Royal Nor­we­gian Air Force tested IRIS-T in air-to-ground mis­sion

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Delfednce News -

The first Agusta West­land AW101 Mer­lin Mk4 made its maiden flight in Oc­to­ber 2016 at the Yeovil fa­cil­ity in southwest Eng­land. Leonardo is up­grad­ing 25 Royal Navy Mer­lin Mk3/3A air­craft to Mer­lin Mk4/4A stan­dard as part of the Mer­lin Life Sus­tain­ment Pro­gramme (MLSP) con­tract, val­ued at £330 mil­lion. De­liv­er­ies of air­craft will start in 2017 and con­tinue through to 2020 with the work be­ing per­formed at Leonardo’s Yeovil fa­cil­ity.

The AW101 Mer­lin Mk4/4A air­craft are fully op­ti­mised for ship op­er­a­tions and in­cludes au­to­matic main ro­tor blade fold­ing and tail fold. The air­craft are also fit­ted with the same cock­pit as the Royal Navy’s Mer­lin Mk2 air­craft, giv­ing the Mer­lin fleet a com­mon cock­pit fea­tur­ing five in­te­grated dis­play units, two touch screen units for con­trol­ling the air­craft’s sys­tems and mis­sion equip­ment, as well as two cur­sor con­trol de­vices for cur­sor con­trol of the tac­ti­cal dis­plays.

Func­tion­al­ity of the short-range air-to-air mis­sile IRIS-T (In­fra Red Imag­ing Sys­tem Tail/Thrust Vec­tor-Con­trolled), pro­duced by Diehl De­fence, Ger­many and se­lected for the Eurofighter Typhoon, F-16, EF-18, Tor­nado and Gripen, “has been ex­tended.” Af­ter its ini­tial op­ti­mi­sa­tion for air-to-air op­er­a­tions, pro­cured for short-range (IRIS-T SLS) ground-based air de­fence, its func­tion­al­ity has been en­hanced with an air-to-sur­face en­gage­ment ca­pa­bil­ity. This ba­sic air-to-ground ca­pa­bil­ity pro­vides the abil­ity to ac­quire, track and en­gage in­di­vid­ual ground tar­gets like boats/ships, small build­ings and ve­hi­cles and was suc­cess­fully ver­i­fied in Septem­ber 2016 by a test fir­ing from a Nor­we­gian F-16.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.