Testing of the Eurofighter Typhoon “Phase 2Ea” by the Royal Air Force has begun at Warton in the UK. An aircraft upgraded to the new standard has been flown by pilots of No. 41(R) Test and Evaluation Suadron at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire. The test program will likely continue throughout 2016.
The Phase 2Ea upgrades include enhanced software and avionics systems as well as new features added to the radar, defensive aids systems, situational awareness and targeting pods. These enhancements will improve Typhoon’s targeting capabilities particularly in the air-to-ground arena as the 2019 out-of-service date for the Tornado GR.4 creeps ever closer. From 2019 onwards the Typhoon will have to carry the burden of the strike role as well as the air defence role until the F-35 Lightning II becomes fully operational. To that end the RAF has launched Project Centurion which aims to ensure a painless transition between Typhoon and Tornado duties by 2019.
Wing Commander Steven Berry, Officer Commanding of No.41(R) squadron said to the press;
The enhancements mean as an air-to-surface platform, Typhoon has the simplicity and flexibility in the design to be easily employed in close air support missions or more complex scenarios like convoy over-watch.