Flight tests of the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile on a Eurofighter Typhoon began on November 27. A week later, the four-nation industrial consortium delivered the 400th aircraft. The first Tranche 3 Eurofighter flew on December 2 from Warton.
A briefing on the Eurofighter Typhoon organized by BAE Systems at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford last week provided a further indication that some key upgrades to the combat jet are being funded by Saudi Arabia and possibly Oman. The four original partner nations have proved reluctant to collectively fund in the near term enhancements that extend the aircraft’s air-to-ground capability, such as integration of the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile. The four partners have also so far failed to approve full development of the Captor-E AESA radar by the Euroradar consortium.
A short-notice, low-profile visit to the UAE by British Prime Minister David Cameron this week boosted the prospects of an order for the Eurofighter Typhoon. But government and military sources in London and Paris told AIN that the Emiratis are in no hurry to make a decision, and that the Dassault Rafale remains in contention. Dassault declined to comment on the latest development.
Boosted by a visit from British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, yesterday Eurofighter described an upgrade path for the Typhoon that finally appears to be on a firm footing.
MBDA has unveiled a mockup and video depiction of SPEAR, a turbojet-powered air-surface missile for the UK Royal Air Force. SPEAR stands for selective precision effects at range and the missile is intended for launch from the stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) at ranges in excess of 100 km.
A new inter-governmental treaty to be signed in 2013 or 2014 will enhance Anglo-French cooperation on missile development, said Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA. The company has responded to the moves by London and Paris to share defense costs and capabilities with a proposal to create “centers of excellence” that will rationalize the development of new weapons. Bouvier explained that although MBDA is a multinational company, only specific programs such as the Meteor air-to-air missile and the Scalp/Storm Shadow cruise missile are currently developed cooperatively across national boundaries.
Turkey has designed and test-flown an air-launched cruise missile. The stand-off missile (SOM) was launched from a Turkish Air Force F-4E Phantom on August 9. It flew for more than 100 nm before hitting its target “with high accuracy,” according to Tubitak-SAGE, the state-owned Defence Industries Research and Development Institute.
Multi-national missile developer and manufacturer Yesterday MBDA showed off the results of its second concept- visions initiative--–, the CVS 401 Perseus maritime strike missile--–eyesterday at the Paris Air Show.
Future British requirements for missiles and other guided weapons seem likely to be met by a partnership sealed here yesterday. Four companies and the UK Ministry of Defence teamed up for a £74 million ($145 million) assessment phase over the next year. The companies in “Team Complex Weapons” are MBDA, QinetiQ, Roxel and Thales.