Fourteen years after the delivery of the very first Eurofighter Typhoon, the 500th aircraft was delivered on Tuesday 11 April. At Leonardo’s Turin facility, the Italian Air Force took delivery of the Typhoon in question.
The ceremony was witnessed by several authorities, with officials from Kuwait also among those present. Kuwait in 2016 ordered 28 Typhoons in a bilateral contract with Italy. The ceremony in Turin saw the presentation of very first part for the very first jet for Kuwait. The country will soon join the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria and Saudi Arabia as a Typhoon operator.
In Turin, Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH Volker Paltzo said: “The 500 strong Eurofighter Typhoon fleet represents one of the largest and most capable fighter fleets in the western hemisphere, and will be the backbone of European airpower for decades to come. Today’s handover is a great testament to the programme’s success, and I firmly expect to see the fleet grow further as our partner companies continue to pursue opportunities for more orders internationally.”
Filippo Bagnato, Leonardo Aircraft Division Managing Director, said: “We are very proud to deliver the 500th Eurofighter Typhoon produced to the Italian Air Force. The Eurofighter Typhoon is the largest collaborative industrial program in Europe, it is a successful and significant contributor to the nation’s economic wellbeing, employing high-skilled workers and generating thousands of high-value manufacturing and engineering jobs. We are now fully committed to completing deliveries to the Italian Air Force, to develop the capabilities of the aircraft, and to the activities envisaged by Kuwait’s contract, while continuing to pursue a number of significant market opportunities around the world.”
The first Eurofighter was delivered to the UK at the end of 2003. The 100th Eurofighter was delivered to the UK Royal Air Force in September 2006. The 200th aircraft was handed over to the German Air Force in November 2009. The 300th aircraft was delivered to the Spanish Air Force in October 2011, and the 400th to the German Air Force in December 2013.
The Typhoon has since been deployed on multiple occasions on air policing duties with the Spanish, German, Italian and UK air forces and has seen combat during operations in Libya, Iraq and Syria.