Italy’s Ministry of Defense seeks approval for 24 new Eurofighter Typhoons order

NATO photo

The Italian Ministry of Defense has initiated the process for acquiring 24 new Eurofighter Typhoons.

The ministry’s request, submitted on July 4, 2024, seeks governmental approval for this acquisition and the renewal of technical and logistic support for the entire fleet. The document, which lacks detailed specifics, indicates that the request will be reviewed by the Commission for Foreign Affairs and Defense and the Commission for Balance, with a decision expected by August 13.

The new Eurofighter Typhoons are anticipated to replace the older Tranche 1 models currently in service. These advanced aircraft are expected to feature the latest avionics, new radar systems, and capabilities to interact with loyal wingman drones, ensuring Italy’s air defense remains cutting-edge until the introduction of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) fighter.

The aircraft will be manufactured at the Leonardo facility in Caselle Torinese, near Turin. While the contract’s total value has not been disclosed, speculation suggests that funds from the now-suspended KC-46 program, initially earmarked for tanker fleet renewal, may be redirected to this acquisition.

This move comes shortly after the Italian Ministry of Defense suspended the acquisition of 6 Boeing KC-46 Pegasus tankers, a program valued at €1.2 billion. Announced on June 24, 2024, the decision was attributed to “changed and unforeseen needs” by the General Staff of the Aeronautica Militare.

It remains uncertain if Italy will pursue alternatives like Airbus’ A330 MRTT to bolster its tanker fleet, which currently includes four KC-767A aircraft delivered by Boeing in 2012.

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