A $231 million deal to integrate the Storm Shadow stand-off missile on to the Typhoon combat jet is to be signed Thursday. (BAE Systems)
FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND — A contract to integrate the Storm Shadow stand-off missile on to the Typhoon combat jet is to be signed Thursday, Britain's defense procurement minister has confirmed.
The deal to be signed by the NATO Eurofighter Tornado Management Agency and Eurofighter is worth €170 million (US $231.2 million), procurement minister Philip Dunne told reporters and officials during a speech at the Farnborough International Air Show Wednesday.
The British, Italian and Saudi Arabian air forces all currently fly MBDA's long range cruise missile on Tornado strike jets and are expected to add the capability to their Typhoon fleets.
Early integration work with Storm Shadow has been underway for a while and the weapon has already completed carriage trials last year in Italy and Britain.
The weapon should be ready for release to the Royal Air Force in 2016 said program officials.
The Storm Shadow work is part of a significant capability upgrade approved during the air show this week.
The Typhoon partner nations of Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain committed to place a production order for a Euroradar developed active electronically scanned array radar earlier this week.
A contract for that could come in October but for the moment the deal is subject to German parliamentary approval.
The partner nations have agreed to a deal for a base line configuration that the individual countries can enhance if required.
No surprise than that in parallel to the four partners agreement, the British Ministry of Defence also announced it was to spend £72 million in a three year contract with BAE to refine elements of AESA technologies to fully meet RAF, and probably export customers, more demanding requirements.
The British deal involves a number of work packages including a Typhoon flight test of a prototype radar as well as ground testing at BAE's electronic warfare test facility at Warton in northwest England.
Other enhancements to Typhoon's weapons capabilities are also at various stages of work.
Integration of MBDA's Meteor air-to-air missile on Typhoon was contracted for last year and the British have also begun initial work to install the Brimstone 2 weapon on it's Typhoon's with a £5 million study contract.