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Gripen E fires Meteor missile for first time

The first Meteor firing from a Gripen E took place earlier in 2022. (Saab)

The Saab Gripen E fighter has conducted its first firing of the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), it was announced on 30 August.

Test aircraft 60-02 launched the missile at an altitude of 16,500 ft over the Vidsel Test Range in northern Sweden “in late May/early June”, a Saab official told Janes and other defence media.

According to the announcement, the test saw “a successful end-to-end result on the target”.

With a published speed of more than Mach 4 and a range in excess of 100 km, the Meteor has been described by industry and military officials as providing a step change in air-to-air combat capabilities. Whereas similar-type missiles have a relatively short boost-phase after launch, after which they glide to the target while bleeding energy, the Meteor's ramjet means it is propelled up to the point of impact. This reduces the adversary aircraft's chances of escaping the missile and gives the pilot more assurance of success when engaging enemy aircraft.

The Meteor programme partners include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and the missile has been sold to Brazil, Egypt, Greece, India, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.

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