Warplanes: Eurofighter Comes Of Age

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January 27, 2008: There are 135 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters in service now, and these aircraft have been in the air for a combined 35,000 hours (as of the end of 2007.) Half those hours were flown in 2007, as the Eurofighter entered regular service in several nations. About 20 percent of those flight hours were for flight testing, but the rest were for day-to-day operations.

Development of the Eurofighter began two decades ago, and the first flight took place in 1994. Each aircraft costs about $122 million. Estimates indicate that about 400 will eventually be built. The Typhoon is a somewhat stealthy multi-role fighter. It is fast, maneuverable, and carries a lot of weapons. It also can be used for attack missions. This 23 ton aircraft will be the principal fighter in the air forces of Britain, Spain, Germany, and Italy. The Typhoon is closer in capability to the F-15, than the F-22, and is competing with the F-35 for many export sales. The Typhoon was recently purchased by Saudi Arabia, mainly to provide protection from Iran.

 


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