Eurofighter delivered a combined 47 Typhoons over the 12-month period to the end of May, with its partner companies now stepping up efforts to secure additional export sales of the multi-role combat aircraft.
Some 478 Eurofighters have been delivered, from combined firm orders for 599. The programme backlog now stands at 106 examples for Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the UK, says Alberto Gutierrez, Airbus Group’s head of Eurofighter and combat aircraft programmes.
Based on current commitments, final assembly lines in Germany and Spain have work until the end of 2018, while those in Italy and the UK – which respectively led sales campaigns in Kuwait and Oman – will run on beyond this date.
“We have negotiations to extend this longer, by stretching the programme,” Gutierrez said at Airbus Defence & Space’s Ottobrun site near Munich on 20 June.
The former Eurofighter consortium chief executive identifies the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East as the focus of efforts for future sales. Campaigns are ongoing in Indonesia and Malaysia, while Gutierrez believes Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia could all potentially sign repeat orders. Despite having ordered the Dassault Rafale last year, Qatar also is also eyed as a potential future customer. “We keep discussing with them the possibility of equipping them with additional air power,” he says.
In Europe, Belgium, Finland, Poland and Switzerland are listed as prospective buyers. But Gutierrez says Airbus and its Eurofighter partners were “clearly disappointed” about Denmark’s selection of the Lockheed Martin F-35 for a 27-unit acquisition last month.
“We totally disagree with how the [Danish] technical evaluation was done,” Airbus head of military aircraft Fernando Alonso says. Referring to assumptions on cost and programme risk contained within a Danish-produced document, he adds: “We will fight, and we will demonstrate that they are not true.”
Meanwhile, Eurofighter is watching the situation in Canada, and Gutierrez expects either Germany or Spain to lead a Typhoon campaign if a competitive process is adopted by Ottawa. “We are ready, we are keen, and will be extremely happy to be involved,” he says.