BAE Systems say they have handed over the jet as work continues on delivering the capabilities required to ensure Typhoon remains the operationally-effective backbone of the UK’s combat air power.

The Company’s production facility in Warton, Lancashire, is now gearing up to start assembly of Typhoon aircraft for the Qatari Emiri Air Force, with the first jet due to be delivered in 2022.

The latest delivery completes the order to the RAF, which deploys the aircraft on Quick Reaction Alert and on overseas operations.

A ceremony was held at BAE Systems’ final assembly facility at Warton to mark the latest milestone delivery.

Andy Flynn, Typhoon Capability Director for BAE Systems – Air, said:

“This event marks another major milestone in our partnership with the UK which will continue to see us work together to invest in evolving Typhoon to become the complete battlefield controller. Typhoon was designed to continuously evolve and its untapped potential continues to be realised with new investments in radar, communications, data management, weapons and connectivity further strengthening its role in the frontline of securing the skies over the UK.

With production for Qatar ramping up and Typhoon attracting interest in a number of international campaigns, it is entering the next stage of a technological journey which future-proofs it for decades to come. Over this time, it will be the platform which will develop and deploy technologies which will become central on a future combat air system, making it the ideal interoperable partner to fly alongside a Future Combat Air System.”

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No order for CAPTOR-E has been signed yet, only development costs have been met. So far Qatar is the only country who’ve actually committed to operating the radar. Only the Tranche 3 or new build Typhoons have the capacity to fit the radar due to various on-board computer, software, and wiring upgrades and the RAF only ordered 40 T3’s out of 160 and the numbers are smaller for the other European countries so there’s not massive incentive for anyone to push it into such limited service. A lot of upgrade work has to be done to the existing fleet of… Read more »


The Gripen uses a derivative of the CAPTOR radar. The area of the radar’s antenna is considerably smaller than the Typhoon’s due to the smaller nose profile of the Gripen. It uses the same design of antenna swashplate to direct the antenna. All PESA and AESA radar antennas have a fixed field of view/regard. This is generally +/- 60 degrees in the horizontal and vertical fields. There are some that have limited vertical field of +/- 45 degrees. The reason for the limited field of view is done to how digital beamforming works. It is possible to design a flat… Read more »


Pretty sure it is not. There is an article kicking about somewhere that the UK delayed the project after seeing the performance of the F35 Radar and wanted to add a jamming capability that wasn’t previously in scope. The Radar fitted to the Kuwait won’t have the functionality for example. So the one that will eventually be fitted to the UK planes will effectively be a mark 2 if you can call it that.


That is what I have read too


Correct, they are getting the version called Radar 1, we are supposed to be getting Radar 2, but there’s talk of an even more capable version called Radar 2+. Speaking to a friend who works for Leonardo, when they saw the capabilities of the early model APG-81. They were blown away. One of the big things was the mulfi-function data link (MADL). The APG-81 then wasn’t as advanced as it is today. Today, it is truly multi-function radar where it can transmit and process multiple types of waveform simultaneously, i.e. search, track and MADL. Some of the delays to releasing… Read more »


Thanks for the info. It would have been nice to get captor e 10 years ago, but since we didn’t due to money there is no point in rolling it out now 10 years out of date. I would rather develop the latest version so there is not such a huge technology leap when it comes to tempest.


That’s the last Typhoon built for the RAF then! 160 total, but they scrapped 14 in the Reduce to produce crap so isn’t it more than 160 built for the RAF? And will this be it for typhoons built for the RAF now for ever no chance of another squadron or two? Luckily the factory has 22 typhoon orders for Qatar and let’s hope Saudi actually order the extra 44 jets so we can keep the factory working, it’s unthinkable the UK not building fast jets, and it was once unthinkable the UK not building jet powered passenger planes considering… Read more »


I’m pretty sure the 14 was part of the 160 and not additional airframes (therefore not making the order 174).

Remember this is nothing new. I’m specifically looking…. there! Over there in the corner! You can just see the 12 Merlin MK1 and the 3 Merlin HC3 airframes which were cannibalised but would now make up additional ASW/Junglie airframes or a squadron of Crowsnest AEW airframes!


