DURING A press briefing on March 3 Eurofighter GmbH confirmed that manufacture of the next batch of Eurofighter Typhoons was now underway. Sub assembly of the front-fuselage commenced at BAe during December 1998, as did the centre-fuselage at DASA, while CASA had commenced sub assembly on its first right wing in January.
Final assembly of the first of five instrumented production aircraft (IPA) is scheduled to occur during late 2000, first flight in 2001 and deliveries to commence in 2002. The first three aircraft will be two-seaters — IPA1 operated by BAe will be responsible for defensive aids sub-system integration; IPA2 (Alenia) is to be used for air-to-surface weapon integration and sensor fusion; IРА3 (DASA) for air-to-air weapon integration; IPA4 (CASA), the first single-seater, will be used for air-to-surface weapon integration as well as environmental trials; while IPA5 will be a second aircraft for BAe, with its role being that of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapon integration.
On the export front, BAe’s Director of New Eurofighter Business, Mike Rudd, is tasked with finding additional business over and above the 620 aircraft ordered by the four founder countries.
He believes “delays to Eurofighter now find it being prepared for production, just as world demand is set to increase, and sees Eurofighter with a potential export sale of up to 1,000 aircraft”.
The four companies involved within the Eurofighter GmbH consortium, Alenia, BAe, CASA and DASA, have carved up the world export markets between themselves, with the company which in the past has had stronger links in some regions, marketing the Eurofighter to those parts.
BAe is marketing Eurofighter to Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and UAE. Within the past few weeks, DASA has appeared to have made breakthroughs in Greece (see Greek Eurofighters, April, p10) and Norway (Norwegian Typhoons?, April, p8).