Canada to Look at Other Aircraft for F-35 Mission

After considering the independent auditor’s report submitted to the Ministry of Public Works earlier this year the Conservative government of Canada announced yesterday that they would now look at other aircraft rather then the F-35 to meet the CF-18 replacement requirement. The major reason cited was the much higher estimate of the lifetime cost to procure and operate the advanced aircraft.

The new estimate is almost $46 billion over a projected 42 years. The estimate used to justify the sole source contract for the F-35 was $25 billion for 20 years of operations. The auditor also estimated that due to the cost increases in the F-35 that with the current available funding only 55 aircraft could be bought and not 65.

Canada will now establish a new group to look at aircraft. These could include Boeing (BA) F/A-18 fighters, Eurofighter Typhoons and Dassault Rafale aircraft. The loss of the Canadian buy while a small part of the total planned quantity of over 2,000 F-35 would be a blow to the program and Lockheed Martin (LMT).

The increases in unit cost of the aircraft along with the delays in schedule have caused other partners to reconsider. The Netherlands has also looked at the program’s cost growth over the years as a reason to reconsider. It would allow less aircraft to be purchased to replace their aging F-16 fighters. There is also a requirement to continue using the older aircraft longer then originally planned with associated costs.

Canada could in the end still choose the F-35 but the fact that they are conducting the review is a negative for the overall program.

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Austrian Air Force successfully reaches 1,500 flying hours — Press Release

Austrian Air Force successfully reaches 1,500 flying hours

The Eurofighter Typhoons in service with the Österreichische Luftstreitkräfte, Austria’s Joint Armed Forces Command have successfully reached the 1,500 flying hours milestone.

This success came to prove the important role the aircraft plays in the air policing task within the Austria’s defence system. In 33 Priority ‘A’ missions, the Austrian Air Force have repeatedly safeguarded the Austrian Air Space whilst 240 Priority ‘B’ operations were accomplished to ensure constant air surveillance.

With the Eurofighter Typhoon as the best and most effective defence system available, the Austrian Armed Forces are capable of providing active Air Security 24 hours a day, seven days a week for many years to come.

The recent task for the Austrian Eurofighter Typhoons to defend the air space above the World Economic Forum in Davos as well as the deployment during the Euro 2008 football championship in
Austria and Switzerland, demonstrated perfectly the interoperability of their Alpine Air defence system.

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9 billion euro contract for 112 Eurofighter Typhoons signed – Press Release

9 billion euro contract for 112 Eurofighter Typhoons signed

eurofighter-newNETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency), Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH and EUROJET Turbo GmbH signed today the production contract for a further 112 aircraft, including 241 engines, for the four partner Nations: Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The Tranche 3.9 billion contract confirms Eurofighter Typhoon as the best selling defence aircraft on the market with 559 units under production contract, including 15 for Austria and 72 for Saudi Arabia.

Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH CEO Enzo Casolini commented: “This is a major achievement in the Eurofighter programme and serves to reaffirm the importance and the independence of the defence sector of the European industry. The agreement, achieved in conjunction with NETMA and the four Nations involved in the programme, will provide the Air Forces with the best asset available to address their requirements for both air-to-air and air-to-ground roles”.
EUROJET Managing Director Hartmut J. Tenter commented: “This is an outstanding success for the EUROJET programme and a clear signal to the international community endorsing the quality of the product. The EJ200 stands for leading-edge technology, including advanced integrated Health Monitoring to deliver class-leading reliability, maintainability and Through Life Cost—the benchmark of excellence”.

NETMA’s General Manager, Lt.Gen. Antonino Altorio remarked that “the capabilities of Tranche 3 aircraft consolidate the already excellent performances of Tranche 1 and 2 aircraft and will enable the Air Forces to carry out primary air defence in NATO missions as well as maintaining air superiority in theatres of operations and, if necessary, providing support in the air-to-ground role. This contract sets the baseline for consequent contracts for logistic support which is fundamental to keeping fleets available while reducing, significantly, the cost of in-service support”.