Tempest looks like its happening, however, when? We all hope Warton can keep going and retain its skills up to the new plane. I assum Warton, but if a new plant is required it would be wise to build it at that site?


Tempest isnt predicted to enter service until 2035, so an educated guess is that actual production won’t begin until around 2030.

If the unthinkable did happen and fighter production lapsed at Warton, Tempest production there would depend on if the facility was sold or BAE just mothballed it

Mr Bell

So there is a capability and build gap of around 5 years, more if Saudi don’t order another 44 typhoon. Therefore it would seem required that the RAF order 3 squadrons of an advanced typhoon with CAPTOR radar or its equivalent around 2025-2030. Unless our European allies do sonething unthinkable and actually increase their defence capabilities by ordering more typhoons??? I personally think there is scope for advance eurofighter, F35B and Tempest. After all in the past we used to have more than just 1 type of air raft in the fast jet fleet. Even just 15 years ago we… Read more »


Another alternative is to limit f35b to 72 aircraft and then order an additional 60+ advanced typhoon. I don’t think we need 3 combat aircraft types. There used to be multi fleets for a reason: lack of flexibility. That has gone now.


That’s not really an alternative. The Lightning buy of 138 aircraft “over the life of the programme” isn’t going to be a total operational fleet, more likely it’ll include new production versions purchased to sustain the active fleet of 2-4 squadrons plus OCU. Cutting planned long term acquisition will do little to aid Warton, and it will have consequences on carrier fighter availability in a decade or two. Multirole aircraft are great for the benefits to logistics and versatility they bring, but there are also major disadvantages. Primarily, unit cost and lack of focus. Take Tempest for instance: renders show… Read more »


It would make sense to do one of 2 things, 1 sell the Eurofighter at break even or small loss to ensure we win further competition. Which sounds odd but could be cheaper than having to reinvest in fast jet manufacture. Or sell off the some of the existing Typhoons and replace with new aircraft. Option one would actually be the least expensive option in my opinion,


Where are the UKs parts for F35s built? Who will get what parts for the Turkish parts now?

Plus Typhoon is a collaborative project… so don’t parts of it get built in Germany and, errrm… Italy??


Yes, and don’t forget Spain.


Yes But making parts is not maintaining skills to assemble and integrate these parts. UK still builds wings for airbus but if you asked industry to build a airliner it would take a massive investment in up skilling.


My point is 15% of the F35 is built in UK. So if Turkey is now out of it then may be we can get some extra work… for ultimately 1000s of planes. It all helps.

As for the rest, well no matter how clever any planemaker is, without any wings they are not much good. !!!


Cam, yes it is unthinkable that we may not be producing fast jets after 2023. We seem more pre occupied with building 3 solid support ships in the UK at any cost than maintaining fast jet production. Don’t get me wrong we should be looking to build these ships in the UK but if they were to consume 1/2 billion more of the defence budget I’d say that would be better spent of keeping UK Typhoon assembly going. I doubt this is a popular post but in a world of tough choices its an option.


Once the Qatar order is completed in ~5 years, what then? Given the highly contested nature of the export market (with Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen, F-16, and several Russian and Chinese types all competing in the same market), the chances of additional orders between then and commencement on Tempest is uncertain at best.

An additional order for more RAF airframes would be expensive, but in the long run it might be more cost effective than losing Warton.


If the Saudi sale falls through I can see the UK and Germany making a follow on order to keep the production line open until 2030.


Sounds like the aviation version of the OPV purchase. Well, sort of.

James Fennell

Since the German competition for a Tornado replacement is down to the F/A-18 and Typhoon, I think more orders are likely.


Germany has its own assembly line.


Saudi want there jets assemble in the Kingdom, that order doesn’t necessarily save UK assembly.

James Fennell

We will still be making airframe sections for the F-35 (13% of every F-35A and C and 15% of every B model is made by BAe in UK), and given the size of orders for that it will keep Warton busy until Tempest comes along. There is also ‘project mosquito’ to build a ‘loyal wingman’ UCAV to work with F-35 and Tempest and perhaps Typhoon, which will presumably be made at Warton too.


The final Qatar order will roll of the line in a little over 3 years I believe.


