Jul 11, 2014

U.K. Gears Up For Typhoon Enhancements

On April 1, 2015, the U.K. Royal Air Force will stand up its fifth front-line squadron of Eurofighter Typhoons.
The reformation of II (Army Cooperation) Sqdn. at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland will not only round off the U.K.’s deployment plans but will also mark the moment that the RAF declares its Typhoon force a truly multirole asset.
It has probably taken longer than the RAF anticipated; the Typhoon has been in service now for 11 years. But the addition of Phase 1 Enhancement (P1E) capability on the Tranche 2 fleet should help pave the way for the Typhoon to take on more of the ground-attack mission currently held by the Panavia Tornado GR4 force, which is due to retire before the end of this decade.
The addition of the P1E delivers a ground-attack capability with the U.K.’s primary precision-guided weapon, the Raytheon Paveway IV, along with a host of other improvements.
But if Typhoon is going to take on the role of the RAF’s big stick before the end of the decade, the GR4’s other weapons—such as the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile and the Brimstone, direct-fire air-to-ground missile—also need to be integrated to ensure there are no gaps in the RAF’s strike capability.

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