The 500th Eurofighter TYPHOON has been handed over today to the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare; AM) during a special ceremony held at Leonardo Aircraft’s Turin site. Lt. Gen. Gabriele Salvestroni, Logistic Commander of the AM, took delivery of the aircraft in the presence of Filippo Bagnato, Leonardo Aircraft Division’s Managing Director, Volker Paltzo, Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug, Peter Schmidt, Deputy General Manager of NETMA, and representatives from the Eurofighter partner nations and partner companies.
“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," Volker Paltzo, Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, said. "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.”
“We are very proud to deliver the 500th Eurofighter TYPHOON produced to the AM," Filippo Bagnato, Leonardo Aircraft Division Managing Director, continued. "The Eurofighter TYPHOON is the largest collaborative industrial programme 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 AM, 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 TYPHOON was delivered to the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) at the end of 2003, and the 100th in September 2006 in RAF. The 200th aircraft was handed over to the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) in November 2009. The 300th aircraft was delivered to the Spanish Air Force in October 2011, and the 400th to the Luftwaffe again in December 2013.
The aircraft has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, high reliability across the globe in all climates. It has been deployed on multiple occasions on Baltic Air Policing duties with the Spanish, German, Italian, and UK air forces and has been combat proven during operations in Libya, Iraq, and Syria.
For more information on the Eurofighter TYPHOON, i.e. news, armament, components, and industry overview, please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #5/2016, available to order here. For more news see here and here .