The uncertain future of the Eurofighter program in Germany

eurofighter typhoon

The imminent end of the defense and aerospace industry’s Typhoon program is due to Germany’s decision against sanctioning the sale of the UK’s Eurofighter Typhoon fighters to Saudi Arabia. Michael Schölhorn, CEO of Airbus Defense and Space and current President of the German Aerospace Association (BDLI), underlined the danger surrounding the Eurofighter program.

The need for new production

Schölhorn reiterated the need to launch a new production series for the Eurofighter Typhoon by 2025, to avoid any interruption in production. Otherwise, the German military aviation industry could face a ten-year interruption.
German Eurofighter production: critical issues at stake

A tight schedule
According to current plans, German production of the Eurofighter is due to end in 2030, with delivery of the last Tranche 4 aircraft to the Luftwaffe. With the SCAF/FCAS fighter (developed with France and Spain) due to enter service in 2040, this means a ten-year pause.

Risks for the aeronautics industry
Airbus fears the consequences of this pause, including massive job cuts and a general decline in aviation in Germany. The need for a decision on Eurofighter is therefore paramount.

eurofighter typhoon

Saudi Arabia: a major but reluctant customer

Airbus’ expectations
Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defense and Space, predicts that Germany will order around 40 Eurofighters for the Tranche 5 phase, while Spain should buy 25 more. He stressed the need for exports to guarantee an economically viable production level.
Embargo and political position

Germany’s embargo on Typhoon exports to Saudi Arabia will remain, reflecting the influence of the Green Party, currently the largest political faction in Germany.

New export horizons for Eurofighter

Other potential markets
In the absence of Saudi Arabia as a customer, Schölhorn sees potential for Eurofighter Typhoon exports to other countries such as Turkey, various NATO nations, Austria and Qatar.

The end of the Eurofighter program in Germany could mark a major turning point for the country’s military aircraft industry. Although new markets are being explored, the future of the program remains uncertain, underlining the importance of political and economic decisions in the defense sector.
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