"The best images i've ever seen"
Comments are very positive from the extreme-climate trials of the FRES Scout thermal sights. The images shown are indeed impressive for their quality.
A report is contained in the April 2012 edition of DESIDER.
It also reports that March 12 saw a meeting of the secretary of state for defence with the colleagues from the other Typhoon partner nations. The meeting was about setting the new schedule for weapons integration on the fighter jet, a process that the UK would like to speed up. The Telegraph reported in the past months that Planning Round 12 would contain progress and confirmation of the Brimstone and Storm Shadow integration.
Unfortunately, DESIDER steps short of telling what the results of the meeting were.
Financial issues are slowing down the decision making, and Italy's air force, for example, is in difficulties at finding funds for Typhoon work and does not really want to move forwards with the plan, selling to the italian government the vision that Typhoon is about air-to-air, mostly to protect from further cuts the existing Tornado and AMX component and to preserve the already downsized F35 order.
This friday should see Admiral Di Paola, minister for defence, present to the italian parliament the plan for defence reform and downsizing. Details are eagerly awaited re: F35 (how many A and how many B in the 90-strong order?), FREMM (no hope of getting the last four?), LHD programme (is it confirmed?), reduction of the Army from 11 to 9 maneuver brigades and other matters.