A series of ground-based tests have been completed at Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi in Turin-Caselle and at BAE Systems in Warton, Lancashire, in readiness for Eurofighter Typhoon’s flight trials with MBDA’s Storm Shadow cruise missile. The trials are due to take place in the UK later this year.
The first set of ground trials saw Italian Instrumented Production Aircraft 2 (IPA2) and UK production Typhoon aircraft BS111, fitted with two of MBDA’s Storm Shadow cruise missiles undergo Electro Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) tests. EMC testing ensures the integrity of the electrical systems onboard the aircraft and the missile. Following these tests, the missiles have been prepared for flight by positioning a series of laser tracking points which allow engineers to accurately analyse the trajectory of the weapon when released from the aircraft.
Italian aerospace and defence company Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi is leading the programme to integrate Storm Shadow onto Typhoon with the support of MBDA engineers, and will also be leading the UK-based flight trials, supported by engineers from BAE Systems. The flight trials will build upon previous trials in Italy last year which saw the first successful release of a Storm Shadow from a Typhoon.
The UK-based trials will see the missile being released from Italian IPA2 aircraft in order to collect safe weapons separation trajectory data and to verify the correct release sequence of the missile.
MBDA’s Storm Shadow is a combat proven cruise missile, already in service with the Italian Air Force and Royal Air Force Tornados. It is a conventionally armed, stealthy, long-range stand-off precision weapon. Storm Shadow will add new capability to strike in all-weather conditions well-defended infrastructure targets such as port facilities, control centres, bunkers, missile sites, airfields and bridges which might otherwise require several aircraft and missions. This will form a new addition to the Eurofighter Typhoon’s potent simultaneous multi-/swing-role capabilities.