Suc­cess for Ital­ian Eurofighter Storm Shadow tri­als

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE DEVELOPMENTS -

Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi has con­firmed that the first phase of tests for the in­te­gra­tion of the Storm Shadow long-range mis­sile onto the Eurofighter Ty­phoon has been com­pleted. Storm Shadow is a long range, all-weather, high pre­ci­sion, stand­off weapon al­ready in ser­vice on Royal Air Force Tor­na­dos. It has been proven in op­er­a­tions to great ef­fect in Iraq and Libya neu­tral­is­ing har­dened com­mand bunkers and other high value tar­gets. The stealthy weapon de­sign al­lows it to pen­e­trate lay­ered air de­fences whilst the long range of Storm Shadow al­lows it to be launched out­side those de­fences in­creas­ing the launch air­craft sur­viv­abil­ity.

In the deep at­tack role Eurofighter Ty­phoon will carry two Storm Shadow mis­siles whilst main­tain­ing the abil­ity to carry 8 airair mis­siles. This will en­able Eurofighter Ty­phoon to fight its way in and out of the com­bat area.

Alenia Aermacchi, one of the three Eurofighter part­ner com­pa­nies be­hind the Eurofighter Pro­gramme (Au­gust 4) con­firmed de­tails be­hind the tests con­firm­ing they first be­gan in De­cem­ber 2013 with de­vel­op­ment air­craft IPA2.

The tests have al­ready cov­ered a num­ber of as­pects of aerome­chan­i­cal mis­sile in­te­gra­tion onto the air­craft and fur­ther flight tri­als are planned as the pro­gramme moves through to full in­te­gra­tion. The next step in the pro­gramme will be ‘in­ert drop-tests’ fol­lowed by en­vi­ron­men­tal data gath­er­ing tests. Avionic flights will then be per­formed to test func­tional in­te­gra­tion in­clud­ing ded­i­cated mis­sile re­lease tests.

Al­berto Gu­tier­rez, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Eurofighter, said: “After th­ese flight tests and after the com­ple­tion of the qual­i­fi­ca­tion process Storm Shadow will en­ter into the list of avail­able pay­loads. This will see the re­al­i­sa­tion of a fur­ther con­sol­i­da­tion of the Eurofighter Ty­phoon’s air-to-ground ca­pa­bil­i­ties. It is another sig­nif­i­cant step on the ca­pa­bil­ity en­hance­ment routemap.”

At the Farn­bor­ough In­ter­na­tional Air Show 2014, Eurofighter con­firmed that NETMA, the NATO Eurofighter and Tor­nado Man­age­ment Agency, had of­fi­cially placed an or­der with it to in­te­grate the Storm Shadow long range at­tack mis­sile onto the air­craft.

Un­der the terms of what is known as a ‘Con­tract 4’ or­der from NETMA, Eurofighter will work with the three Eurofighter Part­ner Com­pa­nies (Alenia Aermacchi, Air­bus Space & De­fence, and BAE Sys­tems) and their sup­ply base – in­clud­ing MBDA, the mak­ers of the Storm Shadow mis­sile on the in­te­gra­tion pro­gramme.

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