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PARIS AIR SHOW: Eurofighter boss: nations free to market early fighters for export

Eurofighter nations have been given approval to offer early production examples of the strike aircraft to potential export users through government-to-government agreements, with nations such as Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania among potential takers.

Speaking inside the Eurofighter consortium's multinational-themed Typhoon exhibit at the show, chief executive Enzo Casolini confirmed that Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK could seek to balance their future Tranche 3 production orders for the type with third-party arrangements.

"We can all be better if the partner nations can be flexible," says Casolini. "Sometimes it is better if you do it in a government-to-government environment. There could be a partner nation that decides: I have a first batch of aircraft; I could pass these to Bulgaria, even as an interim solution, and maybe share the possibility to share support together.

"The goal is there, and with government support we can provide to these countries a common asset together with a main European nation." He reveals such a deal could potentially be reached between Italy and Romania.

Casolini says the four partner nations should sign a Tranche 3A contract before the European summer break, but reveals that "not all the nations are in agreement" on the introduction of an active electronically scanned array radar. "We will try to show them the benefits."

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