With a dedicated budget spanning from 2023 to 2035 amounting to EUR 4.5 billion, Spain is poised to procure 25 state-of-the-art Eurofighter aircraft, complete with two simulators and a comprehensive technical support package. The contract for this endeavor is expected to be finalized next year.
As of now, the Spanish Air Force operates two distinct types of combat aircraft: the Boeing EF-18 Hornet of American origin and the Eurofighter EF-2000, proudly manufactured in Europe (the Spanish variants being produced at the Airbus assembly line in Getafe).
Currently, there are 83 Hornets in service, but the structural limitations of these American fighters restrict their operational lifespan to the end of this decade. To address this concern, Spain has already placed an order for 20 new Eurofighters, which are scheduled for delivery between 2026 and 2030 as part of the Halcon I program.
While the procurement of an additional 25 Eurofighters through the Halcon II program is undoubtedly a significant step forward, it does not completely bridge the capability gap left by the EF-18 Hornet successors, estimated to be around 38 aircraft. Consequently, the Spanish government is actively exploring further options for combat aircraft acquisitions, though the specific type of aircraft remains uncertain.
Presently, the Spanish Air Force maintains an operational fleet of 68 Eurofighter fighters, produced in various batches with differing standards. Notably, 17 aircraft from the earliest Tranche 1 version are undergoing modernization efforts to enhance their capabilities.”