The Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft fleet has completed a significant milestone by surpassing the 500,000 flight hours mark.
Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH confirmed the milestone on Nov. 9, saying that the aircraft is combat proven, incredibly reliable and ready to play a key role in the future battlespace.
“Passing the 500,000 flying hours milestone underscores the fact that today Eurofighter Typhoon is the backbone of NATO’s European air defence”, said Volker Paltzo, CEO of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH.
“But, looking to future horizons, it will continue to be developed to defend against all threats for decades to come. The aircraft will play a key role in the future battlespace, and will be a central pillar in any future European combat air system, developing and integrating key technologies that will feed in to that future system.”
Eurofighter Typhoon has rapidly accumulated hours across the fleet, particularly in recent years, following an increase in the tempo of air policing and combat operations. There is now a fleet of almost 500 aircraft protecting Europe’s borders, with the potential for this number to grow substantially in the coming decades.
In the future, Eurofighter Typhoon will get a new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, an enhanced human machine interface and new weapons.
Eurofighter is the biggest and most successful defence collaboration programme ever undertaken in Europe. It has provided security, industrial and economic cooperation and sustainment on a previously unseen scale. It is the model for future defence and industrial collaboration in Europe.
“We have clocked up more than a million hours of engine performance for the EJ200 which is a major achievement and through countless deployments, both in Europe and internationally, we have enjoyed incredible engine reliability”, said Clemens Linden, CEO of Eurojet Turbo GmbH, which provide the engines for the aircraft.
“There’s no doubt, that over the first million flying hours, the EJ200 engines have demonstrated they are the best in their class. Looking ahead to the next million, the engine can also be further developed to ensure that Eurofighter Typhoon will maintain its combat edge”, he added.
Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard–delta wing, multirole fighter 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 formed in 1986.
Typhoon is a highly agile aircraft, designed to be a supremely effective dogfighter in combat. 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 and the RAF’s Brimstone missiles.
The Typhoon entered operational service in 2003; it has entered service with the air forces of Austria, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Saudi Arabia. The air forces of Oman, Kuwait and Qatar are export customers, bringing the procurement total to 599 aircraft as of 2016.
The Typhoon had its combat debut during the 2011 military intervention in Libya with the UK’s Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force, performing aerial reconnaissance and ground-strike missions. The type has also taken primary responsibility for air-defence duties for the majority of customer nations.