Alenia Aermacchi has successfully completed the first in a major series of flight tests required for integration of the Storm Shadow missile onto Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft at its flight test centre at Decimomannu Air Base, in Sardinia, Italy.
Conducted in collaboration with other Eurofighter partner companies, BAE Systems and Cassidian, the initial flight trials demonstrated that the missile can be safely carried on the aircraft.
The flight test programme started with flutter tests and an air data system large store interference assessment, using an instrumented production aircraft 2 (IPA2) updated to the Phase 1 Enhancement configuration.
Eurofighter chief executive officer Alberto Gutierrez said the integration represents one of a number of enhancements that are planned for the aircraft, and many more are still to come.
”Storm Shadow is a major step forward significantly increasing the air-to-ground capabilities of the Eurofighter Typhoon," Gutierrez said.
Manufactured by MBDA, the Storm Shadow is a conventionally armed, stealthy, long-range stand-off precision weapon designed to neutralise high value targets, including port facilities, control centres, bunkers, missile sites, airfields and bridges that would otherwise require several aircraft and missions, day or night in all-weather conditions.
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Currently operational with the Italian and Royal Air Force’s Tornado fighters, the 1,300kg fire and forget missile is expected to provide a significant leap in Typhoon’s operational capabilities, enabling the aircraft to deploy multiple weapons at a very long range, well clear of danger from enemy air defences.
The missile is scheduled to be made available to Typhoon operators as part of the Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) in 2015.
Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter manufactured by a consortium of EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE, for deployment during air operations, including air policing, peace support and high-intensity conflict missions across the globe.