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Wed, Jul 11, 2007

Eurofighter Typhoons Go Operational Over The United Kingdom

Will Replace Tornado Fighters In Air Defense Role

The Eurofighter Typhoon, the Royal Air Force's newest and most capable jet aircraft, is now on readiness to respond to any aircraft acting suspiciously or intruding illegally into UK airspace.

Aero-News learned this week Typhoon F2s took on their first operational duties on June 29, when they assumed responsibility for the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) element of UK air defense at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire. Over the next nine months, those planes will progressively replace Tornado F3s, which have performed this duty for many years.

The first operational unit is Number 3 (Fighter) Squadron, which received its first Typhoon in March 2006, and is the lead squadron for developing RAF Typhoon air defense operations.

QRA procedures entail aircraft being held at continuous ground readiness, so that they can take off within minutes - without pre-warning - to protect the skies over the UK.

"The Quick Reaction Alert provides a vital capability protecting the UK's airspace," said Defense Minister Lord Drayson. "Typhoon is the RAF's newest and most capable aircraft, and is now providing a vital contribution to the security of the UK. As Minister for Defence Equipment and Support I am very pleased that Typhoon gives the RAF the next generation of capability which will remain a world-leading aircraft as it continues to be developed and exploited."

Chief of the Air Staff Sir Glenn Torpy added, "The RAF has an established and well practised air defence capability and I am delighted that Typhoon is now taking on these operational duties. The Typhoon is one of the most advanced aircraft in the world and gives, for the first time in many years, the RAF a world-beating multi-role capability that is an essential part of the UK's front-line."

FMI: www.eurofighter.com, www.mod.uk/defenceinternet/home

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