Alenia Aermacchi has completed the first phase of integration tests of the Storm Shadow missile into the Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft.
Working in collaboration with Cassidian and BAE Systems, the company evaluated various aspects of aeromechanical missile integration into the aircraft, at its facility at Decimomannu Air Base in Sardinia, Italy,
The tests started in December last year with instrumented production aircraft 2 (IPA2).
A series of flight trials, such as inert drop-tests and environmental data gathering tests, are scheduled to be performed as the programme moves towards full integration.
The aircraft would also undergo avionic flights, including dedicated missile release tests, for evaluation of functional integration of the missile.
Eurofighter CEO Alberto Gutierrez 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."
Manufactured by MBDA, Storm Shadow is an all-weather, long-range stand-off precision weapon designed to neutralise high value targets, such as port facilities, control centres, bunkers, missile sites, airfields and bridges.
According to Eurofighter, the stealth nature of the weapon allows it to penetrate layered air defences and its long range enables it to be launched outside those defences increasing survivability of the launch aircraft.
The company received a contract from the Nato Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (Netma) for integration of the Storm Shadow missile into Typhoon, during the Farnborough International Air Show last month.
The long-range cruise missile will be integrated into the Typhoons of four Eurofighter partner nations, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
Typhoon will have the ability to carry two Storm Shadow missiles in deep attack role, in addition to eight air-air missiles. This enables the aircraft to manoeuvre in and out of the combat area.
Image: A Eurofighter Typhoon flies with two Storm Shadow missile mounted under its wings. Photo: © Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH.