German air force bill for Eurofighters escalates: report
BERLIN (Reuters) - The German air force's bill for an order of 180 Eurofighter jets is rising beyond the planned 14.7 billion euros, said a German magazine on Sunday.
Der Spiegel said the Luftwaffe now expected to have paid 14.5 billion euros by the end of this year for only 108 of the fighters and will pay 16.8 billion euros by 208 for 143 jets - paying more money for less fighters.
"It is correct that the cost of the Eurofighters is rising," said a ministry spokesman, but he declined to give details.
The Eurofighter multi-role Typhoon jet is manufactured by Airbus-owner EADS EAD.PA, Italy's Finmeccanica SIFI.MI and Britain's BAE Systems (BAES.L: Quote). The manufacturers did not respond to a request for a comment on the report.
The new chief of the Eurofighter Typhoon said at the Paris Air Show last month that he will lay out plans this year to make the fighter cheaper in an increasingly competitive market.
The Eurofighter's main competitors include Lockheed Martin's LMT.N F-35 jet, Dassault Aviation's AVMD.PA Rafale fighter and the Gripen by Sweden's Saab (SAABb.ST: Quote).
(Reporting by Stephen Brown and Hans-Edzard Busemann; editing by Ralph Boulton)
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