EADS has conducted the first of nine planned test flights leading to the certification of the Eurofighter combat aircraft to undergo in-flight refuelling from the German air force's Airbus A310 multi-role tanker transports.
Conducted from EADS Military Air Systems' Manching facility near Munich in late October, the first test lasted for about 5h and employed two of Germany's instrumented production aircraft. The company expects the certification campaign to be completed before year-end.
German air force Eurofighters, including those assigned to air policing duties from its Neuburg/Donau air base in southern Germany, rely on "buddy-buddy" refuelling from Panavia Tornado strike aircraft to extend their mission endurance.
Germany has modified four of its A310 transports for use as tankers, according to Flight's MiliCAS database.
Separately, Alenia Aeronautica has performed the first Eurofighter sortie carrying Raytheon Systems’ Paveway IV precision-guided bomb.
On order for the UK Royal Air Force, the 226kg (500lb) design is among several new weapons to be integrated with the type under the programme’s Tranche 2 Phase 1 Enhancement package, due for service release in 2011.