The Eurofighter Typhoon is in service with six nations: United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Austria. It has been ordered by Kuwait and Oman, with orders for all eight customers still pending as of August 2016. The aircraft has, as of 2016, been provided in a basic air-defense form and has been upgraded to newer production standards which include internal IRST, air-to-ground precision strike capability (with Royal Air Force Typhoons participating in air strikes destroying tanks in Libya in 2011 as their combat debut), and HMSS (helmet-mounted symbology system) helmets. Most of the major systems including the CAPTOR radar and the Defence Aids Sub-System (DASS) are expected to be improved and updated over time, with the radar being updated to an AESA, being the CAPTOR-E/CAESAR, of which the Kuwait Air Force will be the inaugural operator of, with first deliveries of their 28 new-built aircraft to commence in 2019.
- Development aircraft
- DA1 Germany
- DA2 United Kingdom
- DA3 Italy
- DA4 United Kingdom
- DA5 Germany
- DA6 Spain
- DA7 Italy
- Instrumented production aircraft
- IPA1 United Kingdom
- IPA2 Italy
- IPA3 Germany
- IPA4 Spain
- IPA5 United Kingdom
- IPA6 United Kingdom
- IPA7 Germany
- Series production aircraft
- Tranche 1
- Tranche 2
- Tranche 3A
- Italian Air Force aircraft
- Spanish Air Force aircraft
- Luftwaffe aircraft
- Royal Air Force aircraft
- Navalised Eurofighter
Seven development aircraft (DA) were built with varying equipment fits and flight test roles.
DA1 GermanyDA1's main role was handling characteristics and engine performance. DA1 was assembled in 1992 and first flew on 27 March 1994 with Luftwaffe serial 98+29. The military evaluation phase commenced in 1996. In 1997 after 123 flights, DA1's RB199 engines were replaced by EJ200s, it also was refitted with the Martin-Baker Mk.16A ejector seat and a full avionics fit. Following these modifications it rejoined the flight test programme in 1999. Following the loss of DA6, DA1 was transferred to Spain to undertake the remaining development work including IRIS-T trials. The aircraft was retired on 21 December 2005, eleven years, eight months, and 24 days after its first flight. It is on display at the Flugwerft Schleißheim (external site of the Deutsches Museum) near Munich, Germany.
DA2 United KingdomDA2 undertook envelope expansion, flight control assessment and load trials. The aircraft first flew on 6 April 1994 as ZH588. The flight control assessment included development of the Eurofighter's "carefree handling". On 23 December 1997 DA2 became the first Eurofighter to achieve Mach 2 and in January 1998 undertook refuelling trials with a RAF VC10. Like DA1, DA2 was upgraded in 1998 with new engines, ejector seat and avionics and rejoined the test programme in August. In 2000 the aircraft was covered with 490 pressure transducers; due to the fact that they were covered by black pads and had associated wiring the aircraft was painted in a gloss black scheme. The pressure transducers measured the effects of various weapons loads and external fuel tanks. In 2002 the aircraft undertook ASRAAM trials, completed carefree handling trials and commenced DASS decoy trials. Now retired and on display in the Milestones of Flight Gallery at the RAF Museum at Hendon.
DA3 ItalyWeapons systems development.
DA4 United KingdomRadar and avionics development, now on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.
DA5 GermanyRadar and avionics development, being upgraded to Tranche 2 standard.
DA6 SpainAirframe development and handling. DA6 was lost in a crash in Spain in November 2002 after both engines failed. EADS Germany's DA1 was transferred to EADS-CASA.
DA7 ItalyNavigation, avionics and missile carriage. Now retired in Cameri IAF.
Instrumented production aircraft
The instrumented production aircraft (IPA) are five production standard aircraft fitted with telemetry instruments for dedicated flight testing and further systems development.
IPA1 United KingdomDefensive Aids Sub System (DASS)
IPA2 ItalyAir-to-surface weapons integration
IPA3 GermanyAir-to-air weapons integration
IPA4 SpainAir-to-surface weapons integration and environmental development
IPA5 United KingdomAir-to-surface and air-to-air weapons integration
IPA6 United KingdomConverted Series Production Aircraft (BS031) – Tranche 2 Computer Systems.
IPA7 GermanyConverted Series Production Aircraft (GS029) – Full Tranche 2 Standard.
Series production aircraft
These are the operational and training aircraft. The Eurofighter is known as Typhoon in the United Kingdom and export markets and as EF-2000 in Germany, Italy and Spain. However all Italian aircraft carry the "Typhoon" logo on their tails.
Tranche 1Initial Operational Capability, Basic Air Defence Capability
Italian Air Force aircraft
As of July 2006 the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana) had one EF-2000 wing, 4º Stormo (41st Wing), which received its first aircraft on 19 February 2004. The 36º Stormo received its first Typhoon on 1 October 2007.
Spanish Air Force aircraft
As of December 2006 the Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire) has one squadron of aircraft. The first aircraft was delivered to Wing 11 in October 2003 at Moron airbase, Spain. In Spanish service, the aircraft is designated the C.16 Typhoon.
As of October 2006 Germany had two active EF-2000 fighter wings, Jagdgeschwader 73 and Jagdgeschwader 74. JG 73 began converting to the Eurofighter in April 2004. JG 74 received its first aircraft on 25 June 2006.
Royal Air Force aircraft
The Typhoon replaced the RAF's Tornado F3 (fighter) and Jaguar (ground attack) forces. They will equip five front-line squadrons, one front-line flight and one reserve squadrons, the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU).
Owing to the withdrawal of France from the Eurofighter 2000 project, in part due to France's desire to have a greater role in the development and marketing of the aircraft, the pursuit of a Naval Typhoon has never seriously been considered. However, a navalised variant of the aircraft was first proposed in the late 1990s as a potential solution to the UK Royal Navy's need for a Future Carrier-Borne Aircraft (FCBA) for its new (Queen Elizabeth-class) aircraft carriers, In January 2001, the UK Ministry of Defence formally discounted the option of a Navalised Eurofighter for its new aircraft carriers, in favour of the STOVL ('B') variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which (at that time) promised to be a capable, low cost and more stealthy aircraft that would enter into service circa 2012 – a date that tied in well with the in-service date for the new UK aircraft Carriers as it stood at that time. It was rejected by the United Kingdom on "cost effectiveness grounds".
As of 2011, the navalised Eurofighter remained only a proposal but there has been some interest expressed by other nations, such as India, in adapting Eurofighter for aircraft carrier operations.
The proposed variant design would enable the Eurofighter to operate from carriers on a Short Take-Off but Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) basis, using a 'ski jump' ramp for aircraft launch and arresting gear for conventional landing.
In February 2011, BAE debuted a navalised Typhoon in response to the Indian tender. The model offered is STOBAR capable, corresponding to the Indian Navy's future Vikrant-class aircraft carrier. The changes needed to enable the Typhoon to launch by ski-jump and recover by arrestor hook added about 500 kg to the airframe, however this is now thought to be substantially more given the Typhoons's "unfriendly" design in terms of adapting the airframe to suit sustained naval operations. If the Indian Navy pursues a catapult launch carrier, the Typhoon is completely uncompetitive against tender rivals (e.g. Rafale and Super Hornet) since meeting "... catapult requirements would add too much weight to the aircraft, blunt performance and add substantially to modification costs".