Successful Storm Shadow & Meteor Missile Trials continue for Eurofighter
Further trials of the Storm Shadow deep strike missile and Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air missile have been successfully completed as part of a programme of improvements which will further enhance the powerful swing-role capability of the Eurofighter Typhoon
A new operational release of the Storm Shadow missile was carried out in the UK Ministry of Defence’s Hebrides range in Scotland. The release - from the Italian Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) 2 - is part of work conducted to expand the safe weapon trajectory data envelope of the missile. The test, which was led by Finmeccanica – Aircraft Division, with the support of Eurofighter, BAE Systems, Airbus Defence and Space, and MBDA, follows the completion of ground trials on the weapon and a successful release of Storm Shadow in November 2015.
It was followed by another firing of a Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air missile using UK Typhoon aircraft IPA6, also at the Hebrides range. Led by BAE Systems with support from MBDA, Selex, QinetiQ and UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Eurofighter teams. The firing follows trials held in late 2015 which saw the Typhoon aircraft conduct guided Meteor firings against real air targets in pre-planned scenarios.
The Storm Shadow and Meteor firings are part of the flight test campaign for the Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) programme which will introduce a range of new and improved long range attack capabilities to Typhoon.
Commenting on the Storm Shadow tests, Enrico Scarabotto, the Italian Chief Test pilot who flew the IPA2, said: “The integration of the weapon further enhances Typhoon’s potent multi-role and swing-role capabilities, adding new capability to strike in day or night, in all-weather conditions. Storm Shadow adds attack stand-off capability to Typhoon which now really accomplishes every possible role in the combat scenario. The aircraft retains excellent performance in an incredible low pilot workload cockpit environment, essential for a single seat multirole aircraft.”
Steve Greenbank, Director of Aircraft Programmes for Military Air & Information, BAE Systems, said: “These latest Meteor firing trials are another step forward in the integration of the missile onto the Typhoon aircraft, demonstrating they can operate safely, accurately and effectively.
“2015 was a hugely exciting 12 months for Typhoon, with contracts placed for new capabilities and enhancements. The integration of Meteor further enhance the aircraft’s abilities to ensure Typhoon maintains its position as the most capable, agile and enduring swing role fighter in the international market. These trials also form important maturity points for the UKs Project CENTURION plan, which will see Typhoon provide the continuous delivery of key combat air capabilities as Tornado moves towards its out-of-service date.”
In addition to Meteor and Storm Shadow, the integration of MBDA’s Brimstone, part of the Phase 3 Enhancements (P3E) programme, is on contract for Eurofighter Typhoon. Brimstone is a precision attack missile with proven capabilities against both static and moving/manoeuvring targets.
More about the Storm Shadow:
Produced by MBDA, Storm Shadow is a combat-proven deep strike missile which is already in service with a number of air forces. It will enhance Typhoon’s abilities against well-defended infrastructure targets such as port facilities, control centres, bunkers, missile sites, airfields and bridges which might otherwise require several aircraft and missions.
More about the Meteor:
Produced by MBDA, Meteor is a ramjet powered, active radar guided missile designed to provide a long range capability against manoeuvring targets, such as fast jets, small unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles in a heavy electronic countermeasures environment.
Eurofighter Typhoon capability journey:
The Eurofighter Typhoon is subject to an extensive continuous upgrade programme and the latest Phase 1 Enhancement (P1E) package came into operation last year. This upgrade further enhanced the effectiveness of the aircraft and its simultaneous swing-role capabilities. Weapons integration activity as part of the Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) package is scheduled to continue in 2016.