Hallbergmoos, Germany: The first Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoon made its inaugural flight at the EADS Military Air Systems' site in Manching, Germany. EADS test pilot, Chris Worning, piloted the Tranche 2 fighter, which carries the serial number Instrumented Production Aircraft Seven (IPA7).
The aircraft, a German single seat variant, represents the full Tranche 2 build standard and its first important task would be to accomplish Type Acceptance for Block 8, the first capability standard of Tranche 2, in April 2008.
It will carry out this task together with the BAE Systems-operated IPA6, which operates out of Warton. IPA6 is essentially a Tranche 1 standard aircraft but is equipped with the full Tranche 2 mission computer suite and avionics features.
The first series of EJ200 engine flight-testing for Tranche 2 was successfully concluded at the end of November with IPA2 in Italy.
Tranche 2 capabilities focus mainly on new mission computers, which deliver higher processing and memory capacity required for the integration of future weapons such as Meteor, Storm Shadow and Taurus. Differences in the build standard to Tranche 1 are related mainly to changes in production technology or obsolescence.
The Tranche 2 production contract, signed on 14 December 2004, and the original export contract with Austria, lays down the delivery of 251 Tranche 2 aircraft to various customers. According to the contract, 93 Typhoons will be delivered to the United Kingdom, 75 to Germany, 48 to Italy and 35 to Spain.
The difference to the original figure of 236 is based on the delivery of 15 Tranche 1 aircraft to Austria, for which the nations receive aircraft originally ordered by Austria in Tranche 2.
Deliveries of Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoons to all four 'partner nations' will begin in Summer 2008 and are scheduled to run until 2013.
A total of thirty-two aircraft are already in final assembly at the partner companies Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland.
Eurofighter Typhoon is the world's most advanced new generation swing-role combat aircraft available on the market and has been ordered by six nations (Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).
With 707 aircraft under contract, it is Europe's largest military collaborative programme and delivers leading-edge technology, strengthening Europe's aerospace industry in the global competition.
The programme secures more than 100,000 jobs spread through 400 companies.
Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of its shareholders Alenia Finmeccanica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland, which are Europe's foremost aerospace companies, with a total turnover of Euro 60.7 billion (2006).