Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

NATO orders 20 Eurofighters for the Spanish Air Force

Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, June 28th 2022 à 15:35 | Read 318 times

The Eurofighter will replace the Spanish Air Force's F-18 fleet in the Canary Islands (Photo: Airbus Defence)
The Eurofighter will replace the Spanish Air Force's F-18 fleet in the Canary Islands (Photo: Airbus Defence)
SPAIN. The Nato Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) announced on Thursday 23 June 2022 at the ILA air show in Berlin the final signature of a record contract worth €2.04 billion. The contract is part of the Halcón programme, which involves the modernisation of the Spanish Air Force's fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons.

The NATO order includes sixteen single-seat and four two-seat Eurofighter Typhoon fighters equipped with electronically scanned missiles (E-Scan). It also includes 48 EJ200 engines, a simulator and associated support services. It was approved on 14 December 2021 by the Spanish Council of Ministers.

Delivered from 2026, the new aircraft will replace the F-18 Hornets currently operated by the Spanish Air Force in the Canary Islands at the Gando base (46th squadron). They will strengthen the Spanish air force's presence in NATO and guarantee an industrial workload until 2030 for the Getafe assembly plant (13 km south of Madrid) of the French manufacturer Airbus. The contract will also benefit numerous subcontractors.

"Spain reaffirms not only its commitment to the Eurofighter, but also to its development and industrial environment. I would like to thank the customer for its commitment to European defence at a particularly important time," commented Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space.

Spanish fleet to grow to 90 Eurofighters

"This order underlines the current and future strength of the programme - which will ensure that Eurofighter remains the backbone of European air defence for many years to come - and represents a welcome boost for the European aerospace industry," says Carlo Mancusi, CEO of Eurofighter GmbH. Gerhard Baehr, CEO of Eurojet Turbo GmbH, echoed this view, saying that it "strengthens European defence capability and at the same time ensures the long-term security of a number of highly qualified jobs in the European aerospace industry."

After the contract, Spain will have a total of 90 Eurofighters. The aircraft have been part of Spain's fleet since 2003 and are operated from the air bases of Morón (near Morón de la Frontera in Andalusia) and Albacete (in Castilla y León, 170 km south-west of Valencia) of the 11th and 14th squadrons respectively.

Launched at the end of March 1994, Eurofighter is Europe's largest defence programme and involves the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy. To date, it has received 681 orders for aircraft from nine states and provides over 100,000 jobs in 400 European companies.

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