skip to main content

Airbus anticipates future Eurofighter buy from Spain

Having recently committed to further Eurofighters under its Project Halcon programme, Spain may take up a follow-on buy as the air force looks to fully replace its Hornets over the coming years. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Airbus is confident that Spain will order further Eurofighter (C.16 in national service) combat aircraft, in addition to the Project Halcon jets contracted earlier in 2022.

Speaking in Madrid in mid-December, Jean-Brice Dumont, head of Military Air Systems, said that, with the Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire Español: EdAE) having signed for Tranche 4 jets under Project Halcon in June, a follow-on buy of either Tranche 4 or Tranche 5 Eurofighters is expected.

As a consortium partner country, Spain currently fields 70 Tranche 1 to Tranche 3 Eurofighters, with a further 20 Tranche 4 aircraft to be received under Project Halcon. With the EdAE looking to replace all of its Boeing EF-18 Hornet (C.15) aircraft in the coming years, it has a requirement for as many as 60 new aircraft (assuming a 1:1 replacement) that could be fully or partially satisfied with Tranche 4 or Tranche 5 Eurofighters, depending on the procurement timeline.

Tranche 4 aircraft (previously referred to as Tranche 3B or Tranche 3+) are equipped with European Common Radar System (ECRS) E-Scan radar, ‘future-proof' hardware, and updated software, with Tranche 5 adding elements of the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) package.

The Spanish government formally launched the Hornet replacement programme for the EdAE and the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II (VA.2) replacement programme for the Spanish Navy (Armada) in October, with fiscal year (FY) 2023 funding being allocated to both projects.

This milestone came after the Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed to Janes

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...