Europe's MBDA-led Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile project has enjoyed a rush of success, with supersonic carriage and firing trials staged in Italy and the UK last week.

Italy's Alenia Aeronautica commenced flutter tests with a Eurofighter Typhoon instrumented production aircraft carrying two Meteor test rounds, with trials planned to reach Mach 1.8. A Saab Gripen also conducted a supersonic test firing of the weapon from 42,600ft (13,000m) above a UK test range, with the weapon accelerating to more than M3 during a flight which MBDA says lasted "several minutes".

The UK has meanwhile awarded Qinetiq a £5.5 million ($10.9 million) risk-reduction contract to test fire the Meteor between mid-2009 and late 2011 using two Panavia Tornado F3s.

Source: Flight International