Procurement: March 11, 2001


: The Eurofighter consortium jealously guards the greatest secret of their Typhoon fighter: the price. Nobody knows for sure what it costs, and those who have ordered the planes won't admit what they paid for them. The Greeks (who just ordered 60) hinted that they paid $85 million each for the planes, and the Greek version of Eurofighter lacks some of the more expensive electronics of the British and German versions. The US is outraged, saying that the Joint Strike Fighter will cost half as much and will be more effective. The only problem is that the JSF won't be ready until 2006, four years after Typhoon. The Europeans have ordered 620 Typhoons, and by any measure (other than retaining the domestic ability to build modern combat jets) they would have been better off buying JSFs.--Stephen V Cole


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