Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire)Eurofighters are currently participating in exercise ‘Red Flag 17-2’ at Nellis AFB, Nevada.
Spain currently maintains a fleet of Eurofighters comprising 17 Tranche 1 airframes (of 19 delivered) and 33 Tranche 2s (of 34 delivered), while a planned 21 Tranche 3 jets are nearly all built but awaiting delivery to units. Spain initially planned to acquire 87 Eurofighters, but this figure was cut to 74 due to budgetary constraints. The original Tranche 1 airframes are assigned to the training wing at Ala 11 at Morón and the operational squadron’s Tranche 2s increase this base’s total to approximately 31 Eurofighters.
While Spain initially planned its Eurofighters (C.16s) as air-to-air fighters, the move toward ‘swing-role’ came quickly. Indeed, Spain has actually played a lead role in developing air-to-ground capabilities for the partner nations in the program, with the 1,000lb EGBU-16 (GBU-48) now cleared on Spanish Tranche 2s, as seen being loaded in the accompanying video.
A full review of Spains fighter force features in the March issue of Combat Aircraft.