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Monday, 13 December, 1999, 17:08 GMT
MoD reveals Eurofighter bases

Eurofighter The Eurofighter will replace the UK's Tornados and Jaguars

The Ministry of Defence has announced the three RAF bases from which the new Eurofighter Typhoon jet aircraft will operate.

RAF Leuchars in Tayside, Scotland, RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, and RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, have been selected as bases for the aircraft.

Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon: An "incredible" aircraft
Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon described the Eurofighter as an "incredible" aircraft which would become the RAF's frontline fighter for the new millennium, following the signing of production contracts last September.

"I am delighted to announce that Coningsby, Leeming and Leuchars, with their proud history of RAF service dating back to the beginning of the Second World War, have been chosen as Eurofighter's operational bases," he said.

"I am sure this announcement will be welcomed by all the people associated with these bases, be they in the RAF or a part of the local community."

Rolling programme

The aircraft will officially come into service with the RAF's Operational Evaluation Unit at Warton in Lancashire, where the Typhoon is built, in the summer of 2002.

It will then enter service with frontline units in a rolling programme.

eurofighter Four countries will operate the aircraft
The Eurofighter Typhoon was designed and built in a joint project between the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The first aircraft will be delivered to the RAF's Operational Evaluation Unit at BAe Systems, Warton, Lancashire, in mid-2002.

The first operational squadrons will form at Coningsby in Lincolnshire from 2004, with subsequent squadrons forming at Leeming in Yorkshire from 2006 and Leuchars from 2008.

Eurofighter is a single-seat, twin engine, multi-role aircraft which will be used in a variety of roles by the British, German, Italian and Spanish air forces.

Partner nations

The UK intends to buy 232 aircraft to replace its entire Tornado F3 and Jaguar forces, at an estimated total cost of 16.1bn.

UK aircraft will be assembled at BAe Systems sites in Lancashire from components manufactured by companies in the four partner nations.

Rolls-Royce will manufacture the engines, mainly at Bristol and Derby.

In all, over 6,000 jobs currently depend on Eurofighter development in the UK, a figure which is expected to rise to 14,000 at the peak of production
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See also:
27 Oct 99 |  The Company File
BAe plans Italian link
02 Jan 99 |  Europe
Billion dollar decision on Eurofighter missiles

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