Britain could earn well over £1bn from Greece’s surprise announcement last Friday that it will negotiate to buy 60 80 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft in what would be the project’s first export success.
The UK’s exact share would depend on the division of the £2.4 2.8bn order. British Aerospace, as a member of the Eurofighter consortium, stands to earn up to £640m by supplying parts, while Marconi Electronic Systems, due to merge with BAe, might earn up to £400m from parts.
Rolls-Royce would earn a large sum as part of the consortium supplying the engines.
It is not yet clear whether the Eurofighter stakes held by BAe (38%), Germany’s DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (30%), Italy’s Alenia (19%) and Spain’s Casa (13%) would change if Greece’s Hellenic Aerospace Industries (HAI) were given a stake in building the Greek version of the Eurofighter.
Without changes, HAI could win big subcontracts instead.
Greece is likely to take most of the aircraft well after 2005, although a handful could be supplied by 2002.
A Eurofighter deal would go against expectations that Greece favoured Boeing’s F-15H Eagle, alongside new or refurbished aircraft on the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 50 and Dassault Mirage 2000 pattern. But the idea of refurbishment as an interim measure was dropped at the Greek finance ministry’s insistence.
Norway has also asked Eurofighter to bid against the F-16 for its New Fighter Aircraft Programme.