Tim Ripley  

The wraps formally came off one of the worst kept secrets in the aerospace industry last Wednesday, when Eurofighter's EF2000 was christened Typhoon in a media extravaganza at British Aerospace's Farnborough headquarters.  

Europe's contender for the $70 billion global fighter market will now be known as the Typhoon for foreign markets, but the four partner nations - Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK - have yet to confirm a new designation for aircraft that are to enter frontline service with their air forces.  

Eurofighter chairman Filippo Bagnato explains that many potential customers were unhappy with the Eurofighter title. "In many parts of the world we need a more global positioning," he says. "Typhoon allows a more global approach to marketing."  


Brian Phillipson, managing director Eurofighter, says Typhoon will be used for export EF2000s while the partners "-will continue to use the name Eurofighter for the company and the programme.

"The name Typhoon has a proud heritage in two of the partner nations," says Phillipson. "The German Messerschmidt Bf-108 Taifun [two-seat trainer] evolved into the Bf-109 which was produced in greater numbers than any aircraft in the world."


The Hawker Typhoon ground attack aircraft's heritage was less to the liking of the Germans, who reportedly vetoed the name last March, when a high profile naming ceremony was cancelled at the last minute.  

The Second World War Typhoon made its reputation in RAF service as a succesful tank busting aircraft, destroying thousands of German panzers after the D-Day


"I am little tired of hearing that there were objections to the name," says Phillipson. "We got agreement from the chiefs of the air staffs very quickly.

"You can say Typhoon in all four [Eurofighter partner] countries' languages and you can say it in Japanese and it is not rude. It also passes the news test' - you can say a 'squadron of Typhoons flew over Baghdad today'."

Source: Flight Daily News