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Mon, Jun 30, 2008

Eurofighter Typhoon Begins Air Surveillance Over Austria

New Theater For Advanced Fighter Aircraft

The Eurofighter Typhoon will take over the protection of Austrian airspace July 1, under the leadership of the Joint Armed Forces Command, Graz, and the Air Surveillance Command, Wals, of the Austrian military.

The Republic of Austria became the first export customer for Eurofighter Typhoon following selection of the type in 2003. The Austrian Air Force will receive a total of 15 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft up to 2009, all of which will be stationed with the Air Surveillance squadron at Zeltweg, Steiermark.

The first of the 15 aircraft was accepted into the squadron last July. In the 11 months since then, fully armed Eurofighter Typhoons have been patrolling the skies over the Austrian host stadiums during the Euro2008 football championships, securing the airspace together with other aircraft types and ground-based support, therefore guaranteeing security at the venues.

"The fact that Austrian Eurofighter Typhoons have, after an internationally comparably short preparation time, reached the stage where they are ready to take on their mission spectrum, speaks volumes for the training and dedication of the air and ground crews assigned to the weapon system," said Aloysius Rauen, CEO Eurofighter GmbH. "This achievement deserves full recognition and I would like to therefore congratulate the Austrian Air Force."

Since the start of June, Fighter Wing 74 of the German Air Force has placed Eurofighter Typhoon on NATO Quick Reaction Alert duties for Southern Germany, from their Main Operating Base in Neuburg/Donau. Italy and the United Kingdom have had Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft assigned to QRA operations since 2005 and 2007 respectively. In addition, XI Squadron of the Royal Air Force has, over May and June this year, participated in Exercise Green Flag in the United States, resulting in the declaration that Eurofighter Typhoon is, following the integration of the Litening III laser designator pod, mission ready for multi-role air-to-surface operations. Two sorties per day with the release of up to six laser-guided Enhanced Paveway II bombs per aircraft has proven Eurofighter Typhoon's swing-role capability.

Since Entry-into-Service in Spring 2004, 147 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft have been delivered to 10 units across five Air Forces. 707 weapon systems have been ordered by six nations following the 72 on order for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with deliveries due to begin in 2009. More than 47,000 flying hours have been amassed between the Air Forces and the Test and Evalution fleet as of the end of June.

FMI: www.eurofighter.com

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