Image: IPA7 gets airborne on a P1Eb flight test with Laser Designator Pod and IRIS-T Short range Air-to-Air Missiles loaded." - Credit: Dietmar Fenners, Cassidian
These improvements include full Air-to-Surface integration on Eurofighter Typhoon (including Laser Designator Pod), full smart bomb integration, modern secure Indentification Friend or Foe (IFF) known as Mode 5, improved Radios and Direct Voice Input, Air-to-Surface Helmet Mounted Sight System, improved Air-to-Air capabilities including digital integration of Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles and updated MIDS datalink functionalities for enhanced interoperability with Coalition Forces. P1E(b) will also see the introduction of many aspects from the UK Radar and Drop programmes which delivered improvements to the Tranche 1 Eurofighter Typhoon - the latest standard of which has recently been delivered and is currently being evaluated by the RAF.
Cassidian flew the first P1E(b) flight in Instumented Production Aircraft (IPA) 7 in Germany on 27th August 2012. BAE Systems, Cassidian in Spain and Alenia Aermacchi followed with flights in IPA6, IPA2 and IPA4 respectively. After those flights it was confirmed that P1E(b) will deliver a robust simultaneous multirole capability to the Nations’ Air Forces which will provide a significant leap in Eurofighter’s operational capabilities.
The Phase 1 Enhancements cover the design, development, qualification and clearance of the first major upgrade after the Main Development Contract (MDC) which will be achieved via two separate software releases (SRP 10 with P1Ea and SRP 12 with P1Eb). The P1E programme is a major milestone in the development of Eurofighter Typhoon giving to the weapon system seamless air-to-ground integration and forming the baseline for future enhancements such as AESA radar and METEOR.