The British Royal Air Force (RAF) is testing a new set of advanced weapons, software and avionics enhancements for the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft.
The trials involving MBDA’s Meteor ‘beyond visual range’ air-to-air and Storm Shadow deep attack air-to-surface missile software systems are being conducted as part of Project Centurion, a programme that ensures the transition of capability from the Tornado GR4 to the Typhoon.
Meteor has been designed to provide ‘beyond visual range’ air-to-air capability to Typhoon in dense electronic warfare environments. This active radar-guided missile will provide a multi-shot capability against long-range, moving targets, such as fast jets, small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and cruise missiles.
Storm Shadow is said to introduce a stand-off air-to-surface capability to enhance the Typhoon’s abilities against well-defended infrastructure targets.
The operational testing and evaluation of the upgrades, known as the Project Centurion Phase 1 capability package, is being performed in collaboration with BAE Systems.
It will include ground test and flight test work as well as familiarisation with new features introduced by the upgrades.
The test work is being carried out by RAF Test and Evaluation pilots at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, UK, ahead of a roll-out across the UK fleet.
It follows trial installation work and the subsequent upgrade of six Typhoon aircraft.
BAE Systems Military Air and Information UK Centurion and Eurofighter Capability Programmes head James Glazebrook said: "Planned testing and evaluation by 41(R) Squadron are now well underway.
“This is another important milestone on the Project Centurion programme and has been achieved through hard work and excellent collaboration between our teams and the RAF.”
The testing also includes a number of new UK-only national capabilities that are expected to bring additional human machine interface and other improvements to the aircraft.
Eurofighter, Airbus and Leonardo delivered aircraft and support equipment used in the trials.
Image: A RAF 41(R) Squadron Eurofighter Typhoon. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.