Eurofighter expects to complete negotiations with the UK Ministry of Defence over a support contract for the EF2000 in the next few weeks, says managing director Brian Phillipson.

Failure to conclude the deal has delayed the signing of a contract for the first production batch of 148 aircraft destined for the Eurofighter partner nations Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

The European consortium has chosen Typhoon as the name for the export version of the EF2000. The company has a target of 400 export sales worth $70 billion and could sell up to 800 between 2005 and 2025, said Filippo Bagnato, Eurofighter's chairman, at the naming ceremony for Typhoon at Farnborough in the UK on 2 September.

Eurofighter has released the first artist's impression of the aircraft equipped with conformal long-range fuel tanks. The modification is planned for future Typhoon export variants optimised for the long-range strike role, according to Eurofighter. This drawing is "representative, but not a precise" indication of a conformal tank installation on the aircraft, says the company. The tanks are similar to those planned for the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60 recently sold to the United Arab Emirates.

Source: Flight International