US Air Force chief praises Eurofighter

21st July 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 July 2004, LAAGE - The chief of staff of the US Air Force, General John P. Jumper, was quoted Wednesday as praising the Eurofighter Typhoon after a test flight on the much-maligned jet, which has been in service just 11 weeks with the German Air Force.

21 July 2004

LAAGE - The chief of staff of the US Air Force, General John P. Jumper, was quoted Wednesday as praising the Eurofighter Typhoon after a test flight on the much-maligned jet, which has been in service just 11 weeks with the German Air Force.

"I've flown all the air force jets. None was as good as the Eurofighter," he said, according to an account by the German Air Force of his Tuesday try-out of one of the two-seater jets based at Laage Air Force Base near the Baltic coast city of Rostock.

The general praised the jet fighter for its agility, manoeuvrability, acceleration and precise navigation.

Critics have claimed over the years that the expensive plane, first conceived in 1983, would be obsolete before it finally went into service. A prototype first flew in 1994. The Germans' first planes were commissioned 30 April.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is unique among modern combat aircraft in that there are four separate assembly lines to satisfy the four partner nations' demands for work.

It is difficult to estimate the true cost of nearly 600 planes that Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain will obtain, but under the first export deal, with Austria, the full, fly-away price of a single Typhoon worked out at EUR 62.9 million.

Britain is buying the most. Germany gradually cut its order from 250 to 180, with the last of the planes to be delivered in 2014.

Washington-based Jumper, who is the most senior US Air Force officer, was in Germany as a guest during an exercise, Baltic Jump, in which German aircraft and paratroops practised seizing an enemy airfield so as to evacuate trapped civilians.

DPA

Subject: German news

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