The Spanish Air Force has received the first upgraded Tranche 1 Eurofighter single-seat combat jet from Airbus as part of a contract.
Airbus performed the upgrade at its facilities in Getafe. The enhancements included the introduction of hardware modifications, which support the Operational Flight Program 02 (OFP-02) developed by Spain’s Armament and Experimental Logistics Centre (CLAEX).
As part of the upgrade, the company integrated Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 equipment on the aircraft, including a computer symbol generator, digital video and voice recorder, laser designator pod and maintenance data panel.
Airbus is also delivering enhancements to a second two-seat Eurofighter aircraft.
CLAEX intends to initially use both aircraft as test platforms for the qualification of these new capabilities that are expected to be integrated into the airforce’s fleet of 15 Tranche 1 Eurofighters.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a project with four European nations, the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain as founding members. The partner companies in the fighter jet programme include BAE Systems, Leonardo-Aircraft Division and Airbus Defence & Space, which operate as part of a consortium.
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Alongside these four countries, the aircraft is in service with the airforces of Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Two more countries, Kuwait and Qatar, placed orders for 28 and 24 aircraft respectively.
Spain received the first aircraft in 2003. Eurofighter is an advanced swing-role combat aircraft that can provide simultaneously deployable air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities.
According to a report on janes.com, the upgrade is part of a greater modernisation plan for the Spanish Air Force’s combat fleet.
The report cited brigadier general Leon-Antonio Maches Michavila as saying at a conference in Berlin last year that the country intends to take Eurofighter Tranche 1 capability upgrades as far as the early 2030s, with an out-of-service date (OSD) scheduled for 2040.