The majestic Eurofighter Typhoon has always won the hearts of aviation photographers around the world. A stunning calendar has been released by the German multinational firm, Eurofighter, featuring jaw-dropping images of the fully armed fighter jet.
“Eurofighter Typhoon is the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft providing simultaneously deployable Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface capabilities,” according to the information posted on the company’s website.
The new images show the full multirole mission profile of the aircraft, armed to the teeth with the latest technology. Its weapons include the Paveway IV PGM, Brimstone 2 missiles, Meteor, and AIM-132 ASRAAM missiles.
Here’s what these weapons are and how they increase the operational envelope of the Typhoon:
Paveway IV Precision-Guided Munition
Developed in the UK, it has been the weapon of choice for the Royal Air Force and its customers to conduct ground-strike missions and is integrated into most of the in-service British fixed-wing attack aircraft — the Tornado, Eurofighter Typhoon, the legendary Harrier-II, and the latest F-35 Lightning II.
Interestingly, the Typhoon’s bomb uses dual-mode guidance – where it can either home in on laser signals or the target’s coordinates are fed into its mission computer and would hit the target using GPS/INS guidance.
The weapon is a guidance kit based on the existing Enhanced Computer Control Group (ECCG) added to a modified Mk 82 general-purpose bomb with increased penetration performance.
The new ECCG contains a Height of Burst (HOB) sensor enabling air burst fusing options, and a SAASM (Selective Availability Anti Spoofing Module) compliant GPS receiver.
It can be launched either IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) only, given sufficiently good Transfer Alignment, or using GPS guidance. Also, terminal laser guidance is available in either navigation mode.
This bomb has seen intense combat service in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen since 2008 with the Air Forces of the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.
This is the latest iteration of the Brimstone missile, largely a British equivalent to the American AGM-114 Hellfire. Currently, only fixed-wing attack aircraft can carry this weapon.
Brimstone is an air-launched ground attack missile developed by MBDA UK for Britain’s Royal Air Force. It was originally intended for “fire-and-forget” use against mass formations of enemy armor, using a millimetric wave (mmW) active radar homing seeker to ensure accuracy even against moving targets.
Experience in Afghanistan led to the addition of laser guidance in the dual-mode Brimstone missile, allowing a “spotter” to pick out specific and the highest priority targets, particularly useful to minimize collateral damage when friendly forces or civilians were in the area.
The tandem-shaped charge warhead is much more effective against modern tanks than older similar weapons such as the AGM-65G Maverick, while the small blast area minimizes collateral damage.
The Brimstone-2 carries an upgrade from its parent missile, with an improvised seeker, a more modular design, and improvements to airframe and software for “an overall increase in performance with improvements in range and engagement footprint”.
Meteor Air-to-Air Missile
Meteor is an active radar-guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) developed by MBDA. It offers a multi-shot capability (multiple launches against multiple targets) and can engage highly maneuverable targets, such as jets, UAVs, and cruise missiles in a heavy electronic countermeasures (ECM) environment with a range in excess of 100 kilometers (54 nmi).
Meteor missiles were inducted into the Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripens in April 2016 and officially achieved initial operating capability (IOC) in July 2016. It is also intended to equip the Eurofighter Typhoon of the Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Saudi Air Force, Luftwaffe, Spanish Air Force, Italian Air Force, and Qatar Air Force, British and Italian F-35 Lightning IIs, Dassault Rafale of the French Air Force, Hellenic Air Force, Indian Air Force, Qatar Air Force, and Egyptian Air Force and the JAS 39 Gripen of the Brazilian Air Force.
The Advanced Short Range Air to Air Missile or the ASRAAM is perhaps one of the most capable weapons in its category with an infrared homing seeker and as its name suggests, is used for close-range engagements.
It is in service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), replacing the AIM-9 Sidewinder. ASRAAM allows the pilot to fire and then turn away before the opposing aircraft can close for a shot. It flies well over Mach 3 to ranges in excess of 25 kilometers (16 mi). It retains a 50 g maneuverability provided by body lift technology coupled with tail control.
These weapons give the Eurofighter Typhoon a versatile mission profile which, as shown in the image, can carry out air superiority using the Meteor and ASRAAM missiles, and support ground operations with its venerable Paveway IV bombs and the Brimstone 2 missiles- achieving an overall dominance over the battlefield.