The Eurofighter Typhoon (Eurofighter EFA 2000) is a fighter aircraft designed and built by a European consortium consisting of the industries:
Alenia Aeronautica (interest: 21%)
BAE Systems (33% interest)
Construcciones Aeronáuticas (CASA) (13% interest) (merged into Airbus Defense & Space)
European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) (interest: 33%) (merged into Airbus Defense & Space)
The intention is that a total of 630 Typhoons will be built, with an option for an extra 90 units. The aircraft will be delivered to the United Kingdom (232 units), Germany (180), Italy (121), Spain (87), Austria (18), Saudi Arabia (72), Oman (12) and Kuwait (28); a Greek order for 60 pieces was cancelled. Other countries that have shown interest in the Eurofighter Typhoon are Denmark, India, Pakistan, Romania and Oman. The Netherlands also considered purchasing the Typhoon in 2001 as a replacement for the General Dynamics F-16, but nevertheless participated in the development of the American Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The main arguments against the Eurofighter cited by proponents of the JSF are that the concept is outdated (the design dates back to 1985 during the Cold War with a potential threat from the USSR nearby) and that the aircraft would be too expensive to maintain because of the two engines instead of one. In a renewed candidate comparison by the Dutch government in 2008, both Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale withdrew from the competition, believing that the decision had already been made.
Norway also considered purchasing the Typhoon, together with the Saab Gripen and the JSF as a successor to their F-16, but ultimately opted for the JSF. In May 2007, 22 years after the first design, there were 125 operational Typhoons in five countries. In July of that year, the first Austrian Typhoon, the AS001, became operational at Hallbergmoos. The first aircraft was delivered to Saudi Arabia a year later. In November 2011, an aircraft was delivered to the Spanish Air Force, bringing the total number of deliveries to 300. In December 2012, Oman ordered 12 aircraft. In 2013, the total number of deliveries was 400. In April 2016, Kuwait signed a contract for 28 Typhoons. On September 18, 2018, an order for 24 Typhoons was finalized for the Qatar Air Force. The contract is worth £5 billion. The first deliveries will take place in 2022 and production will continue until about 2025. Qatar is the ninth export customer for the aircraft. On September 30, 2019, BAE delivered the last of the 160 Typhoons ordered to the British Air Force. The RAF uses the aircraft for Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) tasks and in foreign operations. The RAF intends to use the aircraft until 2040.
Development of the original Eurofighter 2000 project was supported by the governments of Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain, but in 1985 France withdrew from the project due to a dispute over production distribution and operational requirements. The production of the Eurofighter aircraft is spread over different countries, which means that economic interests play a role between the countries. In addition, in 1985 France chose a ground attack aircraft that could operate from a carrier, while the Eurofighter was to become an air superiority aircraft that could compete with the MiG-29 and SU-27 (Sukhoi Su-27) introduced a few years earlier by the Russian Air Force. France subsequently developed the now operational Dassault Rafale, which, due to shrinking military budgets, has been further developed since the end of the Cold War to also be able to handle air battles.
The first flight of the first prototype of the Eurofighter took place on March 27, 1994 over Bavaria, Germany.
In May 2007