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UK’s Move to Retire 30 Eurofighter Typhoon Fighter Jets Raises Concerns About “Capability Gap”

The "loss" of 30 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets has raised concerns among several quarters regarding the United Kingdom's capability in the event of a conflict.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) – The United Kingdom is set to “lose” 30 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets after the government confirmed it will terminate the services of these fighter aircraft by 2025.

The “loss” of 30 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets has raised concerns among several quarters regarding the air force’s capability in the event of a conflict.

The designated aircraft for decommissioning belong to the Tranche 1 variant, with its components and equipment will be used as spare parts for the still-operational Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

Under the “Reduce to Produce” program, the Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 fighter jets will undergo a process where useful components and equipment will be stripped and repurposed as inventory for the ongoing Eurofighter Typhoon fleet.

According to the Minister of State in the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence James Catlidge,  “Currently, there are 30 Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 fighter jets in military service, with 26 of these set to conclude their service by the end of March 2025.”

Typhoon

Four additional Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 aircrafts will be retained until 2027 before being decommissioned.

 With the retirement of these 30 fighter jets in 2025, the United Kingdom’s inventory will be reduced to a total of 107 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, comprising 67 Tranche 2 variants and 40 Tranche 3 variants.

The decision to retire the Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 fighter 1 has raised concerns among various stakeholders, with Member of Parliament Mark Francois expressing apprehension about the Ministry of Defence’s move.

 Francois stated that retiring 30 Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 fighter aircrafts would create a “critical capability gap” for the air force, particularly in times of conflict.

“There’s a scenario where you will have a critical capability gap. It’s called war. Given that we have very few fighter jets, it doesn’t make sense to retire 30 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets. We should be putting those 30 jets into a war reserve,” he remarked.

Typhoon
Eurofighter Typhoon

 

BAE, the company responsible for developing the Eurofighter Typhoon, has proposed upgrading the Tranche 1 aircraft to either Tranche 2 or Tranche 3 levels.

However, the Ministry of Defence has not entertained BAE’s proposal.

“Technically, the Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 aircraft can be upgraded to Tranche 2 or Tranche 3. BAE has provided the Ministry of Defence with data regarding the scope of structural and avionic modification work required,” explained sources familiar with the matter. — DSA

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