The first Tranche 3 production example of the Eurofighter Typhoon performed its debut flight on Dec. 2 from BAE Systems’ Warton assembly site in Lancashire, UK.
Flown by BAE test pilot Nat Makepeace, single-seat BS116 is one of 40 Tranche 3 aircraft that will be produced for the UK Royal Air Force, equipped with a series of enhancements over previous examples. Germany, Italy and Spain will receive a combined further 72 Eurofighters in the new standard.
“At the nose, a new internal structure has been built, and work has been carried out on power, cooling and electronics so that a new E-scan [active electronically scanned array] radar could be accommodated,” says Mark Kane, BAE’s managing director, combat air. The Euroradar consortium and Selex ES are working on candidate systems, with BAE having already performed a trial installation with the UK’s Typhoon instrumented production aircraft 5. This is currently being prepared at Warton to make its first flight carrying the sensor, BAE says.
For the complete story by Craig Hoyle of Flightglobal.com, click here.
Photo by BAE Systems