First Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoon Has Flown
The aircraft, a German single seat variant, represents the full Tranche 2 build standard and its first prominent task will be to accomplish Type Acceptance for Block 8, the first capability standard of Tranche 2, in April 2008. This work will be carried out together with the BAE Systems-operated IPA6 based at Warton. IPA6 (BS031) is essentially a Tranche 1 standard aircraft but utilises the full Tranche 2 mission computer suite and avionics features. The first series of EJ200 engine flight testing for Tranche 2 was successfully concluded at the end of November with IPA2 in Italy.
The significant Tranche 2 capabilities focus mainly on the new mission computers which deliver the higher processing and memory capacity required for the integration of future weapons such as Meteor, Storm Shadow and Taurus. Differences in the build standard to Tranche 1 are related to changes in production technology or obsolescence.
Based on the Tranche 2 production contract, signed on 14 December 2004, and the original export contract with Austria, the Eurofighter consortium will deliver 251 Tranche 2 weapon systems: 93 to the United Kingdom, 75 to Germany, 48 to Italy and 35 to Spain. The difference to the original figure of 236 is based on the delivery of 15 Tranche 1 aircraft to Austria, for which the nations receive aircraft originally ordered by Austria in Tranche 2. Deliveries of Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoons to all four Partner Nations will begin in Summer 2008 and are scheduled to run until 2013. 32 aircraft are already in final assembly at the partner companies Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland.
Eurofighter Typhoon is the world's most advanced new generation swing-role combat aircraft available on the market and has been ordered by six nations (Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). With 707 aircraft under contract, it is Europe's largest military collaborative programme and delivers leading-edge technology, strengthening Europe's aerospace industry in the global competition. More than 100,000 jobs in 400 companies are secured by the programme. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of its shareholders Alenia Finmeccanica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland, Europe's foremost aerospace companies with a total turnover of EUR60.7 billion (2006)
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