Gripen E fighter launches Meteor air-to-air missile for the first time

Saab conducted a BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missile test in Sweden. Sweden and Brazil will use weapons supplied by MBDA

The Gripen E fighter carried out the first test launch of a Meteor long-range air-to-air missile, Saab reported.

The Meteor, of the BVRAAM type (Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile, is produced by the MBDA and is considered one of the most advanced in its category.

“It feels very good that we have now completed the first test firing with Meteor from Gripen E. It is a very important milestone both for the program and for Saab. It shows that the weapon capability of Gripen is at the absolute forefront,” said Mikael Olsson, Head of Flight Test & Verification, Saab.

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Saab had already transported the Meteor on the new generation Gripen in 2018, but has only now carried out a test launch, at 16,500 ft altitude at the Vidsel test range in northern Sweden.

“This success is a great demonstration of the close partnership between MBDA and Saab, which after many years of active co-operation continues to go from strength to strength. This trial also excellently shows off our joint ability to rapidly integrate weapon capabilities onto the all new Gripen E,” says Jim Price, MBDA Vice President Europe.

The Gripen with Meteor and Iris-T missiles (Saab)

Meteor is a project involving several partners in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden – Saab itself supplies components for its final assembly. The missile is used by fighter jets such as the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon.

Sweden and Brazil, customers of the Gripen E/F, will equip their fighters with the Meteor. One of the differentials of the long-range missile is the “ramjet” propulsion, which allows it to maintain high speed throughout its trajectory, up to 200 km.

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