The MoD has signed a contract valued at £830m to transform RAF Typhoon fighters into an advanced multi-role aircraft for the four Typhoon partner nations, the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain.
The Future Capability Programme (FCP) will integrate advanced laser designation technology and precision munitions together with essential interoperability upgrades. The UK portion of the contract is worth £325m and the first RAF aircraft to be upgraded are expected to enter service early in the next decade.
Defence Minister Lord Drayson said: ‘This contract marks a significant milestone for Typhoon. The multi-role capability it provides is key to the RAF meeting the demands and challenges it will face in the 21st Century. The aircraft is already providing exceptional performance in its air defence capability and will shortly take on its first operational role – providing Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) cover over the UK.’
The development of Typhoon’s initial combat capability has focussed on the provision of air-to-air weaponry with the aircraft set to be armed with advanced short range and medium range missiles. This contract sees the development of a ground attack role to meet the operational challenges facing the UK and its allies.