British F-35B jets will be equipped with Meteor missiles by the ‘middle of this decade’ say the Ministry of Defence.

The information came to light in a response to a written question submitted in the House of Commons.

Mark Francois, Member of Parliament for Rayleigh and Wickford, asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his timetable is for the Meteor air-to-air missile to achieve initial operating capability on the F-35 aircraft.”

Jeremy Quin, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, responded:

“Initial development work for Meteor integration has progressed well. The Lightning Delivery Team within Defence Equipment and Supply (DE&S), through F-35 Joint Program Office has signed a contract to integrate Meteor in the middle of the decade.”

Previously we reported that a team of BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and MBDA engineers are enhancing the capability of the UK’s fleet of F-35 Lightning aircraft by commencing work on the integration of next generation weapons.

BAE Systems has received an initial funding award from Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the F-35 programme, to start integration efforts for MBDA’s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and SPEAR precision surface attack missile. Under this initial package of work BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin will also complete further integration work with MBDA on ASRAAM and with Raytheon on Paveway IV, initially integrated in support of delivering Initial Operating Capability for the UK.

Cliff Waldwyn, Head of Combat Air, Group Business Development of MBDA, said:

“This is a significant milestone for the UK Combat Air’s capability. This initial package of work officially commences the integration of Meteor and SPEAR and will enhance the operational capability of the UK’s Lightning Force in the future; it is also a positive step for the wider F-35 enterprise as it adds additional capability choice for international customers. MBDA’s integration team have worked well with our BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin colleagues and we plan to build on this excellent foundation into the future on this follow-on modernisation work.”

Meteor is a ‘Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile’ system developed by MBDA.

The Meteor programme sees the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden working together to provide access to technology and expertise across those nations.

You can read more about the missile here.

The Ministry of Defence recently revealed the cost of adding ASRAAM and SPEAR-3 missiles as well as Paveway IV guided bombs to the F-35B Lightning II.

You can read more about that by clicking here or visiting the link below.

How much does it cost to add weapons to the F-35?

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Deep32
Deep32
7 days ago

Interesting, I was under the impression that S3 & Meteor integration was aligned with the introduction of Blk4 software!
Latest reports have its introduction delayed until 2026ish – have LM recovered some slippage time?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
7 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

2026 is still middle of decade, and before the software goes live they will still need to do the fitment and drop tests.

John Clark
John Clark
7 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Meteor and Spear 3 will be real game changes, combined with the radars electronic attack capability and we will have an immensely capable platform, one that will be truly feared by potential opponents.

Ron5
Ron5
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Don’t forget the EW version of Spear 3  😀 

John Clark
John Clark
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Good shout Ron, that will certainly make for some nervous radar operators…..

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

That’s if it goes into production and gets integrated…
Still just a demo contract at present, although all the mood music is good…

Donaldson
Donaldson
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Am i right in saying F-35Bs can only hold 2 Meteors? I know the missile itself is very capable but having just 2 per aircraft isn’t really good is it.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
7 days ago
Reply to  Donaldson

I think it’s two lots of two in the bays at the moment. Maybe they can squeeze another one each and under the wings.

John Clark
John Clark
7 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I thought it was three per bay, two mounted internally and one on the inside of the door?

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Just the 4 in total, 1 on each bay door and one mounted in each bay.
The Sidekick rack that enables carriage of 2 mounted in each bay (6 missiles in total) will not fit the F-35B, only works for the larger bays on F-35A and C.

John Clark
John Clark
7 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Thanks for that,

I suppose 4 Meteor and two wing mounted ASRAAM is still quite the ‘ruin your whole day’ load out…..

Deep32
Deep32
7 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Yes, 2023-2027 could well be regarded as middle of the decade, but, a 2 year slippage is still a 2 year slippage.
To be fair, HMG are in between a rock and a hard place, trying to put a positive spin on a situation not of their making. It’s a LM issue as they are responsible for delivering Blk4 software on time/price.

