British aviation 2002-2012: government cuts begin to bite

The penultimate part of our series looking at the British aviation industry during Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign places a spotlight on activities between 2002 and 2012, when government cuts begin to bite

By 2006, Eurofighter Typhoons were entering service with the RAF and assembly at BAE Warton was in full flow. With the capabilities of the aircraft now more apparent — not least after its 2011 combat debut in coalition operations over Libya — the type was selected by several countries outside the original partnership, these including Austria, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The latter deal was the subject of a fraud investigation until the British government closed it down. Even so, it shone a light on the increasingly bitter nature of international aircraft sales, with ever fewer programmes, and greater demand for export customers to help defray their enormous costs.

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