Mar 30, 2014

Paveway IV service entry imminent for RAF Typhoons

The UK Royal Air Force could be as little as four to five months from having its Paveway IV precision-guided bombs fully qualified through the entire Eurofighter Typhoon flight envelope, for carriage using all six of the aircraft’s under-wing carriage points.
New work by Raytheon UK has lifted the remaining Typhoon and Panavia Tornado GR4 flight envelope restrictions for a weapon that was originally developed for the less aerobatic BAE Systems Harrier GR7/9.
Raytheon UK has successfully completed a re-qualification programme for Paveway IV, and the results are now being assessed by the MoD and partners.
The RAF's Tornado GR4s also have no restrictions on carriage of up to five Paveway IVs, as used during the Libya campaign in 2011. At that time, the strike aircraft faced restrictions on carriage configuration. Saudi Arabia also is interested in adopting Paveway IV for its Typhoon and Tornado fleets.
While the nimble Typhoon and Tornado put far more stress on carried Paveways than the weapon was designed to withstand, its requalification work showed the bomb to be suitable without modification for even the most extreme manoeuvres by the Typhoon. The work also shows the Paveway IV can be carried without restriction by the Typhoon throughout the weapon’s 20-year storage life.
The Typhoon requalification is an important step in the RAF’s ongoing push to have the aircraft ready to take on the complete range of Tornado air-to-ground mission capabilities, by the time that the venerable type is retired in 2019.

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