The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) No 1(Fighter) Squadron has successfully fired two live Paveway IV precision-guided munitions from a Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft at Cape Wrath Training Area in northern Scotland.

The trials were undertaken as part of the latest Typhoon capability upgrade, known as Phase I Enhancements package (P1Eb).

They demonstrated the aircraft’s potent swing role capability.

1(Fighter) Squadron commanding officer wing commander Mike Sutton said: "The successful weapon drops are a superb reflection on the dedication and achievement of everyone who has been involved in this capability enhancement.

"The swing role capability of the Typhoon ensures that we are well-equipped to respond to the challenges of contingent operations across the globe, while also maintaining the security of UK skies through the delivery of quick reaction Alert, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

An air-to-ground capability upgrade, the P1Eb programme provides enhancements to the Litening III laser designator pod (LDP) and helmet equipment assembly (HEA) integration, as well as with Paveway IV.

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The LDP can now also be used seamlessly with the HEA to visually identify air tracks at long-range, and also for identification, tracking and targeting points on the ground.

Specifically, the programme includes installation of full air-to-surface systems, smart bomb integration, modern secure identification friend or foe, improved radios, direct voice input systems, and digital integration of short range air-to-air missiles, amongst others.

"The successful weapon drops are a superb reflection on the dedication and achievement of everyone who has been involved in this capability enhancement."

A total of eight Paveway IV drops has been completed by the squadron this week, with a mix of profiles including GPS and laser guidance, pre-planned and target of opportunity using the HEA and employing both impact and airburst fusing settings on the weapon.

An additional 20 Paveway IV weapons are scheduled to be released when Typhoons deploy to the US, for Exercise Red Flag in January 2015.

Typhoon would be conducting full swing role training sorties, day and night, fighting through enemy air and ground threats, followed by the Paveway IV releases.

The sorties are expected to also involve full integration with the US Air Force F22 Raptor aircraft, which is a key area for the RAF as it looks to introduce F-35 aircraft in future.

Image: A RAF typhoon firing live Paveway IV bomb at Cape Wrath Training Area in northern Scotland. Photo: courtesy of Jamie Hunter/ RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2014.

Defence Technology