BAE Systems achieves major capability milestone on Typhoon

March 7th, 2011 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  

F-16 New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) The Eurofighter Typhoon, which is one of the six aircraft in contention for an Indian Air Force (IAF) order for 126 combat jets, has achieved a major milestone in the development of its multi-role combat capabilities with the release of a Paveway IV precision guided bomb, a BAE Systems statement said.

“The milestone was achieved when, for the first time, the avionics system was used to safely release the weapon in an hour-long test flight over the Aberporth Range in Wales,” the statement said.

“The integration of Paveway IV demonstrates a commitment to enhance and upgrade the Typhoon’s capabilities in its ground attack role and forms part of the Typhoon Future Capability Upgrade,” the statement added.

Typhoon Test Pilot Nat Makepeace, who was at the controls of development aircraft IPA6, said: “This was a successful test flight demonstrating the avionics system is able to use global positioning system (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.”

Paveway IV is a highly accurate, precision guided bomb capable of significantly minimising collateral damage. It is low cost and will provide Typhoon pilots with the very best technology for operations with its all-weather, day and night precision capability,” the statement said.

“The test is part of an ongoing programme to integrate Paveway IV onto the aircraft and builds on the environmental and jettison trials which have already been performed,” the statement added.

“This work further demonstrates the systems integration capabilities of the BAE Systems Typhoon team,” the statement said.

Apart from the Typhoon, the other aircraft contending for the IAF order, valued at $10.4 billion, are the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Lockheed Martin F-16IN Super Viper, the Saab Gripen, the Dasault Rafale and the MiG-35.

Evaluation trials have been conducted in India and the country of manufacture and the evaluation reports are now being considered. A decision on the eventual winner of the contract is expected to be taken later this year.

Eighteen aircraft will be bought in a fly-away condition and the remaining will be manufactured in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited under a transfer of technology agreement.

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