BAE Systems has completed the first release of a Raytheon Paveway IV precision-guided bomb from a Eurofighter Typhoon, using the aircraft's avionics system to release the weapon, as it works to enhance the fighter for a ground-attack role.

Typhoon test pilot Nat Makepeace, who was in charge of development aircraft IPA6 for the trial at the Aberporth range in the UK, says: "This was a successful test flight demonstrating the avionics system is able to use GPS data and target information sourced from the aircraft to prepare for the release.

"All communication with the aircraft and safe release of the bomb went to plan."

The test was part of BAE's ongoing programme to integrate Paveway IV with the aircraft. Environmental and jettison trials have already been completed.

Paveway IV is expected to be available to the UK Ministry of Defence in early 2012 when the Royal Air Force will start operational evaluation.

It is part of the Typhoon Future Capability Upgrade programme.

Source: Flight International