It’s expected that BAE Systems will conduct the first powered flight tests of the Storm Shadow cruise missile on a Typhoon aircraft very soon.
BAE engineer Migeul Morrell has said that the first powered test launch of Storm Shadow from Eurofighter will be “very soon”.
This test continues the series of that ‘Eurofighter Partner Company’ Alenia Aermacchi is leading to demonstrate the full integration of the Storm Shadow missile, partially in order to boost export potential.
Back in 2015, the same Italian Typhoon IPA successfully completed a release of Storm Shadow, a conventionally armed, stealthy, long-range stand-off cruise missile.
With support from Eurofighter Partner Company BAE Systems, missile designer and producer MBDA, and specialist trials support from QinetiQ, the first set of trials were conducted at the Aberporth MoD firing range, in the UK.
The integration of the missile with the aircraft’s weapon system was successfully demonstrated. The trials also verified the interface of the missile with the weapon system for pre-launch checks, demonstrated post-launch safe separation and the subsequent commencement of missile flight.
According to DefenceNews:
“The RAF is scheduled to undertake tests of the Storm Shadow in Warton, England, toward the end of this year with operational evaluation trials at RAF Coningsby due to get started in early 2017, according to Andy Flynn, BAE’s Eurofighter contract delivery director and the executive responsible for the Centurion program, which aims to transition capabilities from the Tornado to the Typhoon ahead of the former going out of service.”
Storm Shadow provides a significant leap in the Eurofighter Typhoon’s operational capabilities, enabling the platform to deploy multiple weapons at a very long range well clear of danger from air defences.