The partner companies have divided the world into regions with BAE selling Typhoons to the Middle East, Alenia Aermacchi pitching to Turkey, and EADS offering to Latin America, India and South Korea. Senior vice-president of Eurofighter sales Peter Maute has said that the Eurofighter could provide a complementary capability to stealth fighters.
In July 2014, the Eurofighter Typhoon was noted to be one of the contenders to replace Belgium's fleet of ageing F-16A/B MLU's by 2023 as part of the "air combat capability successor program". The requirement stands for 40 aircraft. Other contenders include the SAAB Gripen-E/F, Dassault Rafale, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35A Lightning II. A decision was expected by 2016 and contracts signed by 2018. In 2017, Saab and Boeing withdrew from competition.
The opposition in the federal parliament of Belgium stated that a decision was already made in favour of the American F-35 and that the competition was a cover-up. The opposition concluded that the requirements for the new aircraft were set up such a way that "only the F-35 could possibly meet the requirements". A supposedly leaked document from the Belgian military stated that for Belgium to remain in a strong position in NATO, the aircraft should have a launch capability for the B61 nuclear bombs supposedly stored at the Kleine Brogel Air Base in Belgium. Coalition parties have denied the allegations. They say a decision will be made in 2018 and that parliament could still vote against the selected aircraft.
On 19 April 2017, Boeing pulled out of the competition, stating there "is no level playing field". On 10 July 2017, Saab too announced they would no longer contend for the order, stating that the operational support expected by the Belgian government would be a violation of Swedish neutrality. On 7 September 2017 only Eurofighter and Lockheed-Martin filed an official response to a request for government proposal. Dassault did not respond, alleging the Belgian request deliberately favoured the F-35, and the French government instead proposed a long-term partnership for the development of a new fighter aircraft. Whether Dassault is still in the running was still unknown as of October 2017.
In January 2015, it was revealed that the Eurofighter Typhoon is one of the contenders for Bulgaria's MiG-29 replacement program. This would consist of eight second hand Eurofighters from ex-Italian service, and is in competition with offers for sixteen surplus F-16s from the United States, an unknown number of surplus F-16s from Belgium, or sixteen surplus Saab Gripen C/Ds from Sweden.
In December 2012, the Canadian government decided that F-35 costs were much higher than earlier anticipated and hence are looking at the Eurofighter as well as four other fighters to replace their ageing CF-18s. In January 2014 it seemed unlikely that a decision on a replacement would be taken before the next federal election in October 2015. This election occurred, and while Canada was leaning more towards US fighters like the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet or back to the F-35, as of June 2017 protectionist rhetoric by the US government (and a trade complaint by Boeing against Bombardier) has caused the Canadian government to stop discussions about acquiring the Super Hornet and look at other, potentially non-US options.
In December 2017, it was reported that Colombia may be interested in procuring a fighter wing's worth of second-hand, Tranche 2 standard Eurofighter Typhoons from Spain, equipped with the advanced Meteor missile.
In October 2014, the Finnish broadcaster Yle announced that the Finnish Air Force was considering the replacement of its ageing F/A-18 Hornets (which entered service in 1995), thus raising the issue of whether the Eurofighter could be a potential successor. In June 2015, a working group set up by the Finnish MoD proposed starting the so-called HX Fighter Program to replace the Air Force's current fleet of ageing F/A-18 Hornet, which would reach the end of their service life by the end of the 2020s. The group recognises five potential types: Boeing Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-35 and Saab JAS Gripen.
The request for information concerning the HX Fighter Program was sent in early 2016; the five responses were received in November 2016. A call for tender will be sent in spring 2018 and the buying decision is scheduled to take place in 2021.
On 24 April 2018 Airbus and the Eurofighter consortium submitted a bid to replace Germany's 90 strong fleet of Panavia Tornado which are operated in the ground attack and electronic warfare role. The Typhoon submitted for the bid has its EJ200 engine's thrust uprated by 15% to increase range and payload capacity, as well as further development of the Captor-E radar's functionality. Germany already operates 130 Typhoons in an air defence role.
