MBDA completes Meteor firing campaign
MBDA has announced that its Meteor active radar-guided Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) has recently successfully completed its firing campaign.
A total of 21 trials took place, including three electronic protection measures (EPM) tests at Parc Aberporth in Wales, UK.
‘Just this year we’ve completed three EPM firings. They were very successful,’ Andy Bradford, chief engineer and project head for Meteor at MBDA told a pre-Farnborough media briefing in Stevenage, UK on 26 June, in the first public disclosure of information regarding the programme in some four years.
‘With the successful completion of the firing campaign we have a final performance model,’ Bradford continued, noting that the final performance statement is due to be delivered to the six nations involved in the programme, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK, next month.
All nations are on contract bar Germany, but ‘we expect Germany to be on contract with us by the end of the year’, Bradford explained.
Development is due to be completed by the end of 2012, as well as initial production, and delivery to the UK will commence. The system is expected to be operational on the Swedish Gripen by 2014/15, on the UK’s Typhoon fleet by 2015/16 and France’s Rafale by 2018.
‘It has a lot of new technology on it,’ Bradford said. ‘We now have a high performing and safe product where the operator is near the product; we now have a product that we can launch off of an aircraft.
‘We have cameras under the aircraft so we can see exactly what we’re doing; safety is important. We also have to make sure we have a product that endured its environment.’
He described how the system is guided until engagement with the target. ‘We are not a boost/coast system. We have the real control and manoeuvrability as we engage the target.
‘At the end of the firing campaign we have achieved all primary and secondary requirements,’ Bradford continued. ‘On a couple of firings we had hiccups, but every firing provided us with data. We repeated where necessary to meet those primary and secondary objectives. All the firings were successful by the time we finished.’
‘We are very confident that the product does what it’s meant to do.’
The system has a range ‘in excess of 100km’, which Bradford said sets Meteor apart, as well as its seeker and propulsion system, which ‘really give it its edge’.
Source: By Beth Stevenson in Stevenage, UK / Shephard News - 27 June 2012
Photo: The Swedish Air Force Gripen Fighter Aircraft - Meteor active radar-guided Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) (Photo by shephardmedia.com)