Warplanes: January 2, 2005


European air forces are starting to receive Eurofighter aircraft for combat squadrons. Previously, deliveries had mainly been two seater versions, for training. The 23 ton Eurofighter costs about $100 million each. Actually, they only cost about $55 million each to build. But adding in the development cost, and you about double that. The main problem is that not enough Eurofighters have been ordered to spread the development cost around more. Only about 600 aircraft have been ordered (Germany 180, Italy 121, Spain 87, and Britain 232.) With the end of the Cold War in 1991, it was difficult to justify more of these expensive jet fighters. The Eurofighter design began at the end of the Cold War, and work was continued to keep the European warplane industry alive. It would have been a lot cheaper to buy American warplanes, but its more important to keep jobs in Europe. There may never be another war for the Eurofighter to fight in, but there will be elections, and unemployment is a big issue. The Eurofighter project employs about 150,000 people. 


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