The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) Tactical Air Force Wing 31 “Boelcke” (TaktLwG 31) has become the first Squadron to be equipped with multirole Eurofighter aircraft.

German Eurofighter multirole air-to-ground
German (Luftwaffe) Eurofighter gains air-to-ground capability

The TaktLwG 31, based at Nörvenich Air Force Base, took delivery of the GBU-48 laser-guided bomb during a symbolic ceremony, December 18, 2017. Major General Günter Katz, commander of the German air force flying units, annunced that the Squadron has completed the last certification step to achieve the all-weather, precision-guided air-to-ground capability.

- The Eurofighter will be available as a fighter-bomber from January 2018 within the NATO Response Force -, Katz said.

TaktLwG 31 is the first of four Luftwaffe Eurofighter squadrons to become multirole. Last September, the Squdron successfully tested GBU-48 laser-guided bombs at Vidsel Test Range in Sweden.

- The Luftwaffe Eurofighter has demonstrated its typical air-to-air capability since 2014 during the enhanced Baltic Air Police. This year's tests with the GBU-48 bomb in Vidsel, Sweden, have shown that the plane can go further. This test campaign with the precision weapon showed that the Eurofighter is able to cover the air-to-ground capability too - Katz also said.

The guided bomb unit 48 (GBU-48) is a flying bomb, which is controlled by laser or GPS. The GBU-48 is a precision bomb with a length of 368 centimeters and a weight of 504.5 kilograms. It has a range of up to 25 kilometers and can hit the target with a deviation of less than ten meters. Overall, the Eurofighter can be armed with four GBU-48s, which means an additional take-off and flight weight of around two tonnes. During this year's tests in Sweden, German officers did not test only the launch of the bombs, but they also examined the Eurofighter's response in a different flight arrangement.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: Luftwaffe

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