Flight-test activities to support the full integration of at least one European cruise missile design with the Eurofighter Typhoon have been expanded, with the 15 January debut sortie of the combat aircraft carrying a pair of Taurus KEPD 350 weapons.
Airbus Defence & Space
Performed from Airbus Defence & Space’s Manching test centre near Munich using instrumented production aircraft 7 (IPA7), the ongoing work with the KEPD 350 is intended to support the addition of MBDA’s Storm Shadow missile for Italy and the UK. Eurofighter partner company Alenia Aermacchi conducted a similar first flight in November 2013 with IPA2 fitted with two of the latter design.
“Concurrent testing of these two similar missiles optimises the Storm Shadow integration and facilitates the future airframe integration of Taurus,” the Airbus Group company says. Its current work with IPA7 will include “flutter tests, air data system large store interface assessment and aerodynamic data gathering” with the MBDA Germany/Saab Dynamics missile, it adds.
Previously employed during conflicts in Iraq and Libya, the MBDA-produced Storm Shadow provides a precision strike capability from a stand-off-range of more than 135nm (250km). The type should be ready for operational use with the Typhoon from 2015.