancashire, UK. The first Tranche 2 aircraft will be IPA7, the 29th single-seater from the German production line, which is scheduled to move into the final assembly rigs at Manching at the end of this year. First flight of IPA7 is due in 2008. Once it has flown, IPA7 will be used for testing Block 8 Typhoon capabilities, together with IPA6, a UK-built, single-seat Typhoon F.2 ZJ940(BS031). Although IPA6/BS031 was built as a Tranche 1 aircraft, it is being upgraded to receive the Tranche 2 standard avionics and is already undergoing initial tests at Warton.
The first Tranche 2 aircraft to be delivered to one of the partner air forces will be Warton-built single-seat Typhoon F.2 BS037 for the Royal Air Force.
The front fuselage, built at BAE Systems’ Samlesbury site in Lancashire, has already been transported to Warton: the centre fuselage has been through the equipping process at Manching and at the time of going to press was due to be shipped to Warton shortly. First flight of BS037 is scheduled for 2008, and hand-over to the RAF will follow later that year.