UK — Tranche 1 Typhoon aircraft receive upgrade

The Roy­al Air Force Tranche 1 fleet are to be upgrad­ed fol­low­ing the recent deliv­ery of the Drop 2 upgrade pack­age.

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Fol­low­ing the clo­sure of the Tranche 1 Main Devel­op­ment Con­tract between NETMA and Eurofight­er the UK estab­lished a Capa­bil­i­ty Sus­tain­ment Team with­in BAE Sys­tems. This team was ini­tial­ly utilised to devel­op an upgrade called Tranche 1 Drop1 that sub­se­quent­ly saw active ser­vice as part of the Typhoon Fleet deployed in sup­port of Oper­a­tion ELLAMY in Libya. 

Fol­low­ing devel­op­ment of the Tranche 1 Drop 1 pack­age, Euro­pean part­ner Nations were invit­ed to par­tic­i­pate in the devel­op­ment pro­gramme. The sec­ond upgrade pack­age, known as Drop 2, is now enter­ing ser­vice with the Roy­al Air Force, hav­ing been devel­oped through a Mutu­al Sup­port Agree­ment between Nations that involved BAE Sys­tems and the SUZ organ­i­sa­tion based at Manch­ing, Germany. 

The Drop 2 prod­uct will pro­vide capa­bil­i­ty updates to a wide range of Typhoon avion­ic sys­tems cov­er­ing the Dis­plays and Con­trols, Attack and Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, Defen­sive Aids and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sub Sys­tems whilst also deliv­er­ing avail­abil­i­ty and sus­tain­abil­i­ty improve­ments to the Tranche 1 Fleet. 

The first flight of a Tranche 1 Typhoon with the new prod­uct embod­ied took place at RAF Con­ings­by on 2nd May 2012 and was con­duct­ed by 17® Test and Eval­u­a­tion Squadron, where it will con­tin­ue to be assessed over the com­ing months ahead of its roll out to the Tranche 1 fleet. 

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful first flight, Robert For­shaw, Drops Desk Offi­cer with­in the MOD Defence Equip­ment &Support Fast Air Sup­port Typhoon team said: “The suc­cess of this upgrade pro­gramme has demon­strat­ed the abil­i­ty of BAE Sys­tems to deliv­er Weapon Sys­tem improve­ments, inte­grat­ed with a tai­lored sup­port solu­tion, to the Roy­al Air Force in col­lab­o­ra­tion with their Indus­tri­al partners. 

The team have over­come some sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges to get to this stage and that’s tes­ta­ment to the work­ing rela­tion­ships between BAE Sys­tems, the Ger­man SUZ and Qine­tiQ teams involved in the project. I would like to pass on my per­son­al thanks to every­one involved in the project and I look for­ward to work­ing with them again on the Drop 3 and 4 programmes.” 

Andy Fly­nn, Head of Con­tract Engi­neer­ing Ser­vices for NETMA said: “This close work­ing rela­tion­ship is an inte­gral part of how we will work as a man­age­ment and deliv­ery team on Con­tract 1 — the engi­neer­ing ser­vices con­tract which is the first tan­gi­ble deliv­ery of a joint trans­for­ma­tion pro­gramme between Indus­try and NETMA. Con­tracts 1 and 4 were signed in March 2012. 

BAE Systems 

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