Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin praised the Typhoon during the recent Royal International Air Tatoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.
“We see Typhoon as very much strengthening UK defence and the first quality I would highlight is its reliability; it has an engine that goes over 1,000 flying hours without needing unscheduled maintenance.
It’s versatile as well, simultaneously supporting air-to-air and air-to surface missions. It gives Britain global coverage because, today, we know that our Typhoons are all over the world.
They’ve been heavily involved in striking at the heart of DAESH in the Middle East, warding off the Russian threat in Eastern Europe, safeguarding the Falkland Islands 35 years after the invasion, and, of course, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year providing our quick reaction alert to defend British skies.”
The minister added: “Typhoon will form the spear point of the UK’s future combat air defence capability alongside the F-35 Lightning. But what makes it truly special is that, supported by the ground-breaking support contract, TyTAN, it has the capacity to evolve.
In the past few years we’ve been upgrading Typhoon with leading edge weapons, Brimstone, Meteor and Storm Shadow, and most recently the Defence Secretary revealed we’re enhancing its Defence Aids Subsystem (DASS), which provides missile warners, chaff, and flare dispensers to adapt to the changing threats.
He has just announced a £9.5 million contract to train our Typhoon pilots to use the latest cockpit technology, preparing them for the frontline out to September 2020.”
The Minister was speaking at a special briefing on the aircraft. She said: “The second reason that we choose Typhoon is because it strengthens the UK’s skills base. So, whenever I’ve had the pleasure of visiting BAE Systems’s factory in Warton in Lancashire I’ve seen the impressive state-of-the-art hangars and met the excellent engineers engaged on this programme.
We have some 5,000 people working directly on Typhoon with thousands more of our British brains busy in the supply chain in more than 300 companies from the north east to the south west. Together they’re not just manufacturing but they’re innovating, everything from smart skin to carbon fibre composites, and sophisticated polymers.
The third reason that we love Typhoon is we know this fabulous fighter will strengthen our prosperity. In an increasingly competitive and demanding international market it’s the only fighter jet on the market able to offer such wide-ranging capabilities.”