BAE Systems has announced that the initial phase of enhancements to the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon fleet has entered the operational evaluation stage.
Phase I Enhancements Further Work (P1Eb FW), which forms a part of the UK's Project Centurion, ensures that the Typhoon fleet is ready to take on the role currently performed by Tornado aircraft.
The transition of capability from Tornado to Typhoon is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
The project involves addition of new Human-Machine Interface technologies and additions to the aircraft’s Air to Surface targeting capability.
The latest upgrades have successfully undergone trial installation while operational evaluation with 41 (R) Squadron, the RAF's Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) at RAF Coningsby, is currently underway.
RAF’s 41 (R) Squadron (TES) flight lieutenant Luke Gili-Ross said: “The integration of P1Eb Further Work is an important and necessary incremental step towards Phase II Enhancements (P2E) for the aircraft.
“On the surface, it appears to deliver quite small improvements, but for the operator they may be significant in terms of the aircraft's continued effectiveness.”
The P2E package provides additional Human-Machine Interface and availability improvements to the aircraft, along with the initial integration of the Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and the Storm Shadow stand-off air-to-surface weapon.
The final upgrades to be delivered as part of the Phase III Enhancement package includes the final integration of Storm Shadow and Meteor capabilities, as well as the introduction of the Brimstone 2 close air support air-to-surface capability.
Image: Eurofighter Typhoon in flight. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.