Royal Saudi Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons have been employing the relatively new dual-mode Paveway IV precision-guided bomb in their air campaign against ISIS. Paveway IV’s were first used by the Royal Air Force against targets in Afghanistan during Operation Herrick.
The precision strikes by the RSAF come approximately one year after the US State Department lifted a block on Saudi Arabia, preventing them from purchasing the weapon.
Paveway IV was developed by both British and US divisions of Raytheon. Saudi Arabia’s purchase of Paveway IV was valued at an estimated $247 million USD, and they are currently the only export customer.
Saudi Arabia received their first of seventy-two Eurofighters ordered in June of 2009, and to date over half of their orders have been filled.
British Typhoons have not been deployed to assist with the coalition air strikes against ISIS. British Typhoon pilots have been training to drop the Paveway IV, and in January they deployed with some Typhoons to Nellis Air Force Base to participate in Red Flag 15-1. The RAF did expend some live Paveway IV’s during the exercise.
(Featured Photo of a British RAF Typhoon on exercise at Nellis AFB by Scott Wolff)