Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 15:39 UK

Eurofighters arrive at RAF base

MP Quentin Davies and BAE pilot Nat Makepeace
MP Quentin Davies was at the base to see the new planes arrive

The first batch of 91 new Typhoon Eurofighters has been delivered to RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

The two 67m planes flew from the BAE factory in Lancashire to the RAF base.

Defence Minister Quentin Davies, who saw them arrive, said the aircraft were "the cornerstone of the UK's air defence capabilities".

In 2010, the combat aircraft will start arriving at RAF Leuchars in Scotland, and by 2013 all 91 Typhoons will be based there.

The planes were ordered four years ago and delivered on time and to cost, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said.

System checks

"Typhoon directly employs some 16,000 aerospace and engineering staff in some of the UK's leading companies," Mr Davies said.

He explained that the production of the Typhoon will maintain 16,000 direct jobs within the UK's defence industry, through its principal contractors, BAE Systems at Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire, and Rolls Royce in Bristol.

The RAF expects to take delivery of six to 20 Typhoon aircraft every year for the next seven years.

The aircraft will undergo final system checks and modifications at RAF Coningsby before they are released for flight trials.

Scots airbase 'safe until 2050'
02 Aug 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
First RAF Eurofighters completed
30 Oct 07 |  Lancashire

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