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