RAF tests Typhoon fighter enhancements

A test squadron of the Royal Air Force has conducted flight tests on enhancements for Typhoon fighters.
By Richard Tomkins  |  Jan. 25, 2016 at 1:57 PM
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HALLBERGMOOS, Germany, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The Royal Air Force has conducted flight trials of enhancements for Eurofighter Typhoons at a facility of BAE Systems in Britain.

The Phase 2A enhancements, part of the full Phase 2 Enhancement package, include improvements to software and avionics, such as upgrades to radar, defensive aids systems and targeting pods to increase threat awareness, pilot safety and targeting capabilities.

Testing of the package will be ongoing throughout 2016 with weapons integration tests also scheduled for this year.

"The P2Ea upgrade brings some major capability changes and some welcome tweaks to the existing capabilities," said Wing Cmdr. Steven Berry, Officer Commanding, 41(R) Test and Evaluation Suadron. "The enhancements mean as an air-to-surface platform, Typhoon has the simplicity and flexibility in the design to be easily employed in close air support missions or more complex scenarios like convoy over-watch."

The 41(R) Test and Evaluation Squadron had conducted two tests on an early version of the P2Ea -- an air-to-air exercise and an air-to-surface exercise targeting simulated targets. The feedback from these tests has been assessed and will be used to influence the final design of the enhancements.

In 2019 the Typhoon will be shouldering more defense tasks, taking over from the Tornado fighter, which is ging out of service. The full P2E upgrade for the RAF will include the integration of the MBDA Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile. The next phase of enhancements, P3E, will bring the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile and MBDA Brimstone 2 close air support weapon into service on RAF Typhoons.

Eurofighter is owned by BAE Systems, Alenia Aermacchi and Airbus Defense and Space, and co-ordinates the design, production and upgrade of the Typhoon.

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