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BAE touts long-term relevance of Eurofighter to UK

Currently scheduled to be retired in 2040, the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 could serve the UK as a force multiplier to its higher-end F-35 and Tempest aircraft well beyond that date, BAE Systems says. (Crown Copyright)

BAE Systems has touted the continued relevance of the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 to the UK, saying the ‘fourth-generation' combat aircraft can provide much-needed mass and resilience beyond its projected out-of-service date (OSD).

Speaking at the site of the BAE Systems' Warton production facility in northern England on 14 May, Mike Baulkwill, Combat Air Strategy director at the company, said that, with the international Eurofighter operator base set to fly improved and upgraded variants of the type out into the 2060s, the Royal Air Force (RAF) could retain its own aircraft beyond its current 2040 OSD.

“The Typhoon will be relatively enduring, as sometimes you will not want to use your higher-end aircraft [such as the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning and/or Tempest] – the Typhoon and the Typhoon Evolution [along with Eurofighter Evolution, the name being given to the Long-Term Evolution [LTE] mid-life refresh standard aircraft now being developed] is in a good place for that,” Baulkwill said.

The RAF currently fields 30 Tranche 1, 67 Tranche 2, and 40 Tranche 3 Typhoons. The Tranche 1s are in the process of being retired and are all set to go by the end of 2025 (with four to be retained until 2027, likely for Falkland Islands air defence), leaving just 107 Typhoons in service until they too are currently scheduled to be retired in 2040.

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