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Eurofighter Test Fleet Surpasses 6,000 Flying Hours

Refueling Tests, Paveway IV Trials Now Underway

The international test fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons recently surpassed the 6,000 flight hour mark, according to the European consortium that produces the advanced fighter.

With variants of the aircraft already in active service, Eurofighter partner companies Alenia Finmeccanica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland have focused testing efforts on enhancing the fighter's design.

Recent highlights included the completion of in-flight refueling trials by the Italian Air Force and Alenia Aeronautica with KC-130J Hercules tankers... and the beginning of similar trials by the German Air Force, the German Operational Test Centre Wehrtechnische Dienststelle 61 and EADS using the Airbus A310 Multi-Role Tanker Transport.

Alenia also recently concluded the first phase of flight tests for Phase 1 Enhancements with the air-to-surface Paveway IV weapon in various configuration for flutter trials. Further trials will follow on other initial production aircraft at BAE Systems and EADS CASA with Paveway IV and the 1000lb dual mode precision guided EGBU-16 bomb.

The test data gained in these trials will allow the air vehicle aspects of the Phase 1 Enhance,ent capability development to be progressed, according to the consortium.

The current test fleet consists of six Instrumented Production Aircraft plus one Instrumented Series Production Aircraft (ISPA1).

Eurofighter says 707 aircraft have been ordered by six nations -- Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

FMI: www.eurofighter.com

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