June 11th, 2014 defencetalk.com (AFP)
A Eurofighter jet crashed while attempting to land at an air base in southwestern Spain on Monday, killing its pilot, the defense ministry said.
“A Eurofighter crashed on landing at the start of the runway of the Moron base,” near Seville, a ministry spokeswoman told AFP.
The sole pilot of the plane, 30-year-old air force captain Fernando Lluna Carrascosa, was killed in the accident, which happened at around 2 pm (1200 GMT), the defense ministry said in a statement.
Carrascosa, who was married with a young daughter, had over 600 hours experience flying Eurofighter jets, the statement added.
The cause of the accident is still unknown, the ministry said.
The Moron air base, located about 35 miles (55 kilometres) southeast of Seville, is shared by Spain and the US Air Force, but only Spain operates the Eurofighter jet.
The Eurofighter, a multi-purpose twin-engine fighter jet introduced in 2003, is built by a consortium made up of British defense group BAE, European aerospace group Airbus and Italian defense contractor Finmeccanica.
It is designed as a highly agile multi-role aircraft, capable of ground attack as well as its primary air defense role.
The Eurofighter consortium, Europe’s largest defense program, is in fierce competition with other fighter-jet makers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Dassault Aviation.
Last month the head of Airbus’ defense division, Bernhard Gerwert, said the consortium would stop making the Eurofighter jet in 2018 if it did not win new export contracts for the fighter jet.
Talks were under way to sell Eurofighter jets outside of Europe, to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Malaysia, he said.