For Giancarlo Mezzanatto, the recently appointed chief executive of Eurofighter Typhoon consortium, the programme is still in its relative infancy with plenty more exciting developments planned for the next 40 years.

“Eurofighter is still very young, only one-third of its way through its life, so our challenge is to keep it operational until at least 2060, but of course we still need to work on the development of its capabilities,” he explained.

Mezzanatto likened the Eurofighter to a man in his 30s with plenty more to give, and the nations involved in the consortium – the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy – are working well together to bring the programme’s development plans to fruition.

“We are taking on the challenge to introduce new technologies into the aircraft, such as new computers with the latest generation processors. We will of course have a high-speed data network to transfer data more quickly, and we will have a new cockpit, so we are really aiming for a long-term evolution of these aircraft that will bring us up to 2060,” he added.

And when it comes to the four nations working together on the Europfighter Typhoon programme – is that collaboration a help or a hinderance? “It is a fantastic thing,” Mezzanatto enthused. “I am here [at Paris Air Show] to promote the Eurofighter’s spirit of collaboration. This programme has been the most successful defence programme in terms of collaboration in Europe and we need to build on this.”

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