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     Another milestone has been reached at BAE Systems Warton with the ongoing development of the Typhoon project known as Centurion. The flight trials which involve the Brimstone missile system are part of the Typhoons Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E), which with the completion of Centurion will ensure an efficient changeover of Tornado capabilities to Typhoon due by the end of 2018. Brimstone will further add to Typhoons air to surface capability enabling it to attack fast moving targets at range.

     Full flight trials followed on after completion of ground trials and initial flight trials. Around 40 flights have taken place incorporating Brimstones two launchers each containing three missiles with Typhoons other weapons of four AMRAAM, two ASRAAM, two Paveway IV laser guided/GPS bombs. The testing is designed to expand the carriage envelope of the aircraft. Live firing is now scheduled for later this year and will see the system used in operational scenarios.  

     The sequence of flights were in part for Aero Data Gathering (ADG) in order to see how the Brimstone system interacts with the aircrafts flight controls and systems, whilst maintaining manoeuvrability and carrying a heavy weapons load. The Brimstone flight trials are taking place in conjunction with Phase 2 (P2E) this phase incorporates trials with Meteor and Storm Shadow weapons which is also due to be brought into service in 2018.

     As part of the trials a team known as Combine Testing Team CTT, crews from 41RSqn Test & Evaluation have carried out some of the test flying thus enabling that the RAF are able to give feedback at the design stage and therefore allowing a smooth transition into service with the knowledge that the system meets the RAF requirements.


In the midst of the Brimstone trials at Warton normal operations and production continued and amongst some of the testing were airframes destined for Saudi Arabian and Omani Air Forces