Aircraft

All You Need To Know About The Typhoon Upgrade

Project Centurion has equipped the RAF with the latest weapons and software.

The RAF's Typhoon jets have completed a three-year upgrade, already putting their systems to the test in the Baltics, Iraq and Syria.

Project Centurion has taken BAE systems almost 1,000 days to provide the RAF's fighters with the latest missile and software performance.

The updated Typhoons have recently scrambled to intercept Russian jets and supported troops on an air-policing mission in the Baltics, while the newly-equipped Brimstone missile has seen action in Operation Shader in Syria.

Earlier this year, Typhoons destroyed a boat used by Daesh forces on the Euphrates to ensure the terrorists could not use it to bring in supplies or set up operations elsewhere.

Andy Flynn, Capability Delivery Director at BAE Systems, reaffirms the value of the upgrade: "The Brimstone weapon has gone kinetic, seeing operations out in Syria this year in February, just two months after we declared the operational clearance.

"It's really helping with precision support to our troops out in Syria now."

	RAF Typhoon at RIAT 2019 210719 CREDIT MOD
BAE Systems wants to continue developing the Typhoon as their engineers move on to the Tempest, which will replace Typhoons in flying alongside the F-35 jets (Picture: MOD).

The Typhoon's next-generation active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar can radiate multiple radio waves simultaneously and increase resistance to enemy 'jamming' and interception.

Clive Marrison, Industry requirements Director for Team Tempest, believes this can also provide a "baseline underpin" for Tempest radars:

"That will potentially feed a next-generation combat air system."

Project Centurion offered RAF personnel with training and mission planning capabilities, working with UK teams to ensure that staff could operate immediately under new systems.

A new flight-data software, Sceptre, arrives next year and is the project’s answer to the Cloud. This technology means that an entire mission can be planned and perfected before the pilot enters the cockpit.

Louise Aiken, Head of Mission Planning at BAE, explains: “This is the system that pilots use to plan missions, to brief and rehearse and then actually load the data into the aircraft and go flying.”

Sceptre system on RAF Typhoon at BAE Systems SOURCE BFBS
Before the mission data enters the jet, Sceptre can transfer every detail on terrain, live weather and wind speed into flight simulators.

This practical use of advancing software allowed pilots to hone their skills whilst their Typhoons were going through the systems upgrade, allowing the pilots to run through missions to the finest detail before take-off.

Andy Lumb, Head of Air Support Capability and Service, says: “They can be used to practice what may be played out for real the following day.

“Practicing and practicing until it becomes effectively perfect, looking into all the different weather conditions that you may not be able to anticipate.”

The Typhoons and their pilots have now taken on-board the operational efficiency of Sceptre, alongside Project Centurion’s firepower upgrade, able to hit the ground running when they are called to the skies.

Watch: is the Typhoon one of the RAF's top 10 warplanes?