Integration of MBDA's Storm Shadow cruise missile with the Eurofighter Typhoon has cleared a key milestone, with a powered firing having recently been performed in the UK.
Building on a significant number of carriage and release trials performed in 2014 and 2015, the integration activity "culminated in a powered firing which took place from a development aircraft on 14 June, flying out of BAE Systems' site in Warton, Lancashire," Eurofighter says. The test is understood to have been performed over the Hebrides test range, and involved instrumented production aircraft IPA6.
"Integration of the weapon is on track and hitting its contracted milestones," Eurofighter says. The UK expects Storm Shadow to be fully operational with its Typhoons during 2018, in advance of the retirement of its last Panavia Tornado GR4s. Testing by personnel from the RAF's 41 Sqn fast jet and weapons operational evaluation unit should commence later this year, and continue with work performed from its Coningsby air base in Lincolnshire from early 2017.
The long-range, precision-strike weapon is being added to the Eurofighter's weapons load as part of a Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) package for the type. Some 5.1m (16.7ft) long and weighing 1.3t, it has a range of more than 135nm (250km). The P2E activity also introduces MBDA's Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile.