Typhoon fires Storm Shadow missile operationally for first time

RAF Typhoon Storm Shadow Daesh
RAF Typhoon takes off armed with two Storm Shadow missiles to conduct strike against Daesh.

Over the past few days, the Royal Air Force Typhoons operating as part of the coalition against Daesh have conducted a series of air strikes in support of the Iraqi ground forces.

The strikes began on 10 March and continued until 12 March, followed by a third strike on 14 March. The targets were a cave system used by Daesh terrorists southwest of the city of Erbil in northern Iraq.

During the first attack the Typhoons successfully used MBDA Storm Shadow missiles, which were selected as the most appropriate weapons for the task. It marked the Typhoon's first-ever use of Storm Shadow in combat.

The integration of the Storm Shadow offered a significant leap in the operational capabilities of the Eurofighter by allowing it to deploy more weapons at a very long distance well protected from the danger of air defenses. It is a long-range weapon system designed to neutralise high value, hardened or buried targets and is already in service with the Italian Air Force, Royal Air Force and others. It further enhanced the Eurofighter's multi-role/swing-role capabilities.

The first tests on Storm Shadow integration for the Eurofighter began in December 2013 with IPA2 operated by Alenia Aermacchi (now Leonardo). They were conducted at Decimomannu Air Base, Sardinia, Italy.

In the deep attack role the Eurofighter Typhoon can carry two Storm Shadow missiles along with 8 air-to-air missiles. This allows the aircraft to fight its way in and out of the combat area.

Born mainly as an interceptor, the Eurofighter is exceeding all initial expectations proving to be an excellent multi-role fighter. Its great effectiveness is one of the reasons why RAF leaders are considering drastically cutting the number of F-35s waiting to receive the sixth generation Tempest fighter aircraft. Probably they are realizing that the Typhoon can effectively meet the operational needs of the nation until the entry into service of a fighter capable of offering a wider performance gap than that between Eurofighter and F-35.

RAF Typhoon Storm Shadow Daesh

RAF Typhoon Storm Shadow Daesh

RAF Typhoon Storm Shadow Daesh

RAF Typhoon Storm Shadow Daesh

RAF Typhoon Storm Shadow Daesh

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: RAF

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