The four partner nations in Eurofighter have agreed to delay until 2015 the introduction of the Meteor, the advanced rocket-ramjet beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) designed by MBDA. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is managing the development of Meteor, and is the only country to have committed to production so far. However, the MoD told the UK National Audit Office that it was falling into line with Germany, Italy and Spain.
A ceremonial review of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) last month included the static display of two new Japanese air-to-air missiles that are now entering service on the JASDF’s F-15J interceptors. The AAM-4 is an active-radar-guided replacement for the AIM-7M Sparrow. It has been under development by Mitsubishi and the Japan Defense Agency (JDA) for about 10 years.
Intended to arm the ‘Euro-canards’ (Gripen, Rafale and Typhoon) and possibly integrate into the RAF’s JSFs, the MBDA Meteor ramjet-powered missile is taking giant strides towards service entry. Recent successful guided firings have paved the way for trials of production-representative missiles, keeping the program on track for an in-service date of 2013.
Two companies are offering Israeli-built anti-missile systems to the civil aircraft market to protect airliners and business aircraft from the terrorist threat posed by shoulder-launched missiles, or Manpads (man-portable air defense systems).
Russia’s AGAT Research Institute is unveiling a new seeker that could become an industry standard in the air-to-air and surface-to-air missile industry. Designated the 9B-1103M-150, the model is a more advanced and compact version of the active RH seeker fitted to the Vympel RVV-AE medium-range air-to-air missile–the Russian equivalent of the Raytheon AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM).
Marotta Controls (Hall 3 Stand D12) is unveiling two new products at Le Bourget that represent innovative solutions to long-standing problems presented by modern military aircraft operations.
BVR Systems is here at the Paris Air Show with an on-board avionics and environment simulator called EVA–which stands for embedded virtual avionics. The Israeli EVA system provides the pilot with a virtual radar, including air-to-air and air-to-ground modes, virtual weapons, a virtual electronic warfare (EW) suite that can simulate flare dispensing and virtual sensors.
International air show regulars have become accustomed to seeing Russian arms house Vympel’s line of air-to-air missiles (AAM) alongside Sukhoi’s fighter aircraft. But this week’s Le Bourget event marks the last time the companies will cohabitate.
As the competition for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) “basic wing course” request for proposal heats up, Aermacchi’s M-311 is making waves as the only jet-powered contender to bid against turboprop trainers. But the aircraft is also unique in demonstrating BVR Systems’ embedded virtual avionics (EVA) and is the first such device to perform synthetic ground-mapping radar simulation during an actual flight.
Away from the turmoil of the marketplace, the Gripen team has continued to develop the aircraft and enhance its weapon capabilities. On Dec. 13, 2005, a Gripen took off from Linköping with a fully representative systems-fit Meteor missile, the first such flight for this important European weapon.