The first of a new standard of Typhoon has taken to the skies.
The latest Typhoon, known as a Tranche 3, represents a major stepping stone in the evolution of one of the world’s leading combat aircraft.
The Tranche 3 standard embodies a number of under the skin changes that effectively future-proof the aircraft and make it more attractive to export customers.
Taken together there have been 100s of modifications, changes and additions which effectively means Typhoon has now taken a massive step forward. Mark Kane, BAE Systems Managing Director - Combat Air said: “For casual observers the aircraft is little changed from its sleek predecessor but it has a number of provisions that will allow it to take on additional capability in the future. One of the few visual clues is a number of small panels on the fuselage which are there to accommodate the fitting of conformal fuel tanks.
“Once fitted, these would give the aircraft greater range and free up positions under the aircraft for larger or additional weapons. 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 radar could easily be accommodated.”
British Single Seat aircraft no.116 took to the skies for the first time with pilot Nat Makepeace in the cockpit.