Eurofighter and other fighter builders responded to a request for information issued by the Indonesian government in January 2015 for a fighter to replace the ageing F-5s currently in service with the Air Force. Eurofighter is offering its latest version of the Typhoon, equipped with Captor-E AESA radar, for Indonesia’s F-5 replacement programme.
In December 2009, BAE Systems announced plans to market the Typhoon to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) to replace its ageing Mikoyan MiG-29Ns. According to the Regional Director-Business Development Dave Potter, the Typhoon's multi-role capabilities allow it to replace the MiG-29N. Other contenders include Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale and JAS 39 Gripen NG. In October 2016, Malaysia's Minister of Defence stated that the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon were the only competitors to replace its Mig-29s. In 2017, it was announced that Malaysia had postponed its plan to purchase replacement multi-role combat aircraft in favour of improving its aerial reconnaissance capabilities. In February 2018, BAE Systems offered UK government financing if it decided to purchase the Typhoon.
On 4 February 2013, Spain announced a proposed sale of 18 Tranche 1 aircraft to the Peruvian Air Force, at a reported value of €45 million each. The intention was to transfer aircraft currently in Spanish service within a year of contract signature. Talks had been ongoing since November 2012 but the Typhoon is still in contention with the Saab Gripen NG and Sukhoi Su-30/35.
Poland is planning to purchase 64 multirole combat aircraft from 2021 as part of the country's modernisation plans. The new fighters will replace the Polish Air Force's ageing fleet of Sukhoi Su-22M4 'Fitter-K' ground attack aircraft and Mikoyan MiG-29 'Fulcrum-A' fighter aircraft. Planned open tender procedure could include the F-35 Lightning II, JAS 39 Gripen E/F, the newest variants of Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale, and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
According to the announcement made by the Armament Inspectorate on 23 November 2017, Poland has initiated the procedure to acquire new fighter aircraft for the Polish Air Force. On 22 December 2017, five entities have expressed their intention to participate in the potential procurement of new fighter aircraft, referred to as “Harpia” (Harpy eagle). Companies that expressed their interest in the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft portion of the initiative include: Saab AB with Gripen NG, Lockheed Martin with F-35, Boeing Company with F/A-18, Leonardo S.p.A. with Eurofighter Typhoon and Fights-On Logistics with second hand F-16s.
In 2010, the government of Serbia displayed open interest in the Eurofighter and competing products. In June 2013, defence minister Aleksandar Vučić suggested that Serbia might purchase six MiG-29M/M2 instead.
In June 2015 it was reported that Vietnam had been in discussions about the purchase of Eurofighter Typhoons to replace MiG-21s in their aircraft inventory. The talks were reported as ongoing but no decision was expected soon. Saab's Gripen E and Sukhoi's Su-57 were also involved in the discussions for Vietnam's next fighter requirement.
On 12 May 2016 the Danish minority government recommended that 27 F-35A fighters, instead of 34 Typhoons, should be procured. On 9 June the Danish parliament selected the Joint Strike Fighter.
In 1999, the Greek government agreed to acquire 20 Typhoons to replace its existing second-generation combat aircraft. The purchase was put on hold due to budget constraints, largely driven by other development programmes and the need to cover the cost of the 2004 Summer Olympics. In June 2006 the government announced a €22 billion multi-year acquisition plan intended to provide the necessary budgetary framework to enable the purchase of a next-generation fighter over the next 10 years and the Typhoon was under consideration to fill this requirement. In December 2011 it was announced that the Eurofighter consortium office in Greece was to close because Greece would not be in a position to order any new aircraft before 2018 or 2020.
Eurofighter was one of the six aircraft competing for the Indian MRCA competition for 126 multi-role fighters. In April 2011, the Indian Air Force (IAF) shortlisted the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon for the US$10.4 billion contract. On 31 January 2012, the IAF announced the Rafale as the preferred bidder in the competition.