The article specifically states the FIRST Qatari Typhoon will be delivered in 2022, so the last aircraft is probably going to roll off the line between 2023 and 2025 depending on the rate of production


Callum I believe that was an original date Qatar have requested the deliveries are accelerated. Id be surprised if we’re building Qatari Typhoons by the end of 2022.


I hoped the article was suggesting Captor -E, aerodynamic alterations (those wing kits) and Thrust vectoring…and perhaps conformal fuel tanks? I hope the MoD and BAE/Eurofighter announce plans to accelerate all or some of those items. I am surprised that T2 cannot have Captor-E fitted. We may well end up with 3 sub-types: T1 (Spanish upgrades?), T2 and T3+,It’s all well and good to show the potential and extension of aircraft capabilities but hardly efficient to manage. Are the Centurion upgrades all rolled out yet?

Corin Vestey

Think T2 may be able to take Radar1/2, work was done to allow for additional weight over CaptorM, and I understood BAE did some scoping on presumably power requirements etc. Suspect that if the money was there a way could be found to fit AESA on T2s. Hope so as that is bulk of Typhoon inventory.

James Fennell

Yes T2 and T3 can be upgraded, but not T1


Looks like everyone is updating their 4th gen fighters with AESA radars. Typhoon joins the F-15C/E, Super Hornets, F-16s, Gripen, ect.

Peter Shaw

We should build some newer airframes for the RAF and retire some of the older airframes quicker. This would keep BAe in the game for when tempest starts production.

Steve Martin

“Typhoon attracting interest in a number of international campaigns” has anyone got anything further on this? Which campaigns are they looking at?

James Fennell

Germany Tornado replacement – down-selected to F-18C or Typhoon. India has opened up their competition beyond single engined designs – so Typhoon can compete (although F-16X has to be the favourite, since the wings are going to be made in India), Turkey will need something in place of F-35. Malaysia?


India should have gone with Typhoon to begin with. When BAE is already manufacturing the hawk out there I’m sure they could have expanded facilities to assemble Typhoons and avoid the Rafale disaster.
If Germany is definitely going to make a Tornado replacement Typhoon must be a shoe in which is why I think the UK will follow if the Saudi order is cancelled

Paul T

BB85- The reason the FA18E/F is in the running is because they are already wired for B61 Nuclear Bombs whereas the Typhoon will need this work to be done – despite this it would make more sense to go with Typhoon due to the obvious Home produced already in the Inventory reasons.


Malaysia? Not likely. They have been trying to sell the Typhoon to Malaysia (as well as the Rafale, F/A-18E/F, Gripen) for the past decade. The only thing that has happened is that Malaysia has gotten deep into Financial woes and cannot now afford such aircraft. They are now looking for a LCA type aircraft, like the F-50, Tejas, M-346, Yak-130, or the Hongdu L15. Basically a new generation aircraft to replace the Hawk 100/200, and M-339 in RMAF service.


Germany will assemble their own aircraft, India will insist on made in India and I think so would Turkey. Malaysia is a possibility but they don’t have the money.


The main chance is Germany to replace Tornado and Spain the replace early F18.The Saudi order has a number of political obstacles in its way and the intention was to final assemble there anyway.There are some possible add on orders from existing gulf states operators but I would be surprised if any other orders come.The issue for Warton is none of these real opportunities will result in final assembly work so that line will probably shut. Hopefully there will be some political pressure to keep the line open until Tempest so a few more can be ordered for the RAF… Read more »


We have gone down the reduce to produce route. Basically that means the Tranche 1 aircraft not needed for the Squadrons i.e. the 2 seaters are being used as a spares package. This leaves about 40 single seat Tranche 1 aircraft. With regards to upgrading them to the later Tranche 3 standard? It can be done, as the Italians have proven. However, it may actually be cheaper and more cost effective to buy new aircraft. One of the bigger jobs is to replace the bulkhead that the radar fits to. According to BAe there are over 100 modifications required to… Read more »


GWM I agree there’s no issues with the parts each nation produces I think there’s enough orders for the Typhoon to be in production somewhere for the next 10 years, problem is that doesn’t save UK assembly.