The UK Royal Air Force has formally cleared some of its Eurofighter Typhoons as ready to perform air-to-surface operations, following the 1 July declaration of the type's multirole employment date.
Achieved through a so-called "austere capability" upgrade to some of the RAF's Tranche 1 Typhoons, the ground-attack mission will be performed using 455kg (1,000lb) Raytheon Paveway II laser- and Enhanced Paveway II laser/GPS-guided bombs (test release pictured below) and the Rafael Litening III targeting pod. The modifications were successfully demonstrated during 11 Sqn's participation in a recent Green Flag West close-air support exercise at Nellis AFB, Nevada.
© Geoffrey Lee/Planefocus
"This latest capability upgrade gives the Royal Air Force the most operationally flexible aircraft it has ever had," said Air Chief Marshal Sir Clive Loader, commander-in-chief Air Command, during a ceremony at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.
Read Flight International's recent report on 11 Sqn's multirole preparations.