The Eurofighter project was conceived in the 1970’s, as the need for a new type of fighter was clearly evident to the British, German, French, Italian and Spanish governments. However, it was not until 1983 that a need for the European Fighter Aircraft was outlined by these nations. Borne out of the cold war era, the idea was to provide European nations with a highly capable multi-role air combat fighter which had a reasonable amount of ground strike power. In 1986 the Eurofighter project was itself born, with Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain the participating nations, and each nation sharing the workload of production between them based on future orders. In 1996 and 1997, all involved parties announced funding for the construction phase of the project. Britain is set to receive 232 fighters in total, Germany 140, Italy 121 and Spain 87. Deliveries to the RAF started in 2003 and formal activation of the Typhoon Squadron at RAF Coningsby occurred on the 1st Jul 2005. The option exists to export the Eurofighter to third parties, which were not involved in its design or construction. This has already been done with Austria and Saudia Arabia, both of whom have placed orders and received initial shipments.
What makes the Eurofighter attractive to these third parties is at least in part down to the sophisticated levels of equipment it possesses. Even something as basic as the pilot’s helmet is crammed with state of the art technology which allows the user to dominate the battlefield with speed and efficiency. The helmet mounted sight projects flight path and targeting data onto a semi-reflective transparent visor on the helmet. On top of this, there is the capability for night vision output to be projected onto the visor, as well as optical motion tracking for missiles – i.e. the pilot directs the missile with his eyes. Each aircraft is programmed to recognise the voice of its pilot and will respond to around 200 words of command, which saves time in the air...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document