Typhoon fighter completes weapons upgrade


The UK’s Royal Air Force has successfully completed weapons testing of the Storm Shadow air-to-surface missile and the Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air weapon with the Eurofighter Typhoon jet.

The RAF said that the weapons upgrade transforms the aircraft into “the most capable fighter in the world”.

The trials were conducted by the RAF’s 41(R) Squadron – the Test and Evaluation Squadron based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, UK.

Group Capt John Cunningham, who heads up Project Centurion, the program to improve the jet’s capabilities for the UK fleet, said, “By the end of 2018 no other aircraft in the world will have all of the Typhoon’s capabilities.

“It will have the long-range air-to- air Meteor missile, Brimstone and Storm Shadow, which can hit moving targets and underground structures; Paveway IV laser guided bombs; the Litening III targeting pod; and ASRAAM air-to-air missiles. All this will come together by December 2018 making the next year the biggest game changer ever in the development of this aircraft.”

Project Centurion is transitioning capability from Tornado to Typhoon by the time Tornado goes out of service in 2019. At present only the RAF’s three Tornado squadrons can fight with Storm Shadow and Brimstone air-to-surface missiles.

Andy Flynn, BAE Systems’ Centurion and Eurofighter delivery director, said, “We have had some great days in the office this year with starting the operational evaluation of Meteor and Storm Shadow capabilities and completing the firing campaigns of Brimstone. We have a big year ahead of us that will require us to ensure we make every day count.”

February 8, 2018

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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