BAE Systems, a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company, has started a series of flight tests for its new combat aircraft Typhoon Tranche 3.
According to the company, the Tranche 3 standard embodies a number of under-the-skin changes that can futureproof the aircraft, which makes it an attractive option for new buyers.
The company has made multiple modifications, changes and additions to the new combat aircraft, to make it suitable for the current and potential export customers.
The first TRanche 3 was produced for the RAF by the Eurofighter consortium, which was assembled by BAE Systems.
As part of the flight tests, the company carried out the integration of MBDA Storm Shadow missile onto the aircraft in November.
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Eurofighter Typhoon announced a contract to develop the integration of the Meteor weapon system earlier this year, while at the same time another development aircraft was modified to take an E-Scan radar, which is currently being prepared at Warton for its first flight.
With 40 aircraft bound for the Royal Air Force, a total of 112 aircraft have been ordered for the four European partner nations of Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, under the Tranche 3A contract signed in 2009.
BAE Systems managing director Mark Kane said the new aircraft includes a number of provisions that will allow it to take on additional capability in the future.
Kane said, "Once fitted, these would give the aircraft greater range and free up positions under the aircraft for larger or additional weapons.
"At the nose, a new internal structure has been built and work has been carried out on power, cooling and electronics so that a new E-Scan radar could easily be accommodated."