Nicholas
Nicholas
7 days ago

How useful will Meteor be against other missiles? I know its primary target will be jet aircraft and possibly UAVs, although in the case of UAVs, the cost per missile of £1700000 the threat would have to be significant.

Nate M
Nate M
7 days ago
Reply to  Nicholas

maybe use the main gun against uavs?

Adrian
Adrian
7 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

I can imagine people being a little nervous about an F-35 getting close enough to the action to use guns.
Wouldn’t a cheaper air-air sidewinder be the weapon of choice against a UAV?

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 days ago
Reply to  Nicholas

One of its design sets is to shoot down cruise missiles. But, pretty much whatever it’s radar can lock on to will be doable.

Nate M
Nate M
7 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

wait so why don’t they make land launched version of the meteor?

Daveyb
Daveyb
7 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

Because MBDA also make Aster. Meteor should be good against targets up to 70,000ft. Its air breathing ramjet will start to struggle higher up. Aster 30 (Block 1NT) being initially rocket propelled can hit a least 100,000ft. Both hit well over Mach 4 on the speed front. It would be an interesting comparison, to see how many advantages Meteor has over Aster and vice versa, but only MBDA really know the answer. If Meteor was fitted on the Aster 30 Block 1NT rocket booster, what range, speed and height could it achieve? I would surmise that it would go further… Read more »

Positroll
Positroll
7 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

Lets not forget the IRIS T, for which such a landbased version has actually been developed (Sweden being the first buyer, and Germany likely to follow suit soon).

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Positroll

You could say the same for CAMM (SeaCeptor and SkySabre). The Sidewinder has also been used as a ground based SAM. The Iris-T is a true dogfighting missile though, unlike ASRAAM. It has one of the tightest turning radius’s. But that comes at a cost. To enable to turn so fast it has aerodynamic strakes plus control fins. When doing very tight turns these create a lot of drag, which robs the missile of energy. In doing so it means it has a pretty short range, even when compared to Sidewinder, ASRAAM has a significantly further range than Sidewinder. Iris-T,… Read more »

Pete
Pete
7 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

As it’s an air breather jet engine…not a rocket. It needs the speed of the fast jet for the engine to kick in although no reason it couldn’t be given a rocket booster for initial launch.

Nate M
Nate M
7 days ago
Reply to  Pete

how about about a 2 meter long booster. i not am saying we should but i guess we could use it as a relatively cheap long range air defence.

Last edited 7 days ago by Nate M
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
7 days ago
Reply to  Nicholas

Good point. I wonder if there’ll be a lower cost med range missile kept, in between the short and longer range AAM’s. Or will it just be AMRAAM’s and Meteor’s?

Pete
Pete
7 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Asraam is being paired with METEOR so good overlap between short through medium to long ranges.

Joe16
Joe16
7 days ago

Still sounds a bit late to me- is this a case of prioritising US requirements over British ones? I know that the whole Block IV package is running late (anyone know why, by any chance?), but LM could do with a kick up the arse.
I read somewhere that there had been talk of turning Meteor into an anti-radiation missile as well, for taking out SAM radars, has that become a thing, or are we just putting all of our light/medium strike capability from F-35 into Spear 3..?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
7 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Theres been some bi-lateral talks about Anglo-Japanese collaboration, putting a Japanese anti-radiation seeker on the Meteor.

Joe16
Joe16
7 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Thanks, nothing too substantial yet then. It may not be necessary if a Spear 3 can do the same thing I guess, but I imagine there’s some benefit to having a similar range (I’m assuming that a Meteor launched at height against a stationary ground target will have similar range to Spear 3) but many times the speed.

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
7 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I believe it’s a Japanese aesa , the Japanese can’t use their existing AAM inside the f35 as it’s too big , so they are shrinking it’s aesa seeker to fit in meteor.
If it’s anti radiation as well then all the better.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

Anti-Radiation simply means it detects and homes in on radio emissions or ‘radiation’ using a passive radar. In aviation parlance its not the same as nuclear radiation. A passive radar is essentially whats used, towards the end of the cold war they started adding an active millimetre radar for terminal guidance.

