The four-nation Eurofighter consortium had hoped to end 2004 on a high, with the planned signature in December of an agreement worth around g10 billion ($13 billion) to proceed with Tranche 2 production of the aircraft. While this vital event still appears to be on track, the programme's partner nations received a stiff blow last week when the Greek government announced that it will not proceed with the previous administration's plans to buy up to 90 Eurofighter Typhoons.

Expected to be valued at around $4.5 billion, the proposed procurement of 60 aircraft plus 30 options was announced in 1998, but a contract decision was later deferred until after the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens had been completed. The Eurofighter consortium, backed by defence procurement ministers from partner nations Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, visited the recent Defendory show in Athens to "re-emphasise the campaign" in the country.

With this having failed to secure the deal, the Typhoon is expected to enter a fresh round of competition to equip the Greek air force, with renewed bids expected from rival companies, including Dassault and Lockheed Martin.

Source: Flight International