Italy plans ‘major’ investment in new Eurofighter Jets

Rome: Italy is planning to invest nearly 7.5 billion euros ($8.1 billion) over the next 11 years to procure 24 new Eurofighter jets.

This move aims to renew the Italian air force’s fleet, replacing aging Eurofighter and Tornado jets amid increased NATO defense spending due to heightened geopolitical uncertainty.

The twin-engine, supersonic Eurofighter Typhoon jets are produced by a consortium involving Germany, Britain, Italy, and Spain, represented by Airbus, BAE Systems, and Leonardo.

As the Italian air force places the order, Leonardo will be the prime contractor.

A spokesperson for the Italian aerospace and defence group declined to comment on the procurement document.

However, a senior company executive previously indicated that the government would announce the plan soon.

The defence document outlines a development timeframe from 2024 to 2034, with a total investment of 7.477 billion euros.

Funding for 690 million euros is already secured, while the remaining 6.8 billion euros will be financed through future arrangements.

The new aircraft will replace 26 jets Italy plans to decommission starting in 2028 and will include technical support and staff training.

Parliamentary committees are expected to give their opinion on the purchase program by mid-August, paving the way for final approval.

Last month, Germany also announced plans to buy 20 additional Eurofighters, adding to its current fleet of 138.

The new Eurofighters will help Italy bridge the gap between current capabilities and the forthcoming Global Combat Air Programme, which aims to develop a new advanced fighter jet by 2035 in collaboration with Britain and Japan.