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Berlin Security Conference: Spain considers Eurofighter, F-35 for Hornet, Harrier replacement

Spain has a need to replace its Hornet (pictured) and Harrier aircraft, for which both the Eurofighter and F-35 are being considered. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Spain has requested information on both the Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as potential replacements for its current Boeing EF-18 Hornet and McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II aircraft.

The Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed to Janes ahead of the Berlin Security Conference that it has issued requests for information (RFIs) for both the enhanced Long Term Evolution (LTE) version of the Eurofighter, as well as both the F-35A and short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B to meet these needs.

“[The] Spanish MoD is studying possible candidates for Hornet and Harrier replacement, and has sent a request for information about F-35A and F-35B to the US government,” the ministry told Janes on 22 November, adding, “[The] MoD is working on the definition of a new version of Eurofighter called Long Term Evolution”.

Confirmation of the requests comes some weeks after Janes first reported a Lockheed Martin official as saying at the IQPC International Fighter Conference in London that RFIs for both the F-35A and F-35B had been received and responded to (at the time, the official's remarks were reported under the Chatham House Rule, but as Lockheed Martin has since said the same to other media outlets on the record, this rule no longer applies). Eurofighter was more circumspect, responding to Janes shortly after with a statement noting, “Our customer conversations in Spain are focused purely on the Halcon programme along with the continued servicing and support of the Typhoon fleet.”

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