In March 2007, Jane's Information Group reported that the Typhoon was the favourite to win the contest for Japan's next-generation fighter requirement. The other competitors then were the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle. On 17 October 2007, Japanese Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba confirmed that Japan may buy the Typhoon. Although the F-22 Raptor was in his words "exceptional", it was not "absolutely necessary for Japan", and the Typhoon was the best alternative. The F-22 is currently unavailable for export per US law. During a visit to Japan in June 2009, Andy Latham of BAE pointed out that while F-22 exports were restricted to keep advanced military technology from falling into the wrong hands, selling the Typhoon would take a "no black box approach", that is that even licensed production and integration with Japanese equipment would not carry the risk of leakage of restricted military technology. In July 2010, it was reported that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force favoured acquiring the F-35 ahead of the Typhoon and the F/A-18E/F to fulfill its F-X requirement due to its stealth characteristics, but the Defense Ministry was delaying its budget request to evaluate when the F-35 would be produced and delivered. David Howell of the UK Foreign Office has suggested that Japan could partner with Britain in the continuing development of the Eurofighter. On 20 December 2011, the Japanese Government announced its intention to purchase 42 F-35s. The purchase decision was influenced by the F-35's stealth characteristics, with the Defence Minister Yasuo Ichikawa saying, "There are changes in the security environment and the actions of various nations and we want to have a fighter that has the capacity to cope".
Norway considered purchasing the Eurofighter, but in 2012 signed the largest public procurement project in the country's history (worth $10bn) for the F-35A.
In 2005 the Eurofighter was a contender for Singapore's next generation fighter requirement competing with the Boeing F-15SG and the Dassault Rafale. The Eurofighter was eliminated from the competition in June 2005 and the F-15SG was selected in September 2005.
In 2002, the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) chose the F-15K Slam Eagle over the Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Sukhoi Su-35 for its 40 aircraft F-X Phase I fighter competition. During 2012–13, the Typhoon competed with the Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle and the F-35 for the ROKAF's F-X Phase III fighter competition. In August 2013 it was announced that the F-15SE was the only remaining candidate, however the award was cancelled and in November 2013, it was announced that the ROKAF will purchase 40 F-35A's.
In February 2007, it was reported that Switzerland was considering the Eurofighter, the Rafale and the Saab JAS 39 Gripen to replace its Northrop F-5 Tiger IIs. A one-month evaluation started in October 2008 at Emmen Airforce Base consisting of approximately 30 evaluation flights. On 30 November 2011 the Swiss Federal Council announced that it was planning to buy 22 Gripen NGs due to its lower acquisition and maintenance costs. A leaked Swiss Air Force evaluation report revealed that the Rafale won the competition on technical grounds and Dassault offered to lower the price for 18 Rafales.
Turkey was considering a purchase of Eurofighter, but in 2009 it decided to purchase a larger number of F-35s and it has subsequently stated that "Eurofighter is off Turkey's agenda".
United Arab Emirates
In November 2012, the UK government announced the formation of a formal defence and industrial partnership with the United Arab Emirates, paving the way for potential Typhoon sales with BAE Systems. On 19 December 2013 it was announced that UAE had decided not to proceed with the deal for the supply of defence and security services, including the supply of Typhoon aircraft. Analysts estimated that the break-off was due to the producing nations' lack of commitment for radar upgrades.
The Eurofighter is produced in single-seat and twin-seat variants. The twin-seat variant is not used operationally, but only for training, though it is combat capable. The aircraft has been manufactured in three major standards; seven Development Aircraft (DA), seven production standard Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) for further system development and a continuing number of Series Production Aircraft. The production aircraft are now operational with the partner nation's air forces.
The Tranche 1 aircraft were produced from 2000 onwards. Aircraft capabilities are being increased incrementally, with each software upgrade resulting in a different standard, known as blocks. With the introduction of the block 5 standard, the R2 retrofit programme began to bring all Tranche 1 aircraft to that standard.
By September 2017, there had been four fatal crashes in about 240,000 flight hours, flown by 406 aircraft, delivered to six different air forces.
On 21 November 2002, the Spanish twin-seat Typhoon prototype DA-6 crashed due to a double engine flameout caused by surges of the two engines at 45,000 ft. The two crew members escaped unhurt and the aircraft crashed in a military test range near Toledo, some 70 miles (110 km) from its base at Getafe Air Base.
