New radars for RAF Coningsby Typhoon jets

The newly modified Typhoon
The newly modified Typhoon

A state-of-the-art new radar system could soon be installed on one of the world’s top fighter jets, which is based at RAF Coningsby.

Work is underway on modifications and upgrades to a Typhoon development aircraft, named IPA5, as part of a programme to integrate an electronically-scanning radar - the E-scan radar.

A team at BAE Systems’ base in Warton, Lancashire, is working on the programme alongside the Eurofighter and Euroradar consortiums, which are two of the businesses from across Europe behind the Typhoon jet.

The aircraft has moved to the Final Assembly Hangar at Warton, which marks the end of the re-build phase of IPA5.

The project started in August 2012.

The move to the hangar signals the start of preparations for flight tests of the aircraft.

IPA5 will now undergo a series of thorough examinations, including dedicated fuel and hydraulic system testing.

The work will be carried out by the flight operations team at Warton.

Following the tests, the first flight of the modified aircraft is expected to take place.

Typhoon is already regarded as one of the world’s leading ‘swing role’ combat aircraft.

The phrase ‘swing role’ means it can operate in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat - without needing to land a re-configure its weapons.

Typhoon fighters are one of the RAF’s main combat aircraft.

They are also at the front-line of Britain’s air defence system. Typhoons based at RAF Coningsby have regularly been involved in vital combat missions. They also patrolled the skies above London at the 2012 Olympics.