MBDA’s Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) has concluded its guided firing programme with three direct hits from three firings during Government sponsored Electronic Protection Measure (EPM) trials against targets deploying countermeasures. The comprehensive development and Government trials programme involved a total of 21 air launched firings, providing evidence of a progressive maturity.
As a result, MBDA is on track to complete qualification and make the first production deliveries of this unrivalled capability by the year end.
The main purpose of the firings was to gather data for the verification of the sophisticated modelling of the missile carried out by MBDA. MBDA is very confident that these results demonstrate that Meteor exceeds the performance and lethality objectives set by the Partner Nations and confirm its unrivalled air superiority.
The firing programme was carried out in two main phases with development firings in 2006 -2008 followed by a Guided Firing campaign from 2009-2012. The Guided Firings and EPM were from Gripen and Tornado F3 against a variety of scenarios and were undertaken at ranges in the United Kingdom and Sweden.
There were also a series of over 40 seeker data gathering flights and more than 100 ground firings of the throttlable ducted rocket propulsion system. Unmatched by other missiles, the Propulsion System, developed by Bayern Chemie (a subisidiary of MBDA Germany) gives Meteor the ability to manoeuvre under power, even at the extreme ranges that it achieves while maintaining very high speeds.
The UK will be the first of the Partner Nations to receive deliveries of the production missile from MBDA’s UK-based Lostock site, with the programme on schedule make the first delivery around the end of 2012.
The MBDA Chief Engineer of the Meteor programme, Andy Bradford, said, “The Meteor project team are very proud to deliver this world-beating capability in BVRAAM missiles to the Partner Nations. This could not have been achieved without the full support of a supply base across Europe and MBDA’s unique understanding of the control of air launched ramjet propulsion systems. Pulling together the technologies, skills and people from many different areas across Europe has ensured Meteor’s success and opens up major export opportunities beyond the production orders already contracted.”
Meteor is being developed to meet the requirements of UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden for a next generation Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) system with the capability to dominate medium and beyond visual range air combat. The missile is being integrated onto Europe’s major platforms, Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale. It is also a candidate for the next upgrade package for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
With a significant presence in five European countries and within the USA, in 2011 MBDA achieved a turnover of € 3 billion with an order book of € 10.5 billion. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems. MBDA is jointly owned by BAE Systems (37.5%), EADS (37.5%) and Finmeccanica (25%).