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Eurofighter Typhoon Aircraft Program May Be Terminated Early – Airbus CEO

A warning of the "early demise" of the fighter jet program has been voiced by the Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defense and Space, who also serves as the President of the German Aerospace Association, Michael Scholhorn.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — The Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet program involving four European countries, namely the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and Italy, is likely to be terminated early.

The primary reason for this is Germany’s reluctance to sell the fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.

Warnings of the “early death” of the fighter jet program have been voiced by Michael Scholhorn, the CEO of Airbus Defense and Space and also the President of the German Aerospace Association.

He stated that it is crucial to develop the latest variant of the fighter jet known as Tranche 5 to address any issues stemming from “production disruptions.”

He may be referring to the “production disruptions” caused by German government actions, which have steadfastly resisted selling the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, despite several attempts by Britain to persuade them to give the green light for the sale.

Typhoon
Eurofighter Typhoon

 

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak personally intervened in efforts to persuade German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to agree to the sale of the fighter jets, but his efforts also reached a deadlock.

Saudi Arabia intends to purchase 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets worth approximately £5 billion.

The proposal to sell 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Riyadh faced difficulties in 2018 when the German government suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia following the kidnapping and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

 The transaction to sell Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to Saudi Arabia faced obstacles when a British court banned the export of weapons to the Arab country in 2019 due to its military actions in Yemen.

However, following a ceasefire agreement in Yemen, Britain now wants to proceed with the sale of the 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.

Still, London’s efforts to sell the fighter jets are met with resistance from the German government.

London argues that Germany no longer has a reason to obstruct the sale of the Eurofighter fighter jets after the United Nations (UN) signed a ceasefire agreement between Saudi Arabia and Yemen last year.

Typhoon

Five years ago, Saudi Arabia and Britain signed a Memorandum of Intent regarding the country’s desire to purchase 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to expand its existing fleet.

However, up to this point, it remains uncertain whether Saudi Arabia’s intention to acquire the fighter jets will be realized.

 If the acquisition is successful, it would increase Saudi Arabia’s total number of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to 120, as Riyadh already possesses 48 of these advanced fighter jets.

The German government intends to proceed with the sale of the fighter jets, but some political parties in the country, such as the Green Party and parts of the SPD, which form the ruling coalition, oppose the proposal.

Sara Nanni, a spokesperson for the country’s defense policy and a member of the Green Party, stated, “The federal government (Germany) cannot agree to the sale of the Eurofighter Typhoon in any way.” — DSA

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