Based on the current order book, there are now just 99 Eurofighter aircraft left to be delivered by Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo.

Production of the Eurofighter would have ended next year if it had not been for Italy’s success in securing a key order for 28 aircraft in Kuwait. The order secures series production of the Typhoon out until 2023, potentially helping to put the aircraft in a comfortable position to compete in upcoming fighter programs – including Belgium where the selection of a new fighter is planned for next year and in Finland where selection is expected in 2021.

The companies are in the process of adjusting the production rates, Eurofighter CEO Volker Paltzo told journalists in Turin on April 11, adding that “major unit lines are to deliver until 2022” – suggesting that production for the core nations had been bridged to close the gap until Kuwaiti aircraft come on stream.

In Italy, where the Kuwaiti aircraft will be assembled, this process has already been agreed, the Italian air force is now due to receive its final Typhoons in 2019-20, officials close to the program told Aviation Week. It is unclear whether the same approach has been applied in Germany, Spain and the UK, although BAE System has previously announced lower production rates to keep the line “warm” for potential future orders.

The last of 72 aircraft for Saudi Arabia are due to be delivered in the coming months, while the first for Oman began flying last November. Deliveries of the Omani aircraft are expected later this year.

Kuwait’s jets will now be the first Typhoons to receive the new active electronically-scanned array Captor-E radar, development of which is being led by Leonardo (Chalet 240) as part of the Euroradar consortium.

Flight testing with the Captor-E switched on in-flight began earlier in 2017 following a series of environmental test flights to demonstrate how the radar handle various aspects of the aircraft’s envelope. Initial tests have been performed in the air-to-air capability in search and track capabilities. Air-to-surface capability testing will follow later, officials say.