Following the recent handover of the 500th Eurofighter at Leonardo’s Turin Caselle facility it emerged that production of the aircraft at the Italian facility is set to be slowed down.
The Italian Air Force has 96 Typhoons on order, all of which are being built in Turin. To date, 85 aircraft, comprising 74 single-seaters and 11 dual-seaters, have been delivered to Italy.
However, with the Kuwait Air Force order of 28 aircraft not set to roll off the production line until 2019, a Leonardo spokesman confirmed at the April 11 event that “production will be slowed down next year to bridge the gap between the Italian aircraft and the 28 new-build Kuwait Air Force jets.”
With just 11 aircraft to be delivered before 2019, it suggests that deliveries will be cut to about three aircraft a year.
Finmeccanica (now Leonardo) announced a deal with the Kuwait Air Force on April 5 last year. It is believed to be worth nearly $9bn and covers 28 Eurofighters: 22 single-seaters and six dual-seaters, which are expected to be delivered between 2019-23.
On the Kuwait Air force deal, the Leonardo spokesperson said: “As well as the aircraft, the contract includes three years of support, from delivery of the first aircraft, training for operations with the Italian Air Force, and the building of infrastructure at Ali Al Salem Air Base where they will be housed. A complete training package will be created for the Academy training centre.”
He added that eight Kuwait Air Force instructor pilots will join 4° Stormo’s 20° Gruppo – the Italian Air Force operational conversion unit – to convert to the new jet.
The April 11 event saw a delegation headed by the Kuwait Ambassador to Italy, His Excellency Sheikh Ali Al Khaled Al Jaber Al Sabah, presented with the first component to be built for the initial Kuwait Air Force Eurofighter. Alan Warnes