Airbus Defence and Space has delivered to the Spanish Air Force the first two Eurofighter Typhoons with enhanced air-to-surface capabilities.
Airbus Defence and Space has delivered to the Spanish Air Force the first two Eurofighter Typhoons to be produced in the latest configuration with enhanced air-to-surface capabilities.
The aircraft were manufactured at the Getafe Final Assembly Line in the P1Eb FW (Phase 1 Enhanced Further Work) configuration which marks a key step in the overall Eurofighter evolution plan.
Spanish procurement agency DGAM took delivery of the aircraft on 22nd December, and they were subsequently ferried to Albacete air force base to enter service. The remaining six of the 73 aircraft currently contracted by Spain will be delivered to the same P1Eb FW standard during 2018 and 2019.
This same configuration is being retrofitted to in-service aircraft by other Eurofighter nations. It provides increased integration of a variety of air-to-surface weapons and enhanced targeting among other improvements.
Operational evaluation of the P1Eb FW standard — an evolution of the Tranche 2 aircraft currently in service — has been under way in the UK since October 2016. The standard is planned to deliver a seamless transition of capability from Tornado to Typhoon by the end of this year.
P1Eb FW is a step towards Typhoon's Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) package, which will provide additional man-machine interface and availability improvements, along with the initial integration of the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air to Air missile and the Storm Shadow stand-off Air to Surface weapon. Industry development flight testing for the P2E programme was completed in 2017.
The Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) package — currently in devleopment flight testing — will include the final integration of Storm Shadow and Meteor capabilities, as well as the introduction of the Brimstone 2 close air support air-to-surface capability.