The UK has confirmed that it will move ahead with the purchase of a third batch of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft for the Royal Air Force.

The Typhoon is an extremely agile multirole combat aircraft, capable of being deployed across many air operations, including air policing, peace support and high intensity conflict.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the UK was pleased to be moving forward this important programme with partner nations.

“This programme will strengthen Britain’s defence capability, and will create new jobs,” said Brown.

The MoD will now initial the ministerial agreement which partner nations Germany, Italy and Spain signed on 2 April 2009.

This agreement contains a statement of principles agreed with the Nato Eurofighter Tornado Management Agency (NETMA), which governs both procurement and support costs.

UK Defence Secretary John Hutton said that the department was now looking to receive an affordable bid form European industry to allow the programme to proceed.

“Subject to the satisfactory outcome of these negotiations, I hope that we will be in a position to sign a contract later this year,” Hutton said.

The contract for the third tranche of Typhoon aircraft will be signed once each partner nation’s approving authority has accepted the terms of agreement.