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Meteor air-to-air missile inches closer to arm Gripen fighter

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An MBDA photo.

STOCKHOLM (BNS): Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) along with defence firm SAAB has completed integration test firings of the Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air (BVRAAM) missile system from the Gripen multi-role fighter.

The test firings, conducted in March 2014, have further verified the MBDA-made Meteor's integration with Gripen.

The tests have also validated the performance by the missile's seeker and its range.

"In March 2014 Gripen conducted two airborne launches with MBDA's ramjet-powered, Meteor very long-range air-to-air missile. These were the final Meteor launches before the missile is cleared for operational service with Gripen," SAAB said in a statement on July 7.

During the trial, carried out at FMV's Vidsel Test Range in northern Sweden, two Meteors were fired at remotely-controlled targets. The tests demonstrated missile's safe separation from the aircraft and datalink functions between the aircraft and missile. The tests also validated missile performance for the customer, FMV.

The trials parameters included firings at both low and high altitude and at speed while the launch aircraft was manoeuvring, as well as demonstrating a long engagement range, engagement of manoeuvring targets, aircraft/missile datalink functionality and missile seeker performance.

Previous successful Meteor trials conducted by SAAB in Sweden had already provided software verification of the Meteor system integration.

The latest test in March was the last major trials task required to clear the new missile for operational service on the Gripen C/D multi-role fighter, the statement added.

Full Meteor capability will be delivered as part of Gripen's latest MS20 (Materiel System 20) combat systems update for the Swedish Air Force.

Once MS20 has been cleared for service, Sweden and Gripen will have the world's first and only functional Meteor BVRAAM capability.

Delivery of the final MS20 to FMV, and subsequent operational test and evaluation, will be completed by the end of this year, SAAB said.

Produced by European missile maker MBDA, the ramjet-powered Meteor long-range AAM is designed for air defence missions and is capable of intercepting targets at a very long range. It is designed to provide air superiority against a range of fixed and rotary wing targets including UAVs and cruise missiles.

Sweden is working with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK to develop and field the Meteor BVRAAM, with MBDA acting as the programme's prime contractor.

Tags:

Meteor  MBDA  SAAB  Missile  Gripen  Sweden  
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