In an attempt to woo customers for the Eurofighter Typhoon, BAE Systems has cut its production cost by 20 per cent while upgrading some features.
During a briefing at the Royal International Air Tattoo, in Fairford, Glos, the company, RAF and ministers said that the jet was being upgraded from a “multi-role” to a “swing role” jet, with greater capabilities that make it more attractive to potential buyers.
A swing role jet is able to switch while in flight from being a strike aircraft attacking targets on the ground with bombs and missiles to a fighter capable of taking on other jets.
The company has slowed its production rate and has cut down production costs over the past five years as part of its efforts to woo buyers including India.
BAE and its partners are campaigning to win new customers in the Gulf including Kuwait and for Saudi Arabia.
BAE and its German, Italian and Spanish partners in the fighter are “aggressively campaigning to win more customers.”
Other countries targeted include Malaysia, while Belgium, Denmark and Finland have all made inquiries about the jet.
Eurofighter is a contender in Finland’s 62 F/A-18 Hornets fighter jet replacement program alongside Dassault’s Rafale, Boeing Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and Saab’s Gripen.
Typhoon has struggled to win export orders in the past.
Eurofighter Typhoon lost out of Indian Air Force’s 126 MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) to replace Russian MiGs to French Rafale. MMRCA was later scrapped after India decided to buy only 36 Rafale fighters in flyaway condition in April this year.