The NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) has signed a landmark contract for the acquisition of 20 latest generation Eurofighter jets. Known as the Halcon program, the order will cover the delivery of a fleet of E-Scan (Electronically Scanned) radar equipped fighter aircraft consisting of 16 single-seaters and 4 twin-seaters to replace the F-18 fleet operated by the Spanish Air Force on the Canary Islands.
This contract will see the Spanish Eurofighter fleet grow to 90 aircraft. With the first delivery due in 2026, these new aircraft will enhance and position the Spanish Air Force fighter fleet among its NATO allies as well as securing industrial activity through to 2030.
The acquisition, valued at $2.15 billion, was approved by Spain’s Council of Ministers in December 2021 and includes the aircraft, engines, a simulator and the necessary support services.
In service with Spain since 2003, the country’s air force operates the Eurofighter from the air bases of Morón (11th Wing) and Albacete (14th Wing), securing Spain’s territory and playing a key role at the heart of NATO in different Air Policing missions in the Baltics and more recently, the Black Sea. With the arrival of these new aircraft, Spain will also equip a third base with Eurofighter jets, namely Gando on the Canary Islands, which is home to the 46th Wing.
The Spanish Eurofighter is assembled, tested, and delivered at the Airbus Getafe site (Spain) and its industrial footprint translates into more than 20,000 direct and indirect jobs in Spain.
Eurofighter is Europe’s largest defense program, involving the four core nations of the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, and Italy. In addition to its technological capabilities, it secures more than 100,000 jobs in Europe. To date, the Eurofighter program has logged 681 aircraft orders to 9 nations around the globe.