Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi has confirmed that the first phase of tests for the integration of the Storm Shadow long-range missile onto the Eurofighter Typhoon has been completed.
Storm Shadow is a long range, all-weather, high precision, stand-off weapon already in service on Royal Air Force Tornados. It has been proven in operations to great effect in Iraq and Libya neutralising hardened command bunkers and other high value targets. The stealthy weapon design allows it to penetrate layered air defences whilst the long range of Storm Shadow allows it to be launched outside those defences increasing the launch aircraft survivability.
In the deep attack role Eurofighter Typhoon will carry two Storm Shadow missiles whilst maintaining the ability to carry 8 air-air missiles. This will enable Eurofighter Typhoon to fight its way in and out of the combat area.
Alenia Aermacchi, one of the three Eurofighter Partner Companies behind the Eurofighter Programme today (August 4th) confirmed details behind the tests confirming they first began in December 2013 with development aircraft IPA2.
The tests have already covered a number of aspects of aeromechanical missile integration onto the aircaft and further flight trials are planned as the programme moves through to full integration. The next step in the Programme will be ‘inert drop-tests’ followed by environmental data gathering tests. Avionic flights will then be performed to test funtional integration including dedicated missile release tests.
Alberto Gutierrez, Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter, said: “After these flight tests and after the completion of the qualification process Storm Shadow will enter into the list of available payloads. This will see the realisation of a further consolidation of the Eurofighter Typhoon’s air-to-ground capabilities. It is another significant step on the capability enhancement routemap.”
At the Farnborough International Air Show earlier this month, Eurofighter confirmed that NETMA, the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, had officially placed an order with it to integrate the Storm Shadow long range attack missile onto the aircraft.
Under the terms of what is known as a ‘Contract 4’ order from NETMA, Eurofighter will work with the three Eurofighter Partner Companies (Alenia Aermacchi, Airbus Space & Defence, and BAE Systems) and their supply base – including MBDA, the makers of the Storm Shadow missile on the integration programme.
Eurofighter Typhoon is the most advanced new generation multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft currently available on the world market. Seven customers (Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman) have already ordered the Eurofighter Typhoon. With 571 on order, Eurofighter Typhoon is currently the largest military procurement programme in Europe. Its high technology strengthens the position of the European aerospace industry in the international market. The programme secures more than 100,000 jobs in 400 companies. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of the Eurofighter Partner Companies; Alenia Aermacchi, BAE Systems and Airbus Defence and Space in Germany and Spain, which are the most important aviation and aerospace companies in Europe.
Since entry into service of the first Eurofighter Typhoon at the end of 2003, more than 412 Eurofighter Typhoons have been delivered to six nations: Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia. In December 2012, Oman became the seventh customer ordering a total of 12 aircraft. Eurofighter Typhoon is currently in service with 20 operational units in the Northern and Southern hemisphere and to-date the whole fleet has completed more than 250,000 flying hours worldwide.
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