Thursday, 13 April 2017

Italy received the 500th Eurofighter Typhoon

Italy receives 500th Eurofighter Typhoon to be built

Paolo Valpolini, Turin - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

12 April 2017

The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana: AMI) on 11 April received the 500th Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft to be built on the international production lines.

The Tranche 3 Block 25 aircraft was handed over to the AMI during a ceremony at Leonardo Aircraft Division site at Torino Caselle, near Turin, which was attended by senior military and industrial officials.

In the same ceremony, Kuwaiti dignitaries were symbolically presented with the first piece of hardware of the first Typhoon for the Kuwaiti Air Force. Kuwait became the eighth nation to order the European fighter with a contract for 28 aircraft, six of which are two-seater trainers, as well as a full training suite including a simulator, a three-year support starting from the delivery of the first aircraft, and the build-up of a new infrastructure at the Ali Al Salem Air Base.

As for training, Kuwait signed an agreement with Italy, which includes the training of eight Kuwaiti pilots at the 4th Wing 20th Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) Squadron, and the setting up of a training centre in Kuwait. According to Leonardo sources, Kuwait is carefully analysing the possibility of adopting the company's M-346 as a lead-in fighter trainer.

In terms of future Typhoon developments, the CEO of Eurofighter, Volker Paltzo, underlined that the first three P1E, P2E, and P3E enhancement packages are well under way. Flight trials of the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile, part of P2E, should be completed by the end of the year. The P3EA concerns MBDA Brimstone air-to-surface missile integration, while the P3EB aims at allowing full integration of the new EuroRadar Captor-E electronically-scanned radar (the contract not including the radar itself). The launch customer for the Captor-E is Kuwait, which should receive its first aircraft around 2020 (though the exact date has not been confirmed by Eurofighter, the contract calling for full deliveries within 2023).

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Eurofighter Typhoon: Details
Image: Airplane Pictures net