The UK Ministry of Defence has announced a £2.35 billion investment in a package of new capabilities which will be equipped on Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft. It includes the delivery of the state-of-the-art European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk 2 radar and work also ensures the aircraft can integrate additional capabilities and weapons later in the decade to counter emerging threats until 2040 and beyond. The announcement was made by Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP, at a briefing at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in RAF Fairford. BAE Systems leads the design, development, manufacture and support of the UK’s Typhoon fleet and we will work alongside our industry partners which make up the UK’s supply chain supporting Typhoon.
“We welcome this commitment which recognises the important link between military advantage and national economic prosperity. The impact of the Typhoon programme, which supports more than 20,000 jobs across the UK, drives prosperity across the nation and supports the critical ‘levelling up’ agenda. It will create the next generation of engineers, manufacturers and aircraft technicians, ready to answer the challenges of tomorrow,” said Andrea Thompson, Managing Director – Europe & International, BAE Systems.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a European multinational twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter. The Typhoon was designed originally as an air superiority fighter and is manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo that conducts the majority of the project through a joint holding company, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH. The NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, representing the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, manages the project and is the prime customer. Later production aircraft have been increasingly better equipped to undertake air-to-surface strike missions and to be compatible with an increasing number of different armaments and equipment, including Storm Shadow, Brimstone and Marte ER missiles.
The UK’s first Typhoon Development Aircraft (DA-2) ZH588 made its maiden flight on 6 April 1994 from Warton. On 1 September 2002, No. XVII (Reserve) Squadron was reformed at Warton as the Typhoon Operational Evaluation Unit (TOEU), receiving its first aircraft on 18 December 2003. The first Royal Air Force production aircraft to take to the air was ZJ800 (BT001) on 14 February 2003, completing a 21-minute flight. The next Typhoon squadron to be formed was No. 29 (R) Squadron which formed as the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit (OCU). The first operational RAF Typhoon squadron to be formed was No. 3 (Fighter) Squadron on 31 March 2006, when it moved to RAF Coningsby.