The Spanish government has authorized the defense ministry to sign the contract for the purchase of 20 additional Eurofighter Typhoons as part of the Halcon project.
The project will replace the Spanish Air Force’s F-18s, which are based on the Canary Islands.
Airbus and Spain have been negotiating the contract for the 20 aircraft since last year and the company expected it to be finalized in 2021. It is unclear whether the government’s approval from December 14 will enable the defense ministry to finalize the contract before the end of the year.
Airbus warned earlier this year that delays in the contract signing for the additional Typhoons could push new airframe deliveries beyond 2025, when the oldest F-18s are expected to be phased out.
“We are grateful for the strong endorsement by Spain of the Eurofighter program and are looking forward to signing the Halcón contract soon, taking Spain’s Air Force to the next technological level,” Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, said commenting the government approval.
The Spanish Air Force already operates 73 Eurofighters, and the Halcon project would bring the total number of the aircraft in service to 93.
The new Eurofighters offered to Spain would feature the E-Scan radar, which is currently under development.