BAE Systems has successfully completed guided firing trials of the Meteor® Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air missile launched from a Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft.
The trials took place at the Ministry of Defence’s Hebrides range in the United Kingdom and saw Typhoon conduct guided Meteor firings against real air targets in pre-planned scenarios. The trials formed part of the flight test campaign for the ‘Phase 2 Enhancements’ (P2E) programme which will introduce a range of new and improved long range attack capabilities including Meteor and Storm Shadow missiles.
Typhoon aircraft IPA6, a Tranche 2 standard aircraft equipped with the latest P2E software, was used for the trials. BAE Systems test pilot Nat Makepeace, who flew the aircraft, said: “The missile separated very cleanly and guided very successfully towards its target maintaining a datalink communication between the weapon and the aircraft.
“This year is undoubtedly one of the most exciting years I have experienced in the development of Typhoon. We are taking to the skies with upgraded software, trialling new night vision helmet technologies, developing and expanding weapons capabilities and looking forward to flying the Captor E-scan radar – all in the space of one year.”
The integration of the Meteor weapon further enhances Typhoon’s swing-role capabilities, allowing the pilot to engage hostile air threats at long range, at the same time as identifying and engaging targets on the ground.
The flight trials were conducted with support from QinetiQ, MBDA and Selex and form part of a NETMA contract to fully integrate the Meteor missile onto Typhoon by 2017.