Alenia Aermacchi, BAE Systems and Cassidian have received major new contracts to support the operation of Eurofighter combat aircraft by partner nations Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Signed on 30 March by Eurofighter chief executive Enzo Casolini and NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency general manager Jesus Prieto Pinillos, the five-year deal "will focus on performance and affordability", says the industrial consortium behind the aircraft. "The agreement demonstrates a commitment by all parties in achieving continued efficiencies on the programme," it adds.

The Eurofighter nations have previously requested a 30% reduction in the cost of supporting their fleets of the multi-role combat aircraft, with the improvement also considered an important factor in securing potential additional export sales.

 Eurofighter water - Eurofighter

© Eurofighter

Alenia Aermacchi will provide continued and improved support for the Italian air force, BAE to the UK Royal Air Force and Cassidian to the German and Spanish services.

Alenia has valued its part of the deal as worth more than €500 million ($666 million), while BAE's stake will value £446 million ($713 million). Cassidian has yet to indicate the size of its part of the contract.

Casolini says the deal also represents "a massive step in supporting the enhancements programme planned for Eurofighter" by the four launch nations. This includes modifications outlined in the UK's Strategic Defence and Security Review, such as integrating a new active electronically scanned array radar capability.

Eurofighter says it has so far signed production contracts to deliver 559 aircraft to its partner nations and existing international buyers Austria and Saudi Arabia, with 321 of these delivered so far.

Source: Flight International