The Eurofighter Consortium has demonstrated the integration of MBDA's storm Shadow Cruise Missile with the Typhoon air craft.
The Storm Shadow cruise missile has been released from a Eurofighter Typhoon for the first times, as part of an extensive capability update.
The test, conducted on Friday, involved releasing the precision-strike weapon from beneath the wing of Alenia Aermacchi’s instrumented production aircraft IPA2, the Eurofighter Consortium announced Friday.
The trials also verified the interface of the missile with the weapon system for pre-launch checks, demonstrated post-launch safe separation and the subsequent commencement of missile flight.
More than 5m (16.4ft) in length and weighing 1,300kg (2,860lb), the Storm Shadow has a range of more than 135nm (250km). The weapon is the “whopper” of the European manufacturer’s air-launched portfolio, noted MBDA UK military advisor Russ Martin.
Integration of the new Typhoon weapon forms part of an ongoing programme of enhancements for the European type, along with MBDA’s Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Brimstone 2 air-to-surface missile.
Referring to the ongoing test programme, Sqn Ldr Alex Tennant from the UK’s Typhoon combined test team says Storm Shadow should be available for use following the delivery of approved P2E-standard software around the middle of 2017.
While the UK is looking to introduce the weapon with the Eurojet EJ200-powered type to coincide with the retirement of its Panavia Tornado GR4s around 2019, other operators are interested in fielding the enhancement sooner.
During a briefing at the show, Eurofighter capability development manager Paul Smith highlighted the Typhoon’s current role in providing air defence services for operator nations Austria, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the UK, plus during NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission. He also referred to the Royal Saudi Air Force’s current combat employment of the aircraft during “simultaneous, high-tempo operations on two fronts”.
Alenia Aermacchi chief executive Filippo Bagnato has provided a brief update on the status of contract discussions between the Italian and Kuwaiti governments about the latter’s planned acquisition of 28 Typhoons. A deal is expected to be signed “shortly – very shortly.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter. The Typhoon was designed and is manufactured by a consortium of three companies; Alenia Aermacchi, Airbus Group and BAE Systems,