The Eurofighter consortium has entered a contract with the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) that clears the way for the integration of the MBDA Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile on the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The deal was signed in the Eurofighter Pavilion between Eurofighter chief executive Alberto Gutierrez and NETMA general manager Jesus Pinillos Prieto. The ceremony was witnessed by high level defence officials from the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy.
The ramjet-powered Meteor is designed to prosecute a range of targets including aircraft, cruise missiles and UAVs. It is being developed under a six-nation programme to equip the combat aircraft of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK, and will begin entering service after 2015.
Testing with the missile aboard the Eurofighter has already commenced, however.
In late December, a Eurofighter released an MBDA Meteor for the first time, with the milestone having been achieved over a UK test range on 4 December.
Performed by a BAE Systems test pilot using the UK's Typhoon Instrumented Production Aircraft 1, the event included ejecting a telemetry-equipped Meteor test round from a rear-fuselage missile station over the Qinetiq firing range in Aberporth, west Wales.
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