Eurofighter Performs First Air-to-Surface Weapon Release

Released on Friday, May 12, 2006
United Kingdom
F/A-18A Hornet
F/A-18B Hornet
GBU-16 Paveway II
Typhoon T
AFB - Air Force Base
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The first deliveries of air-to-surface weapons in the history of the Eurofighter program were carried out by EADS CASA Military Air Systems (MAS) on the 4th and 5th of May.

For the first drop EADS CASA test pilot Alfonso de Castro took off on the 4th of May from Moron AFB. The Eurofighter, accompanied by an F-18 chase aircraft of the Spanish Air Force, made several approaches to the planned impact point in order to check the release procedures and the video cameras for the flight-test documentation. In the hot run, a GBU-16 was jettisoned from the centre pylon of the starboard wing. The following day, company test pilot Carlos Pinilla dropped another GBU-16 from the inboard pylon of the starboard wing.

The GBU-16 is a 1,000 lbs. Paveway II-class NATO-standard air-to-surface laser-guided precision bomb to be implemented by the four Eurofighter core nations Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The weapon will enter into service with the first Eurofighter Typhoon Block 5 aircraft.

Both jettison tests were completely successful and met all flight test objectives. The most prominent ones were to verify the safe separation of the stores from their pylons and the overall aircraft behavior during and after the jettison trials. Of extreme importance was also the evaluation of the armament control system, the flight control system and the overall avionics performance during the weapon jettison sequences. To reach the final GBU-16 clearance, the program foresees four more test sorties, to be performed by EADS CASA within the next two months.


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