PICTURE: Gripen on target with Meteor missile firings

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MBDA's Meteor beyond visual-range air-to-air missile is on target to enter use with the Swedish air force from 2014, following a dual firing performed using a Saab Gripen test aircraft.

Conducted over the Vidsel range in late June, the test event involved releasing two production-configuration weapons against remote targets. The firings "demonstrated separation from the aircraft and the [data] link function between the aircraft and missile, as well as the missile's ability to lock in on the target", says Saab.

Clearing the activity with production rounds "instils considerable confidence in continued work with integrating the Meteor on Gripen", says Michael Östergren, project manager for Sweden's Defence Materiel Administration.

Additional firings will be performed in "the autumn", Saab says, "so that delivery of the new capabilities can be made during 2014".

gripen meteor saab

Saab  

Sweden's Gripen C/Ds will be the first European fighters to fly with the Meteor, with the weapon also to be fielded with French air force and navy Dassault Rafales and Eurofighters from the air forces of Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. All six partner nations are now under contract to acquire production rounds, with Germany having cleared its delayed acquisition process in late May.

A Gripen test aircraft had previously been used during MBDA's development firing campaign for the Meteor.