Today the Eurofighter programme not only represents the largest European industrial programme, supporting 100,000 jobs in 400 companies across Europe, but it is also the most advanced example of technology within the European industry base. It sets the standard in terms of best value for a new generation defence aircraft programme.

With the production of Eurofighter Typhoon, now being confirmed until well into the next decade, the future of the programme is assured and will maintain and develop the current technological capability in Europe, enhancing future export opportunities and giving the four partner Nations a significant return on their investments. Having already secured two export contracts with Austria in 2003 and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2007, Eurofighter Typhoon will continue to follow up all export opportunities.

NETMA

Eurofighter and Eurojet Turbo consortia and their partner Companies are actively pursuing campaigns in Switzerland, India, Japan, Romania, Greece, Turkey and exploring possible opportunities in South Korea, Bulgaria, Croatia and other Nations.

Background information:

Eurofighter Typhoon is the world’s most advanced new generation real multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft available on the market and has been ordered by six nations (Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). With 559 aircraft under
production contract, it is Europe’s largest military collaborative programme and delivers leadingedge technology, strengthening Europe’s aerospace industry in the global competitive market.
More than 100,000 jobs in 400 companies are secured by the programme. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of the Eurofighter Partner Companies: Alenia Finmeccanica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland, Europe’s foremost aerospace companies with a total turnover of approx. 88 billion Euros (2008).

The EUROJET consortium is responsible for the management of development, support and export of the new generation EJ200 engine system, installed in the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. EUROJET’s shareholders comprise Avio (Italy), ITP (Spain), MTU Aero Engines (Germany) and Rolls-Royce (UK). The EJ200 engine, with its unprecedented performance record combined with multi-role capability and highest availability at low life-cycle costs, is perfectly set to meet the air forces’ demands of today and the future.

NETMA was formed on 1 January 1996 by the merger of two previously separate NATO agencies which had been established to manage Tornado and Eurofighter (EF2000) programmes.

The Agency is responsible to the partner Nations (Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) for all the aspects of the programme covering development, procurement and inservice support of Eurofighter and Tornado aircraft weapon systems. NETMA provides partner Nations with an efficient, effective and coherent management service for these two major international programmes.

High Resolution images of the Eurofighter Typhoon and of the EJ200 can be downloaded from the web sites: www.eurofighter.com/medialibrary and www.eurojet.eu

Photo courtesy of Eurofighter.com.

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Successful first operational NATO assessment of a Eurofighter Wing — Press Release

Successful first operational NATO assessment of a Eurofighter Wing

Excellent results were achieved after the first operational evaluation made by NATO of a Eurofighter Typhoon Wing. A NATO evaluation team certified the Italian Air Force’s 4th Fighter Wing at the Grosseto Base as a NATO Quick Response Force.
This means that the 4th Wing becomes the first Eurofighter flight unit to obtain this important NATO certification.
The operational evaluation took place during the “Operation Discrete Jury” exercise, which tested the ability of the 4th Wing to be deployed abroad for peace-keeping and peace-making missions.

The exercise involved many air wings’ activities, from rescue to telecommunication services, self-defence and survival capabilities and, more particularly, logistic support, maintenance and flight operations. It was in this very field that the operations of the Grosseto Base’s Typhoons were positively evaluated, having demonstrated excellent operational availability and compliance with national and NATO’s operational requirement.

Enzo Casolini, Eurofighter CEO, said: “We are very pleased that the first Wing of Eurofighter Typhoon has achieved such an important goal. This clearly demonstrates the maturity of the Eurofighter programme as well as highlighting the capabilities of the aircraft and its operational availability which reached a very high level”.

The 4th Fighter Wing, together with the 5th Wing of Cervia, the 36th of Gioia del Colle and the 37th of Trapani, is one of the Italian Air Force units assigned to the control of Italian airspace 24 hours a day all year round.
Within the 4th Fighter Wing, the 20 Squadron is also active with its twin-seat Typhoons which are tasked with the “transition” of Italian pilots assigned to the Eurofighter Squadrons.

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