Wednesday, December 6, 2023

With the order for 25 Eurofighter Typhoon , Spain confirms its intention to acquire 50 F-35A/B

There are some pieces of information that say more about what they don't say than what they really say. This is the case today regarding the upcoming order for 25 new Eurofighter Typhoon fighters for the Spanish Air Force, to replace the F-18 Hornet currently in service.

This should, according to the Janes site at the origin of the information , take place soon, while the Council of Ministers launched the Halcon II program this September 12, which notably provides for the acquisition of 25 European aircraft and engines additional for €1.5 billion.

This order, eagerly awaited by the Eurofighter consortium, comes after a first order for 20 Typhoon in June 2022 , as part of the Halcon I program, to replace the Hornet deployed on the Canary Islands.

20 Eurofighter Typhoon ordered in June 2022

Unlike these 20 aircraft which belong to Tranche 3, the 25 new fighters will be ordered in Tranche 4 of the European program. Note in this respect that the budget estimated by Janes probably seems low, whereas for the 20 previous aircraft, Madrid had paid €2 billion.

Eurofighter Typhoon Spain
In June 2022, Spain ordered 20 Typhoon as part of the Halcon I program, to replace the F/A-18 Hornet deployed on the Canary Islands.

But the most interesting thing about this announcement is neither the tranche of Eurofighters nor the price of the program. This is indeed the number of devices ordered. Indeed, with 25 new Typhoon , the Spanish authorities will not replace the 50 F/A 18 Hornet still in service, after deducting the 20 aircraft replaced in the Canaries.

This figure, on the other hand, corresponds perfectly to the numerous rumors, sometimes corroborated by obvious communication blunders , about the acquisition by Madrid of 50 F-35 Lighting 2 .

25 F-35Bs for the Spanish Navy, and 25 F-35As to replace the Air Force's F/A-18 Hornet

More specifically, these reports indicate advanced negotiations with Lockheed-Martin and the FMS, for 25 F-35Bs to replace the AV-8B Harriers arming the aircraft carrier Juan Carlos I, as well as 25 aircraft in land version to replace part of the remaining F/A 18 Hornet .

Obviously, the coincidence is more than disturbing, between the 25 Typhoon missing to finish replacing the Hornet of the Spanish air force, and the 25 F-35As supposed to be negotiated discreetly by Madrid for several years.

AV8B Juan Carlos e1680009122831
The Spanish Navy will have to replace the AV-8B Harriers arming the Juan Carlos I aircraft carrier. The F-35B is the only aircraft likely to do so.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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