Procurement: January 19, 2003


For all practical purposes, the F-35 has won the fighter war and the Eurofighter Typhoon has lost. Only the US has aggressively moved to re-equip its own forces, while Europe (aside from Britain) is happy to buy a few new fighters and avoid using them in combat. The Eurofighter has been delayed again and again (closing the window of opportunity in which a truly capable Eurofighter could have grabbed markets while the F-35 was not yet available), while its cost escalates and the Eurofighter capabilities that were to rival the F-35 are still in faraway upgrades that remain on the drawing boards. South Korea bought F-15s, and that was the last competition in which Eurofighter did not face the F-35. Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, and Norway have all picked the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter over the more expensive and less capable Eurofighter Typhoon. Economic viability for Typhoon hangs by a thread, and the Germans (who are shrinking their defense budget) will eventually have to cancel one major program, and Typhoon seems the most likely to go. That could leave the other Eurofighter partners without enough internal orders to be worth producing the vaunted Tranche-3 upgrade which would, perhaps, approach the F-35's initial capabilities. As the Typhoon's domestic and export markets continue to shrink, its costs continue to climb. The result of all of this may well be to push Europe out of the fighter business by 2030, leaving only Russia to offer significant competition.--Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close