Eurofighter exits contest for Danish, Norwegian orders

The four-nation industry consortium responsible for producing the Eurofighter Typhoon has agreed to withdraw from the contest for the supply of fighters to Denmark and Norway. Their decision now leaves these countries free to choose between Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Swedish company Saab's Gripen.

Confirming the Typhoon's withdrawal from both competitions in late December, EADS Military Air Systems said: "The Eurofighter consortium has made the decision to suspend its talks with Norway and Denmark about the fighter replacement programmes in both countries."

EADS attributed the decision to "recent adjustments in the timing and structure of the assessment process" in both nations. This, some observers suggest, skews the competition in favour of the JSF.

However, Saab-led Gripen International is continuing its campaign to promote the Gripen NG (Next Generation) to both Nordic states.

Both Norway and Denmark are seeking to replace their old Lockheed F-16 fighter versions.

The Eurofighter consortium has been buoyed by export orders for 87 Typhoons to Austria and Saudi Arabia. The consortium will now focus their efforts on pending contests in countries including Greece, India, Japan and Turkey.