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SAAB arms Gripen with Meteor air-to-air missile

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An MBDA photo.

FARNBOROUGH (BNS): Swedish defence firm SAAB along with the Swedish Air Force and Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) have certified, approved and accepted into service the latest operational upgrade and combat enhancement for the Gripen multi-role fighter.

The upgrade, called MS20, includes among others the integration of the Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM).

"The Swedish Air Force is now in its Initial Operational Capability phase with the Meteor. The Meteor missile is currently the most lethal radar-guided missile in operational service, and the Swedish Air Force is the only operational user so far," Maj. Gen. mats Helgesson, Chief-of-Staff of the Swedish Air Force said at the Farnborough Air Show in UK on Monday.

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 (beyond 100 km). It is designed to provide air superiority against a range of fixed and rotary wing targets including UAVs and cruise missiles, according to SAAB.

The complete MS20 upgrade is now flying with Swedish Air Force Gripens and MS20 enhancements will soon be implemented in the Gripens of the Czech Air Force, SAAB said in a statement.

The upgrade delivers a host of new capability options for air-to-air, air-to-surface and ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) missions along with many improved mission systems and other changes.

The MS20 upgrade also includes the integration of the Boeing GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) for a high-precision, long-range strike capability.

Tags:

SAAB  Gripen  Fighter  Meteor  BVRAAM  Sweden  MBDA  
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