Spain to buy more Eurofighter to replace aging F/A-18 Hornet

Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 4

Eurofighter has formally submitted to Spain its offer to provide a further 20 Typhoon aircraft under the country’s Project ‘Halcon’ (Falcon).

Spain is the latest European country to move to buy more Eurofighter Typhoon multirole fighter jets to bolster its air force. The manufacturer announced today that it is now in negotiations with the Spanish government for the replacement of 20 Spanish Air Force EF-18 Hornets under what is called Project Halcón, or Project Hawk.

The company says it has submitted its offer to the Spanish government and is now in talks “to mature the proposal.” It expects to sign a contract for the 20 new Typhoons in 2021. 

The Spanish Air Force has already received all 73 Typhoons from its initial order, which comprised 59 single-seaters and 14 twin-seaters. Three of these have been lost in accidents, but the remaining 70 are all still active, forming a fast-jet fleet alongside U.S.-supplied EF-18 Hornet multirole fighters. 

To supersede these older Hornets, the Eurofighter consortium is offering 20 new Typhoons that will be completed to the “latest standard,” including the Captor-E Mk 1 active electronically- scanned array (AESA) radar.

Spain may yet buy even more new Typhoons as it looks to replace the entire EF-18 fleet between 2025 and 2030, although exactly how many extra Eurofighters may be required is unclear and the future of this effort will likely be influenced by the progress made on the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which involves France, Germany, and Spain. The FCAS initiative plans to field a sixth-generation stealthy manned fighter and accompanying unmanned platforms by 2040.

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