The trial fit is an important milestone in demonstrating the integration of the missile with the aircraft and follows the successful completion of an initial £5M study contract awarded to us by the UK’s Ministry of Defence earlier this year. The trials are helping to pave the way for Brimstone 2 integration for the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) by 2018.
Six Brimstone missiles were fitted to the aircraft, each wing carrying a launcher with three missiles. Training missiles were used for the purposes of the trial and demonstrated that the weapon can be fitted to the aircraft. The aircraft was also fitted with two Paveway IV precision guided bombs, showing the baseline Phase 3 Enhancements Air-to-Surface configuration which will provide RAF Typhoon operators with a multi-role platform capable of addressing a wide range of target sets and delivering a variety of proportional precision weapon effects.
Andy Blythe, Test Pilot said “Brimstone is an extremely flexible combat low collateral damage missile which was proven on the Tornado GR4. Brimstone 2 is the next iteration of the weapon and building on its previous successes, will undoubtedly provide the RAF with a potent capability. When the system is paired with Typhoon and Paveway IV, the aircraft will be able to engage a huge cross section of potential targets.”
The current Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone which Brimstone 2 replaces is effective against the most challenging, high speed and manoeuvring targets over land and sea. As a low collateral, close air support weapon it is already combat proven by the RAF in Afghanistan, Libya and most recently in Iraq on the Tornado GR4.
Fitting of the Brimstone missile comes in a year that has seen progress across a range of programmes for Typhoon. The UK RAF are now operating the most advanced Typhoon to date with the latest Phase 1 Enhancement package now in operation. This upgrade delivers true simultaneous swing-role capability to Typhoon.
Progress is also being made across a number of weapons programmes including the award of a full integration contract for the Storm Shadow weapon and further trials to fully integrate the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-To-Air missile. In addition an EUR1bn contract to develop and fit the Captor E-Scan radar was signed on 19 November which will give Typhoon one of the most advanced radar systems in the world, providing a wider field of regard than any other combat aircraft.