Under the Tranche 3A contract signed in 2009, a total of 112 aircraft have been ordered for the four European partner nations, with 40 aircraft bound for the Royal Air Force. Deliveries of Tranche 3 aircraft are expected to start in 2013.
Building on the success of the Typhoons already proven in service, as demonstrated during Libyan Operations, Tranche 3 aircraft will be even more capable.
The Tranche 3 front fuselage, part of the British single seat aircraft number 116, includes over 350 modified parts designed, engineered and assembled ready to incorporate the most advanced capability enhancements.
Those enhancements include provision for conformal fuel tanks and a fuel dump system which will enable Typhoon to fly further and stay on mission longer. Also included are extra electrical power and cooling to cater for an E-Scan radar which will enhance performance, reliability and availability whilst delivering lower support costs for Typhoon customers. Extra computing power and high speed data network systems will give the aircraft capacity for even more capability in the future.
Mark Bowman, BAE Systems’ Chief Test Pilot said: “This represents the next significant milestone in the evolution of this remarkable combat aircraft. The new provisions including for example, conformal tanks and an ESCAN radar capability not only pave the way for more war-winning advantages such as range, detection and persistence, but ensure that the aircraft remains at the forefront of combat aviation for decades to come. I look forward enormously to putting this exciting piece of cutting-edge technology through its paces when it takes to the skies in the near future.”