BAE SYSTEMS2003-07-03 06:59:59


Today at BAE SYSTEMS Warton, the Royal Air Force witnessed Typhoon, the UK's newest combat aircraft, take a giant step forward at an event to mark the aircraft's successful completion of its formal Type Acceptance process.

Type Acceptance - a contractual process undertaken by all four nations to ensure the aircraft meets agreed standards - paves the way for the aircraft's Entry Into Service with its four customer Air Forces. In the UK, at Warton, RAF training has already begun under the Contractor Support Services programme - widely known as Case White. Groundschool is well underway and the RAF will soon begin flying the aircraft.

Senior Air Force representatives, led by Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire, were hosted by Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director, Air Systems and BAE SYSTEMS Chairman, Sir Richard Evans at Warton, the current home of Typhoon in the UK, in an event to commemorate the milestone achievement. They were joined by key suppliers and members of the RAF team who have played a part in the Typhoon programme to date.

Speaking at the event, Air Chief Marshal Squire said:
"Type Acceptance is a major milestone in any military project and represents the culmination of countless strands of work stretching back many years. In this, the 100th year of powered manned flight, I truly believe that today we will be making a significant contribution to aviation history. The sense of excited anticipation for Typhoon is palpable within the Service.�

Sir Richard Evans commented:
"Today's event not only marks the tangible achievement of Type Acceptance, but also demonstrates the strength of the partnership between BAE SYSTEMS and its prime customer in delivering this truly awesome aircraft. The men and women in the audience today will ultimately prove this aircraft to be the world-beater we have promised. I am proud of the contribution of our workforce as we begin to deliver this new capability to the RAF, and am proud to stand alongside our customers as they mark this milestone.�

The European parentage of Typhoon, was also evident today as Eurofighter GmbH, the consortium formed by the four partner companies that have designed and built the aircraft, held a celebration in Manching, Germany. Representatives drawn from across Europe included Air Force representatives, Ministers of State and the captains of industry. Representing the UK government at Manching, Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Lord Bach commented:
"There are few projects that can be said to be of greater significance than the Eurofighter Typhoon. This world class weapon system represents the single largest defence investment ever undertaken in the United Kingdom and will provide the Royal Air Force with an aircraft which I am confident will stand the test of time like so many of its now legendary forerunners.�

"Today is good news not only for the RAF and our partner nations' air forces: it is also a significant landmark for the huge number of people in the United Kingdom who depend on the project, directly or indirectly, for their livelihoods. At the peak of manufacture, the project will sustain an estimated sixteen thousand jobs, five and a half thousand at BAE SYSTEMS here in the North-West of England. And the work is important because it will help sustain cutting-edge technologies and manufacturing techniques that help cement the future of the UK aerospace industry.�

For more information contact:
Warwick House
Po Box 87
Farnborough Aerospace Centre
GU14 6YU
United Kingdom
Tel:     + 44 1252 373232
Fax:     + 44 1252 383000



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