A series of live firings of the MBDA Brimstone precision strike missile from a Eurofighter Typhoon have been successfully completed.
The trials, conducted from BAE Systems’ Military Air & Information division at Warton, form part of a programme of new enhancements which will be rolled out across the Royal Air Force.
The new missile system ensures Typhoon remains at the cutting edge of combat capability.
And it will provide a welcome boost to Lancashire-based planemakers facing redundancies as a result of a slowing up of Typhoon orders.
Brimstone will provide Typhoon with a low collateral, pin-point accurate air-to-surface weapon.
Planning for the next stages of work on Brimstone – including evaluation by the RAF in mid-2018 – is now underway ahead of its entry into service.
Andy Flynn, Eurofighter capability delivery director, BAE Systems, said: “To complete this milestone is testament to the expertise and dedication of our people and the value of working closely with our partners. Brimstone will add a low-collateral, high precision strike capability and ensure Typhoon remains fit to meet the threats of the future for decades to come.”
Brimstone is part of the Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) package which also includes mission system and sensor upgrades. P3E is the final part of Project Centurion – the programme to ensure a smooth transition of Tornado GR4 capabilities on to Typhoon for the RAF.
In total nine firings at MOD ranges and nine jettison trials, which began in July, have been completed.
The aim of the trials was to provide weapons integration clearance for operational use.
They covered a range of specific release scenarios, testing at various heights, speeds, levels of G-force and in different positions on the aircraft wing and in the launcher.
The nine firings have also been used to perform data analysis and models of the weapon’s performance.
Further flight trials will take place in early 2018, followed by operational evaluation by the RAF.