Leonardo delivered the 500th Eurofighter TYPHOON aircraft to the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare; AM) in a ceremony at Turin on 12 April. 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 the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA), and other representatives from the Eurofighter partner nations and companies.
“We are very proud to deliver the 500th Eurofighter TYPHOON produced to the AM. The Eurofighter is the largest collaborative industrial programme in Europe, it is a successful and significant contributor to the nation’s economic well-being, employing highly-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,” Bagnato told the audience.
During the ceremony there was also a symbolic delivery to a Kuwaiti representative of the very first component of the first Eurofighter for the Kuwait Air Force, which last year ordered 22 single seat aircraft and six two seaters.
Volker Paltzo recalled the previous celebrations for the 100th TYPHOON, delivered to the Royal Air Force in September 2006, for the 200th (to the German Air Force in November 2009), for the 300th (to the Spanish Air Force in October 2011), and for the 400th (again to the German Air Force in December 2013).
To mark the occasion the 500th TYPHOON appeared in a special colour scheme and, in parallel, Leonardo took the opportunity to show off part of its aircraft portfolio. A newly produced C-27J of the Royal Australian Air Force, the new M-345 High Efficiency Trainer technology demonstrator, the new M-346 Fighter Trainer and one of the new ATR-72 MP for the Italian Air Force were all shown to the assembled audience.