04 December 2014 BAE Systems
A Typhoon aircraft has successfully completed the first in a series of live firings of the MBDA Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile. This continues the series of trials we lead to demonstrate integration of the Meteor missile with Typhoon's weapon system.
Following contract signature in 2013 for the full integration of Meteor onto Typhoon, the trials continue to demonstrate that the weapon operates effectively with the aircraft.
Led by ourselves with support from MBDA, Selex, Qinetiq and MOD, the trials were conducted in November 2014 at the MOD’s Hebrides firing range in the UK and further developed and tested the integration of the missile with the weapon system as well as expanding the jettison envelope by conducting firings at different altitudes and speeds. The trials also tested the interface of the missile with the weapon system for both pre-launch priming and post launch datalink functions between the missile and radar.
Test pilot Nat Makepeace flew the sortie and said: “The aircraft and the weapon performed exactly as expected. It’s very easy and intuitive to operate, and the trials demonstrated that we can operate in an expanded envelope safely and accurately. This is a significant step forward for the full integration of the Meteor missile onto the Typhoon aircraft.”
Produced by MBDA, Meteor is an active radar guided missile designed to provide a multi-shot capability against long-range manoeuvring targets, such as fast jets, small unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles in a heavy electronic countermeasures environment.
Capable of engaging air targets during day and night, and in all-weather conditions, the Meteor will complement Typhoon’s existing missile systems, providing pilots with a greater choice of weapons during combat.
Further firing trials are scheduled to be carried out as part of the Meteor Integration contract to fully expand the launch envelope and weapon system integration which will culminate in the integration being complete in 2017.
These trials take place in a year that has seen progress across a range of programmes for Typhoon. The UK RAF are now operating the most advanced Typhoon to date with the latest Phase 1 Enhancement package now in operation. This upgrade delivers true simultaneous swing-role capability to Typhoon. Progress is also being made across a number of weapons programmes including the award of a full integration contract for the Storm Shadow weapon and the first multiple release of a Paveway IV bomb.
A £800m contract to develop and fit the Captor E-Scan radar was signed in November which will give Typhoon one of the most advanced radar systems in the world, providing a wider field of regard than any other combat aircraft. Typhoon is already regarded as one of the world’s leading swing-role combat aircraft and continues to be upgraded to provide decades of effective, relevant effect.