Mar. 4, 2014 by Craig Hoyle - FG
London - Italy’s first Tranche 3 production example of the Eurofighter Typhoon has been rolled out from Alenia Aermacchi’s Turin-Caselle final assembly line, ahead of being handed over within the next few months.
“The Italian single-seat aircraft number 64 is now ready for engine tests, and will be delivered within the first half of this year,” the Eurofighter consortium says.
Italy’s air force is to receive 21 aircraft under the four-nation programme’s Tranche 3A production phase, with a further combined 91 to be accepted by Germany, Spain and the UK.
The Italian air force has a current active fleet of 71 Eurofighters, and is also yet to receive its last three examples in the Tranche 2 configuration, according to Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database.
The emergence of the second aircraft in the new standard – which follows a lead Royal Air Force example flown for the first time by a BAE Systems test pilot last December – comes days after Germany’s defence ministry confirmed it will not proceed with the Eurofighter programme’s previously expected Tranche 3B activity. This was to have delivered the last 124 aircraft from an originally-planned umbrella contract for 620 of the type signed by the partner nations. Italy, Spain and the UK also plan to halt their acquisition of the Typhoon on the completion of their 3A order.