Jul 22, 2015
Airbus trials aerodynamic enhancements for Eurofighter Typhoon
The flight trials of the Aerodynamic Modification Kit (AMK) were part of the wider Eurofighter Enhanced Manoeuvrability (EFEM) programme.
The AMK comprises additional fuselage strakes and leading-edge root extensions that are designed to increase the maximum lift created by the wing by 25%.
Flight trials had yielded some better-than-expected results, with the angle-of-attack capability being 45% greater than that of the unmodified aircraft, and roll-rates up to 100% higher. The flight trials followed around five years of studies, with Eurofighter test pilots and operational pilots from Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom conducting 36 sorties from Manching, Germany, on the Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) 7.
In terms of expanding the Typhoon's air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities, Eurofighter has recently undertaken a series of separate weapon trials that include the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), the MBDA Storm Shadow/Taurus cruise missiles, the MBDA Brimstone low-collateral air-to-surface missile, and the Raytheon Paveway IV precision-guided bomb. Airbus has also revealed that it is looking to integrate a variety of anti-shipping missiles onto the aircraft to increases its maritime role. The goal is to have the full multirole Phase 3 Enhancements (P3E) package in place by 2018, to coincide with the retirement from UK service of the Panavia Tornado GR.4 strike aircraft.
The Euroradar Captor electronically scanned (E-Scan)/Captor active electronically scanned array (CAESAR) radar is currently in its Extended Assessment Phase (EAP), with an integration contract signed by Eurofighter and partner nations on 19 November 2014. The Captor-E/CAESAR is being provisioned for the Tranche 3 aircraft, and will be retrofittable to Tranche 2 platforms also. Once fielded, the new AESA radar should offer some electronic attack capability and simultaneous multimode operation, plus significantly expanded air-to-air capability (it will also have additional functions at the customer's request).