Final (for now) Eurofighter Typhoon Delivered to the German Air Force

Two Eurofighters of TaktLwG 74 (Tactical Air Force Squadron 74) from Neuburg Air Base during a QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) training mission. (Photo: Luftwaffe)

The Luftwaffe received 143 Eurofighters but 38 more could be arriving in future.

The German Air Force received its final Eurofighter Typhoon on Dec. 17, 2019 becoming the second partner nation in the consortium, after the UK, to complete the delivery of all aircraft on order. Germany ordered a total of 143 Eurofighters split in three tranches (1, 2, 3A) that were delivered beginning from 2003. The final Tranche 3A Eurofighter, sporting the Luftwaffe markings 31+53, took off from Airbus’ facility in Manching, which will now switch to the production of parts required by the assembly lines of the other partner nations.

Initially, the third tranche was divided in two parts, 3A and 3B, but the orders for Tranche 3B were never confirmed because of budget restraints of the four partner nations (Germany, UK, Italy and Spain). However, Germany now could be ordering soon its Tranche 3B aircraft, even if in a different way. The German government is, in fact, looking to replace its entire fleet of 32 Tranche 1 Eurofighters with 38 newly built Tranche 3A standard aircraft.

A German Eurofighter during tests with the GBU-48 dual mode laser/GPS guided bomb. (Photo: Luftwaffe)

The program, called Project Quadriga, is aiming to sell the older Tranche 1 Eurofighters on the international market before replacing them with the new jets, that will feature also the new Captor E-Scan Mk1 AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar. No customer has been found for the older Eurofighters yet, while the contract for the new ones is expected to be signed in early 2020. Even more Eurofighters could be ordered if the Luftwaffe selects the Typhoon in the ECR configuration for the new Electronic Attack requirement and the Quadriga configuration as Tornado replacement.

As mentioned above, the new aircraft will receive the new Captor E-Scan Mk1 AESA radar that, until now, has not been ordered by any of the four nations in the consortium but that will equip the Eurofighters sold to Kuwait and Qatar. Spain is also looking for a joint contract along with Germany to buy a batch of Captor E radars. Germany is reportedly looking to retrofit the entire fleet of Tranche 2 and 3A Eurofighters with the new radars.

According to Kurt Rossner, Airbus Defence & Space’s Head of Combat Aircraft Systems, the deliveries of the new Eurofighters could begin some 40-46 months after the contract signature, while the deliveries of the new radars could begin in 2022.

About Stefano D'Urso
Stefano D'Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he's also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.