The Royal Air Force (RAF) has taken delivery of its final Eurofighter Typhoon, with the last aircraft being handed over during a ceremony on September 27.
This marks the end of production at the BAE Systems production facility in Warton, Lancashire, for Typhoons destined for the RAF, and it will now concentrate of aircraft for the Qatar Emiri Air Force.
BAE Systems began producing Typhoons for the UK in 2003 and it has completed the final assembly of 160 series production aircraft for the RAF in three Tranches. The aircraft in question (ZK437/BS153) is the last of 40 Tranche 3-standard aircraft for the RAF, and it was delivered to RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.
Andy Flynn, Typhoon Capability Director for BAE Systems (Air), said: "This event marks another major milestone in our partnership with the UK, which will continue to see us work together to invest in evolving Typhoon to become the complete battlefield controller. Typhoon was designed to continuously evolve and its untapped potential continues to be realised with new investments in radar, communications, data management, weapons and connectivity further strengthening its role in the frontline of securing the skies over the UK."
Air Cdre Paul Lloyd, Head of the Fast Air Support Team at the UK's Defence Equipment and Support, added: "Great pride should be taken for the continued dedication and hard work needed to reach this significant milestone for the Typhoon programme."
The RAF received 160 Typhoons, all of which are now FGR4/T3 standard, however there are marked differences between the three Tranches of aircraft. Indeed, the Tranche 1 two-seat T3s have been retired and the single-seaters from this batch being retained for air defence and aggressor duties.
The 67 Tranche 2 and 40 Tranche 3 aircraft delivered to the RAF have been upgraded to a full multi-role capability under Project Centurion, which enabled them to effectively replace the Tornado GR4s, which were retired in March. RAF Typhoon's are currently serving in the UK, the Falkland Islands and in support of Operation Shader in the Middle East.