First Eurofighter Tranche 2 Capability Enhancements in Flight Testing

10/24/2008 - Flight tests for the advanced capabilities covered by the Phase 1 Enhancement (P1E) programme for Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 2 weapon systems have commenced with today’s first flight of a Paveway IV on Instrumented Production Aircraft IPA2 at Alenia Aeronautica’s facility in Turin, Italy.

First phase aeromechanical integration tests (Flutter, Vibration) of this new 500lb precision guided store are to be conducted at Alenia Aeronautica. Further trials will follow on IPA1 at BAE Systems and IPA4 at EADS CASA in configurations of up to six air-to-surface stores in order to prove the safe release of the new P1E weapons from the aircraft. This flight test phase will also include the 1000lb dual mode precision guided EGBU-16 bomb. The test data gained in these trials will allow the air vehicle aspects of the P1E capability development to be progressed.

IPA7 at EADS Deutschland will also join the P1E air vehicle trials in 2009 to prove handling qualities and carefree handling with the Paveway IV weapon.

Avionics flight trials involving all four Tranche 2 standard Instrumented Production Aircraft are to follow this first test campaign, leading to service release of P1E(a) Capabilities in 2011.

The start of P1E flight trials marks a significant step towards the availability of an Enhanced Multi-Role Capability on Eurofighter Typhoon which is being developed under the First Batch of Enhancements Contract, agreed with the Core Nations in March 2007.

Eurofighter CEO, Aloysius Rauen, stated: "The insertion of new capabilities onto Eurofighter Typhoon represents the consortium's drive to provide our customer Air Forces with a weapon system that meets all current and projected mission requirements. These new technologies and new weapons will make the best even better."

Source: Eurofighter

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