Swedish Gripen First for Meteor Missile

 - July 8, 2014, 10:06 AM
Swedish air force Gripens will be the first fighters to go operational with the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM. (Photo: Saab)

Saab has completed integration of the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM on the Gripen. Next year the Swedish air force fighter will be the first to go operational with the new missile, according to Saab. The Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon will also carry the Meteor. The Gripen previously conducted the first eight developmental test firings of the ramjet-boosted missile.

The final two missile integration firings were conducted on the Vidsel test range in northern Sweden last March. One was from low altitude and one from high altitude, and both were fired while the launch aircraft was maneuvering. The firings demonstrated a long engagement range; engagement of maneuvering targets; aircraft/missile datalink functionality; and missile seeker performance, Saab reported. "Sweden now has a head start in developing strategies to use this capability in air combat,” said Tobias Andersson, the company’s project manager for Meteor integration.

Meteor integration forms part of the MS20 upgrade to the Gripen C/D, now undergoing operational test and evaluation and slated to enter service with the Swedish air force next year.