The German Air Force will not get its final 37 Eurofighters, aka Typhoons. The German Deputy Minister of Defence, Stéphane Beemelmans, has informed the parliamentary committee on defence issues about the cancellation of the last planned purchase, news agency Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The German Defence ministry has been having issues with the increase price for the EF2000, as the 5th generation fighter is also known. Already at the end of 2013 almost all of the 14.7 billion euro the German parliament okayed on the Eurofighter budget was used. The Luftwaffe was hoping to get 140 aircraft of the type, but will now have to soldier on with only 108 Eurofighters. Originally the Germans wanted to purchase 180 EF2000s for a total costs of 16.8 billion, but those plans seem now a total utopia.
Worldwide a bit more than 400 of the European joint produced Eurofighter have been delivered, but the consortium building them is reported to have loads of problems with the quality of the aircraft. According to a German internal report many of the fighters stand aground, sometimes for years.
On the bright side, the UK and Saudi Arabia are close to set the final price on the 72 Eurofighter Typhoons that were ordered for the Royal Saudi Air Force in 2007. The Eurofighter / EF2000 / Typhoon is a joint product of the military aviation industries of Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain.
Sikorsky has been awarded a $105,300,000 modification program to heavily modify 8 UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters for the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), the US Department of Defence announced on 23 December 2013. The modification order is being run through the US Army and is part of a huge build-up of Saudi air assets.
The SANG Black Hawks will get upgraded avionics and systems, plus outer wings for external payloads such as fuel pods to enlarge the effective range of the helicopters. The last of eight machines is planned to be ready at the latest in March 2016.
If US Congress allows it Saudi Arabia will get more than 200 new helicopters over the next few years for the Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF), the Saudi Arabian National Guard and the Saudi Royal Guard. They include 72 UH-60Ms tactical transport and 12 MD 530F light attack choppers.
Moreover, Riyaad wants 82 AH-64E Apache Guardians which are by far the most advanced Western made attack helicopters. Of these Apaches, 36 are destined for the SANG, 10 for the Royal Guard which is the protector of the Royal Family and the spearhead in counter-terrorism operations.
Saudi Arabia will be the launch export customer for the Boeing AH-6i with 36 of these special forces newest Little Birds requested for the RSLF.
Meanwhile negotiations continue on the economic ramifications of the 72 Eurofighter Typhoon multirole fighters the Royal Saudi Air Force is planned to operate.
Just because we feel like it, and just because we can; it’s Tornado Time. Want loud? Want fast? Want beastly? Want a true Cold War working machine? The Panavia Tornado had and continues to have it all. Its numbers crowded European skies in the eighties and nineties, but those numbers now start to decrease slowly but steady. We take the time to look at its noisy and low-flying career.
The Tornado first flew on 14 August 1974 from Manching airfield in Germany. A total of 992 aircraft were eventually built and a good number of those will continue to fly for years to come. But the highlight of its career is behind it.