TURIN, Italy --- The 500th Eurofighter Typhoon has been delivered today to the Italian Air Force during a special ceremony held at Leonardo Aircraft Division’s Turin site. Lt. Gen. Gabriele Salvestroni, Logistic Commander of the Italian Air Force, took delivery of the aircraft in the presence of Filippo Bagnato, Leonardo Aircraft Division’s Managing Director, Volker Paltzo, Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug, Peter Schmidt, Deputy General Manager of NETMA, and representatives from the Eurofighter partner nations and partner companies.
Volker Paltzo, Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, said: “The 500 strong Eurofighter Typhoon fleet represents one of the largest and most capable fighter fleets in the western hemisphere, and will be the backbone of European airpower for decades to come. Today’s handover is a great testament to the programme’s success, and I firmly expect to see the fleet grow further as our partner companies continue to pursue opportunities for more orders internationally.”
Filippo Bagnato, Leonardo Aircraft Division Managing Director, said: “We are very proud to deliver the 500th Eurofighter Typhoon produced to the Italian Air Force. The Eurofighter Typhoon is the largest collaborative industrial programme in Europe, it is a successful and significant contributor to the nation’s economic well-being, employing high-skilled workers and generating thousands of high-value manufacturing and engineering jobs. We are now fully committed to completing deliveries to the Italian Air Force, to develop the capabilities of the aircraft, and to the activities envisaged by Kuwait’s contract, while continuing to pursue a number of significant market opportunities around the world.”
The first Eurofighter was delivered to the UK Royal Air Force at the end of 2003. The 100th Eurofighter was delivered to the UK Royal Air Force in September 2006. The 200th aircraft was handed over to the German Air Force in November 2009. The 300th aircraft was delivered to the Spanish Air Force in October 2011, and the 400th to the German Air Force in December 2013.
The aircraft has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, high reliability across the globe in all climates. It has been deployed on multiple occasions on Baltic Air Policing duties with the Spanish, German, Italian and UK air forces and has been combat proven during operations in Libya, Iraq and Syria.
Through a series of continual enhancement steps, new capabilities are being added to the aircraft, with test and integration activity currently underway for advanced beyond visual range air-to-air missile Meteor, the precision guided cruise missile Storm Shadow and the precision attack missile Brimstone. The integration of these weapon systems will ensure Eurofighter Typhoon maintains its position as the most capable, agile and reliable swing-role fighter available on the international market today.
Eurofighter Typhoon is the most advanced new generation multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft currently available on the world market. Eight customers (Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait) have already ordered the Eurofighter Typhoon. With 599 aircraft ordered, Eurofighter Typhoon is currently the largest collaborative industrial programme in Europe. Its high technology strengthens the position of European aerospace industry in the international market.
The programme secures more than 100,000 jobs in 400 companies. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of the Eurofighter Partner Companies, Airbus Defence and Space in Germany and Spain, BAE Systems in the UK and Leonardo in Italy, which are the most important aviation and aerospace companies in Europe.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: As of today, Eurofighter has another 99 aircraft to deliver, as follows:
-- Germany: 18 single-seaters (9 to be delivered in 2017 and 9 in 2018);
-- Italy: 9 single-seaters and 2 two-seaters (3 more in 2017; 5 in 2018; 1 in 2019);
-- Kuwait: 22 single-seaters and 6 two-seaters (2 in 2019, 9 in 2020; 9 in 2021, 8 in 2022)
-- Oman: 9 single-seaters and 3 two-seaters (8 in 2017 and 4 in 2018);
-- Saudi Arabia: 2 single-seaters for delivery in 2017;
-- Spain: 12 single-seaters (7 in 2017 and 5 in 2018)
-- United Kingdom: 18 single-seaters.)