Tag Archives: Storm Shadow

New photo shows Eurofighter Typhoon carrying Storm Shadow cruise missiles during latest trials

Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft is expanding its air-to-surface capabilities with air-launched cruise missiles.

The image in this post was taken at Decimomannu airbase, Italy, on Sept. 10.

It shows the Italian Eurofighter Typhoon instrumented production aircraft 2 (IPA2) carrying two MBDA’s Storm Shadow cruise missiles during the latest weapons trials in Sardinia.

The MBDA Storm Shadow missile is a conventional, stealthy, 1.300 kg standoff weapon (over 5-mt long), designed for use against very high value targets in all-weather conditions.

The missile is already in service with the RAF and Italian Tornados, that have extensively used it in combat during Libya Air War. The missile will further enhance the swing role capabilities of the Typhoon and may be a weapon of interest for all those operators that use (or plan to) the aircraft in the air-to-surface role. Including Kuwait, that has become the latest country to select the Typhoon and is expected to operate 28 planes, the “most advanced Eurofighters yet.”

Image credit: Giampaolo Mallei


Eurofighter Typhoon flies with Taurus 350 radar-evading cruise missiles

On Jan. 15, Airbus Defence and Space started the testing campaign of the Eurofighter Typhoon multirole combat plane with Taurus air-launched stand-off precision missiles.

The first flight took place at the Manching Military Air Systems Center, north of Munich, and involved Instrumented Production Aircraft 7 (IPA7), flown by Eurofighter Project Pilot Chris Worning.

Taurus KEPD 350 is a German/Swedish missile that is manufactured by Taurus Systems GmbH, a partnership between MBDA Germany and Saab Dynamics. The missile has a range of +500 kilometres (300 mi), a speed of Mach 0.8-0.9 and stealth features.

The first flight came after the successful ground tests and taxi tests; the flying activities, taking place within the Storm Shadow integration program, will focus on flutter tests, air data system large store interference assessment and aerodynamic data gathering.

According to Airbus Defense and Space (a newly formed division of Airbus Group combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military) concurrent testing of the two similar missiles “optimises the Storm Shadow integration and facilitates the future airframe integration of Taurus.”

Image credit via Airbus


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New photos show Eurofighter Typhoon with Storm Shadow cruise missiles

Started on Nov. 27 at Decimomannu airbase, in Sardinia, flying activity aimed at integrating the MBDA Storm Shadow missile, a 1.300 kg standoff weapon (over 5-mt long), onto Eurofighter Typhoon multi-/swing role aircraft continues.

The Instrumented Production Aircraft 2 (IPA2) Typhoon, updated to the Phase 1 Enhancement standard, carrying two stealthy, long-range precision Storm Shadow missiles was spotted at Deci airbase in the last weeks.

The photographs in this post, taken by The Aviationist contributor Gian Luca Onnis, provide a closer look at the Typhoon configuration, featuring two AIM-9L Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAMs along with the Storm Shadows.

Typhoon SS

Image credit: Gian Luca Onnis


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Eurofighter Typhoon flies with Storm Shadow air-launched Cruise Missiles

Integration of the MBDA Storm Shadow missile onto Eurofighter Typhoon multi-/swing role aircraft has started.

Eurofighter and Alenia Aermacchi have released some images of the initial flight trials that began on Nov. 27, by the Alenia Aermacchi Flight Test Center at Decimomannu airbase, in Sardinia, Italy. Such tests, supported by BAE Systems and Cassidians, are aimed to demonstrate that the air-launched cruise missile, already in service with both the Italian Air Force and Royal Air Force Tornado bombers (that used them in the 2011 Libya Air War), can be safely carried by the Typhoon.

The testing campaign involves the Instrumented Production Aircraft 2 (IPA2) updated to the Phase 1 Enhancement standard. The aircraft will conduct flutter tests and air data system large store interference assessment to validate the integration of the new weapon that will give the aircraft a significant capability to employ the stealthy, long-range precision weapon against high value, well defended targets, day or night, in all-weather conditions.

According to Eurofighter, the 1.300 kg standoff weapon (over 5-mt long) will be available to the 7 Typhoon operators (Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman) from 2015 when the Eurofighter Typhoon Phase 2 Enhancements become operational.

Image credit: Eurofighter/Luigino Caliaro


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Dambusters test adveniristic helmet for RAF Tornado crews. Most advanced combat planes have similar helmets, except the F-22.

According to a press release issued today, BAE Systems has developed a new helmet mounted cueing system for Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 crews.

Similarly to American Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) or the Eurofighter Typhoon’s Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMSS) the system projects information in front of the pilots eye giving instant information of points of interest.

The RAF raised the Urgent Operational Requirement last April (2011) and the system is now being tested operationally by 617 Squadron of the RAF, which has a very rich history of using new technology in combat.

The squadron was formed in 1943 at RAF Scampton during world war two and was specifically formed with hand picked crews who flew modified Avro Lancaster bombers to deliver the ground breaking Barnes Wallis designed “Bouncing Bomb” on an attack on four dams in the Rhur Valley (Germany). Later in the war, it was the first squadron to drop the 21,000lb “Grand Slam” on German U-Boat pens, and it was also the first RAF Squadron to use Storm Shadow operationally during operation “Telic” in Iraq during 2003.

History has repeated itself since this new system has been integrated onto aircraft which are now operational in the hostile theater of Afghanistan.

In the BAE’s press release Wing Commander Kurt Hill, FAST Tornado Capability Manager said: “The Tornado HMCS capability has greatly enhanced the crews situational awareness and resource management, enabling the rapid identification of points of interest in the Homogeneous Afghan environment.”

Martin Taylor, BAE Systems Combat Air Support Director said: “Over the coming months, we will continue to work with the customer, to provide the capability across the wider Tornado fleet.”

The new Helmet Mounted Cueing System (HMCS) has passed all of its operational requirements and is now making it easier to indentify the enemy on the ground in very fluid firefights.

Image credit: Richard Clements

The integration of the HMCS on the Tornado fleet shows that both fighter and bomber combat planes might need to improve their situational awareness and capability to engage ground targets with helmets that project symbology on the visor. However, even if U.S. F-15C/D, F-16  Block 40 and 50 and F-18C/D/E/F pilots use the JHMCS and the F-35 will have a similar helmet, the multirole F-22 Raptor won’t have one.

Here’s what The Aviationist wrote about the lack of helmet mounted display on the F-22 in a previous post about the Eurofighter Typhoon HMSS:

“There are various reasons why the most advanced (and much troubled) air superiority fighter lacks both helmet mounted display and HOBS (High Off-Boresight) weapons: confidence that capability was not needed since no opponents would get close enough to be engaged with an AIM-9X in a cone more than 80 degrees to either side of the nose of the aircraft; limited head space below the canopy; the use of missiles carried inside ventral bays whose sensor can’t provide aiming to the system until they are ejected. And also various integration problems that brought the Air Force to cancel funding.

Did the F-22 need HOBS? Sure, as it would have improved its lethality even further. Indeed, although simulated 1 F-22 vs 3 JHMCS F-16Cs engagements proved that the Raptor can master even challenging scenarios such an extra feature would have been a useful addition when facing large formations of Gen. 5 fighters like the Chinese J-20.”

Written with The Aviationist’s Editor David Cenciotti