RAF Typhoon's First 'In-Service' Bomb Drop

A pilot from 17(R) SQ OEU drops the first in-service bomb from an RAF Typhoon, in XI Squadron's #ZJ939 (DXI)
Photo: SAC Babbs Robinson

11/21/2007 - The RAF’s newest and most versatile multi-role fighter, Eurofighter Typhoon has dropped its first in-service RAF bomb – and the weapon scored a direct hit on the target at sea off the Welsh coast.

The weapon, a 1000lb Paveway 2 laser guided bomb (LGB) was dropped by a Typhoon of No. XI Squadron based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

Baroness Taylor, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support said; “Typhoon is an exceptional fighter jet; we have already seen it perform in its air-to-air role in June this year when it defended UK airspace.

The first RAF bomb drop is a significant step towards the Typhoon being ready for operational use.”

The RAF Typhoon carried out the trial alongside a BAE Systems twin-seat Typhoon BT005 carrying a Rafael Litening lll laser pod which illuminated the target. The laser guided the Paveway 2 dropped by the RAF Typhoon straight to the target. Although this was the first air-to-ground weapon drop from a Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon, the weapon system had already proven the ability to self-designate in October when BT005, the aircraft selected for the LDP integration trials, successfully illuminated and destroyed its target. In both tests, BT005 was operated by the Combined Test Team with a Royal Air Force pilot in the front seat and an Industry test pilot in the rear.

XI Squadron's #ZJ939 (DXI) banks while preparing to drop the first in-service bomb from an RAF Typhoon.
Photo: SAC Babbs Robinson

The pilot of the BAE Systems aircraft who was from the Operational Evaluation Unit, 17 (Reserve) Squadron, also based at RAF Coningsby, said:

“The drop ran very smoothly and is testament to the exceptional performance of the aircraft even at this early stage of multi-role development.”

Typhoon Project Team Leader, Air Commodore Chris Bushell, commented:

“This successful weapons trial is an important step on the route towards achieving multi-role capability for Typhoon. The result of this trial has emphasised the effectiveness that this will add to the Typhoon fleet and that delivery of the future operational multi-role aircraft is on track”.

Trials are continuing to perfect its bomb-dropping techniques with a view to achieving an initial air-to-ground attack capability by the summer of 2008. This follows on from the aircraft being declared operational in the air-to-air role, defending UK air space from aerial threats, on 29 June this year.

The pilot of the BAE Systems aircraft was from the RAF’s 17(Reserve) Squadron, the Operational Evaluation Unit, which is also based at RAF Coningsby.

Source: RAF / BAE Press Release

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