BAE Systems has finished a programme of carriage and separation trials during which a Eurofighter Typhoon was flown with MBDA Meteor beyond visual-range air-to-air missiles.
Eurofighter said “trials to ensure the safe separation of the missile across the flight envelope” were performed using instrumented production aircraft IPA 1. The activity was performed over the Aberporth test range off the coast of Wales, the UK.
Representing a key future addition to the Typhoon’s weapons inventory for Eurofighter partner nations Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, the Meteor will also arm the Dassault Rafale
for France and the Saab Gripen for Sweden. MBDA also hopes to have a version of its design integrated with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
Development work on the Meteor is scheduled to conclude next year, with the ramjet-powered design currently expected to enter operational use with the Royal Air Force’s Typhoon fleet in 2015. It will provide a European replacement for the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile.
Several potential export customers have also shown interest in the Meteor, the UK Ministry of Defence said recently.