Success for Italian Eurofighter Storm Shadow trials
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.