The German government is to replace its entire fleet of Tranche 1 Eurofighter combat aircraft under a new project revealed by Airbus Defence and Space (DS) on 5 November.
Speaking at the company's Manching facility near Munich, Kurt Rossner, Head of Air Combat, said that Airbus DS is close to signing a contract with Berlin to replace the Luftwaffe's 38 Tranche 1 Eurofighters under a programme to be called Project Quadriga. These early aircraft would then be sold to the international market before being replaced in Luftwaffe service by new-build Tranche 3 platforms that will include the E-Scan Mk 1 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and updated software.
"I would say that we are within weeks of signing the Quadriga contract with the German government - we are now in the final stages," Rossner said, adding that the sale of these early-variant aircraft will deliver the necessary capacity for the Luftwaffe as it looks to replace them with the latest-standard models. The 38 aircraft comprise seven twin-seaters and 26 single-seaters, with options for a further five single-seaters. No customer has yet been secured for these Tranche 1 aircraft to be sold-off.
While the Quadriga-standard Eurofighter is geared at the Luftwaffe, Rossner said that Switzerland would be a good match also as it looks to replace its ageing Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II and Boeing F/A-18 Hornet fleets. Airbus has proposed up to 40 Eurofighters for Switzerland, with type selection by the Federal Council due at the end of 2020 / early 2021.
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