Introducing a pan-European product
An Eurofighter case study

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...
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Page 2: Pan-European partnerships

The Eurofighter consortium consists of four industrial partners: British Aerospace, a world leader in aerospace and defence Alenia Aerospazio, the leading Italian manufacturer in the aerospace industry CASA, a Spanish company which is a world leader in materials development Daimler Chrysler Aerospace, a leading German aerospace manufacturer. The partners agreed to divide the development, testing...
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Page 3: Collaborative production

The production of something as technically complex as a fighter aircraft across four countries creates difficulties, but also offers tremendous benefits. The primary major advantage is that of cost because the substantial costs of development, which would in other circumstances be prohibitive to an individual country, are spread. This effectively reduces the risk involved to each partner...
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Page 4: Managing the supply chain

British Aerospace and its partners know the penalties for failing with the Eurofighter project could be severe even as far as cancellation of the project. However, they recognised that it also represented a unique opportunity to develop and construct a new combat aircraft programme from the ground up, based on an entirely new business strategy. Production is already underway in the four...
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Page 5: Anticipating the future

The four consortium countries would clearly like to sell the aircraft to other countries’ Air Forces. Potential export sales of over 400 Aircraft are hoped for. This is an extremely competitive market and there will be many economic and political obstacles. The first pilot from a potential new customer nation, Norway, has already completed a series of evaluation flights in one of the...
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Page 6: Conclusion

The logistical, cultural and organisational problems that had to be overcome to achieve this level of collaboration and co-operation are substantial and history has not been on the Eurofighter’s side. Indeed there have been many twists and turns since 1979 when the development of a new multi-role fighter was first called for, as interested parties either expressed interest or dropped out...
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