U.K. Evaluates Future Fighter Weapons, Sensors
By Angus Batey
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
Key capabilities fielded by Britain's Royal Air Force in Afghanistan and highly prized across the NATO-led coalition face uncertain futures once the Tornado GR4 aircraft is retired toward the end of the decade. As the RAF looks ahead to a fleet comprising Typhoons and F-35Bs, there are no plans in place to retain two systems that have become invaluable in-theater.
The Tornado GR4 can launch a low-collateral strike on a moving target with the dual-mode seeker Brimstone missile, and access high-resolution stand-off reconnaissance imagery with the DB-110 sensor carried in the Raptor pod system. Neither is as yet planned to be carried on the Typhoon or F-35.