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Eurofighter Tranche 3 Fighter in Flight
Friday, 6 December 2013 -- The first of a new standard of Typhoon - Tranche 3 has started its series of flight tests. The latest Typhoon, known as a Tranche 3, represents a major stepping stone in the evolution of one of the world's leading combat aircraft. The Tranche 3 standard embodies a number of under the skin changes that effectively future proof the aircraft and make it more attractive to current and potential export customers. Taken together there have been 100s of modifications, changes and additions which effectively means Typhoon has now taken a massive step forward. The first Tranche 3 has been produced for the RAF by the Eurofighter consortium and assembled by us. British Single Seat aircraft no.116 took to the skies for the first time with pilot Nat Makepeace in the cockpit. In November the first in a major series of flight tests to integrate the MBDA Storm Shadow missile onto the aircraft took place. Earlier this year Eurofighter Typhoon announced a contract to develop the integration of the Meteor weapon system. During the same period another development aircraft has been modified to take an E-Scan radar and is currently being prepared, at Warton, ahead of its first flight. Under the Tranche 3A contract signed in 2009, a total of 112 aircraft have been ordered for the four European partner nations of Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, with 40 aircraft bound for the Royal Air Force.