Page 1: Introduction
The Chiefs of Air Staff of Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom signed an agreement to develop a new European fighter aircraft in January 1994. This agreement defined the requirement for an extremely agile, multi-role combat aircraft which could dominate the skies to the mid-21st Century, now called the Eurofighter Typhoon. Seven prototype development aircraft have been built and are undergoing an intensive flight test programme across the four countries.
It is clear that the Typhoon will be the world’s most advanced combat aircraft. Initial results seem to surpass all expectations. The aircraft is exceptionally agile, unrivalled in technology, highly manoeuvrable and has demonstrated its abilities in several spectacular flying displays, most recently at the 1999 Paris Air Show.
Several of the world’s air forces are interested in purchasing the aircraft and with production underway and orders for 620 aircraft already secured, the consortium members are confident of the success of the Eurofighter Typhoon. First delivery of operational aircraft to the Air Forces of Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK is planned for 2002.
This case study looks at the strategies involved in developing and manufacturing a pan-European product.