Boost for Partners Across Europe 

Supporting the production of up to 38 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft for the German Air Force under the Quadriga contract is good news for all the Eurofighter Partner Companies. Here we speak to Andrea Thompson, Managing Director - Europe and International, BAE Systems – Air, about what it means for the UK.


What does the Quadriga contract mean for BAE Systems and for the UK?

Quadriga is significant on many levels for the UK. From an economic perspective, it maintains continuity of supply for our Typhoon production to the mid-2020s, sustaining highly-skilled jobs. We directly employ more than 5,000 people in engineering, production and support roles on Typhoon in the UK, and sustain a further 10,000 jobs in the wider UK economy as a whole.

Quadriga is also a very clear signal that the Eurofighter partner nations, in this case Germany, fully back Typhoon. This order comes on the back of commitments for the electronically-scanning radar from Germany, Spain and the UK. It's another vote of confidence for the programme.

All of this sends a very clear message about the longevity of Typhoon and that is a strong signal for our current and potential customers.

Germany has said it now expects to see Typhoon operating until the 2060s and we know that many other operators see it in service for at least another 30 years, and the injections of capabilities that will inevitably come from that.


What does it mean in programme terms for BAE Systems?

Quadriga will have an immediate positive impact maintaining continuity of supply to the mid-2020s for our Typhoon production facility at Samlesbury, where we produce more than a third of the major unit components for each jet.



What does Quadriga mean for capability developments on Eurofighter Typhoon?

The German Quadriga order underscores the opportunity to introduce more capabilities on Typhoon because of the size of the order and the long-term commitment from a core nation partner.

It will equip the German Air Force with an advanced electronically-scanning radar, future proof its hardware and software and develop and integrate technologies which will make it the perfect interoperable partner for any future combat aircraft.

This develops and sustains core capabilities and skills which will be vital to unlocking the full range of capabilities our customers need now and in the future.


What message do you think the Quadriga agreement sends to the export market?

All orders are important, but when a core nation continues to invest, that says something incredibly powerful to existing and potential customers alike.

It says we still absolutely believe in Typhoon, we trust it, we're going to develop it and I don't think you can get much more positive than that.

Quadriga is a vote of confidence in Eurofighter Typhoon that says German Typhoons will be the backbone of their air force right out to 2060s.

BAE Systems is leading the Eurofighter campaign in Finland and we know there are already close military ties which exist between Finland and Germany.

So when Finland sees Germany making a commitment like this, it shows them they have a partner next to them that's committed to the long term.

The same is true in Switzerland where our partners Airbus Germany are leading the Eurofighter response to the Air 2030 competition.



What’s next?

As far as Quadriga is concerned, right across the consortium, we have been preparing for this commitment for some time and both our production teams and our supply chain are primed to start work from the start of 2021.

In terms of future investment in Typhoon, we recently saw the UK customer commit to developing its electronically-scanning radar, and separately we have seen the UK Government commit to increased investment in defence and security.

The Eurofighter Typhoon we see today is completely different to the one which was in service 20 years ago and we are now working alongside our core nation customers to define what the long-term evolution of the aircraft will look like.

Through the Long Term Evolution study, we are looking at the respective national requirements, how we ensure they can be delivered in an agile way and how we ensure they are connected to the future combat systems.


What is the mood in the programme?

Despite the challenges we have all experienced, the energy we've seen in 2020 around the four nations really pulling together to support Quadriga has been very positive.

It has been a period of intense activity because we all recognise the importance of Quadriga not least because it is such a powerful signal.

We’re really pleased with the work and the result.

Andrea Thompson Managing Director - Europe and International, BAE Systems