The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has received the final advanced Typhoon combat aircraft from BAE Systems during a ceremony at the company’s final assembly facility at Warton, Lancashire.

The delivery marks a key programme milestone as BAE Systems completes the handover of 160 Typhoon aircraft ordered by the RAF.

BAE Systems noted that the continuing investment in Typhoon will ensure the aircraft will continue to serve as the ‘backbone of the UK’s combat air power’.

BAE Systems Air Typhoon capability director Andy Flynn 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.”

The delivery milestone comes at a time when the company is preparing to start the assembly of Typhoon aircraft for the Qatari Emiri Air Force under a contract to provide 24 Typhoons and nine Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers.

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By GlobalData

The company expects to deliver the first jet in 2022.

Flynn added: “With production for Qatar ramping up and Typhoon attracting interest in a number of international campaigns, it is entering the next stage of a technological journey, which future-proofs it for decades to come.

“Over this time, it will be the platform which will develop and deploy technologies which will become central on a future combat air system, making it the ideal interoperable partner to fly alongside a future combat air system.”

The RAF uses the Typhoon for Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties and for overseas operations.

The UK intends to keep the aircraft in service until 2040. The country is working on building a future combat aircraft to improve its air combat capabilities.