On 23 April 2008, a Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 from 17 Squadron at RAF Coningsby, tail number ZJ943, made a wheels–up landing at the US Navy's NAWS China Lake, in the United States. The aircraft was severely damaged and was returned to the UK on 27 October 2008. The pilot from 17 Squadron did not sustain any significant injury. It is thought the pilot may have forgotten to deploy the undercarriage or that for some reason he was not alerted to the fact that the undercarriage was not deployed.
On 24 August 2010, a Spanish twin-seat Typhoon crashed at Spain's Morón Air Base moments after take-off for a routine training flight. It was being piloted by a Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force, who was killed, and a Spanish Air Force Major, who ejected safely. Following this incident, the German Air Force grounded its 55 planes on 16 September 2010, amidst concerns that after ejecting successfully the pilot had fallen to his death. In response to the crash's investigation, the RAF temporarily grounded all Typhoon training flights on 17 September 2010. Quick Reaction Alert duties were unaffected. On 21 September, the RAF announced that the harness system had been sufficiently modified to enable routine flying from RAF Coningsby. The Austrian Air Force also said that all its aircraft had been cleared for flight. On 24 August 2010, the ejection seat manufacturer Martin Baker commented: "... under certain conditions, the quick release fitting could be unlocked using the palm of the hands, rather than the thumb and fingers and that this posed a risk of inadvertent release", and added that a modification had been rapidly developed and approved "to eliminate this risk" and was being fitted to all Typhoon seats.
On 9 June 2014, the Spanish Air Ministry announced that a Typhoon had crashed at Spain's Morón Air Base on landing after a routine training flight. The sole pilot, Captain Fernando Lluna Carrascosa of the Spanish Air Force, who had over 600 Eurofighter flying hours, died in the crash. The aircraft was one of the 46 aircraft of the Air Force's 111 and 113 squadrons. The cause of the accident was unclear.
On 23 June 2014, a Typhoon of the German Air Force suffered a mid-air collision with a Learjet 35A, which crashed near Olsberg, Germany. The severely damaged Eurofighter made a safe landing at Nörvenich Air Base, while the Learjet crashed with the two onboard killed.
On 1 September 2017, a Royal Air Force Typhoon overran the runway on landing at Pardubice Airport, Czech Republic, after diverting for bad weather.
On 14 September 2017, a Royal Saudi Air Force aircraft crashed in Yemen's Abhyan province while carrying out a combat mission, killing its pilot. According to a Saudi Government press release, the aircraft crashed due to technical reasons and pilot Lt Col Muhanna Al-Baiz did not survive.
On 24 September 2017, an Italian Air Force aircraft crashed into the sea during an airshow in Terracina, Lazio, Italy. The pilot Capt. Gabriele Orlandi did not eject and died in the accident. The Italian Air Force said the jet completed a loop but then failed to get enough lift as it approached sea level and hit the water just a few hundred meters offshore. The body of the pilot was recovered soon after. An investigation was opened into the cause.
On 12 October 2017, a Spanish Air Force Typhoon crashed near its base at Los LlanosAlbacete, Spain, when returning from the military parade for the Spanish National Day. The pilot was reported to have died.
Aircraft on display
The first development aircraft Eurofighter DA-1 can be seen at the Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim at Oberschleißheim Airport in the north of Munich. Its first flight took place in 1994 and it was handed over to the museum in 2008.
Eurofighter DA-2 Typhoon (serial number ZH588) is on display at the Royal Air Force Museum London. This aircraft is one of seven EF 2000 development aircraft built by the Eurofighter Partner Companies, and was used for flight testing. The aircraft was delivered by road on 22 January 2008. It is hanging in the Museum's Milestones of Flight Exhibition Hall.
In 2009 Typhoon DA-4, serial number ZH590, went on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford after being given to the museum by the Ministry of Defence in 2008. It is exhibited as part of the museum's 'AirSpace' gallery, as an example of the development of aircraft technology.
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