Team Blitz India
LONDON: The UK Government has quelled ongoing speculation regarding the fate of its 30 early production ‘Tranche 1’ Typhoon jets.
Contrary to expectations of potential repurposing or strategic deployment, the Government has affirmed its commitment to scrapping of these aircraft for salvageable parts.
The Tranche 1 jets, representing the inaugural operational capability of the Typhoon series, are slated to undergo a “Reduce to Produce” programme. The initiative is designed to extract viable components from the ageing jets, bolstering the spare inventory for the broader Typhoon fleet.
The announcement follows inquiries by Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, who had sought clarity on the status of Tranche 1 aircraft through a Parliamentary Written Question. James Cartlidge, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded, disclosing that since February 2022, no Tranche 1 Typhoon aircraft have been retired or dispatched to Ukraine.
According to Cartlidge, “The Tranche 1 fleet will undergo a Reduce to Produce programme to strip them of usable parts to contribute to the Typhoon fleet spares inventory,” as initially reported by the UK Defence Journal.
At present, 30 Tranche 1 aircraft are registered with the military, with plans to retire 26 by March 2025. Despite apprehensions and discussions around the retirement of the UK’s Tranche 1 Eurofighter Typhoons, the Royal Air Force (RAF) has steadfastly maintained that the phased withdrawal of these aircraft will not precipitate operational challenges.
Adhering to the current strategy, the lion’s share of the RAF’s 30 Typhoon Tranche 1 aircraft is poised to conclude their service on March 31, 2025, with a meagre four earmarked for retention until 2027. Consequently, this decision will reduce the total count of Typhoon aircraft within the Royal Air Force to 107, encompassing 67 Tranche 2 jets and 40 Tranche 3 jets.