An AESA radar is designed to both transmit and listen at the same time so is ideal for the role.

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
7 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Perfect then though I’m not sure the U.K. MOD intends to make use of it , other than the fin mods so it fits the internal air to air pylon.
MBDA are working on an aesa seeker for the new MICA so they might well prefer to steer U.K. meteors in that direction.

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

The Meteor missile like any active radar guided missile, such as AMRAAM, by its nature of requiring the receiver to detect the reflected emission, has a readily available passive mode. Basically the radar’s receiver will look for a target signal to lock on to that matches a number of preprogrammed parameters. The issue which clearly MBDA won’t state is the frequency range that the radar’s receiver can acquire. Normally it will only lock on to something within its operating band. But some radar’s are now including spectrum analysis, which will widen the receiver’s bandwidth. The question would be if the… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
7 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi Davey, thanks as always for the helpful information. Given Meteor’s range against air targets, I’d imagine that it has a comparable or even greater range than Spear 3 when launched against a ground target. An anti-radiation missile screaming in at your radar station at Mach 4+ from an unseen source would be on you in less than a minute if launched from 130 km (estimated max range of Spear3). That strikes me as a pretty decent offensive capability, rather than just a SHTF one- although I guess you’re relying on the radar being active the whole time. I guess… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

There are two trains of thoughts on how to attack a radar system. If the radar is tracking you for a missile solution, then you need the fastest missile to hit them before they can attack you. However, if the radar is being operated intermittently and then shifting locations, you need a missile that can loiter, gradually homing in on its location. In this respects HARM is the high speed radar killer, whilst the old ALARM with its deployable parachute, was the loitering missile; although it could travel at Mach 2.5 which was actually much faster than the HARM. Spear… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
5 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Are you sure about Spear 3’s infrared seeker?

Really sure not Wikipedia sure.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Hard to say without looking at the nose of the missile physically. On MBDA’s own website one page mentions it has one whilst another page just says radar and laser receiver as per Brimstone. The latest imagery of Spear-3’s nose with a close up of the transparency, looks like it contains an imaging infrared (IIR) CCD sensor. I guess we will to wait and see. The combination of mmW radar and IIR has been used on a few other missiles, such as the new Chinese PL-21. I’m not sure if any also have a laser receiver. Raytheon have a trimode… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
7 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

The F35 APG-81 radar has electronic attack capability. And Spear CAP 3 will have EW version. Basically EW cruise missile that will neutralise threats 100 miles ahead from the launch aircraft.

Joe16
Joe16
7 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

True, I really like the look of Spear 3- it’s shaping up into a very capable weapon. But it’s relatively slow, especially when compared to Meteor. My concern is that it could be caught by Pantsir or similar in the terminal phase quite easily (depending on its RCS, I’ve no idea what that is), as I believe the S300 and S400 sites are often protected by point defence systems in a layered fashion. Maybe Spear 3 is too small to see, in which case no worries, but I do feel that having something that can run as fast as Meteor… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Recent experience in Syria and Libya suggests the Pantsir isn’t all its cracked up to be. The Israelis in particular have shown how they hunt them using a combination of jamming and the Delilah cruise missile. This would be similar to us using the combination of Spear-3 and the EW version, or using the F35 EW from a stand-off distance. The IAF did release some video imagery of them attacking the Pantsir. One of the Pantsirs tried to engage the incoming, but the video clearly shows how effective the jamming was, with the missile’s flying off in all directions. I… Read more »

dan
dan
7 days ago

Do the Brits have the AIM-120D?
It recently recored the longest range air to air kill in history. Just a training shot but still impressive.

Last edited 7 days ago by dan
Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
7 days ago
Reply to  dan

We have ordered 200 for our f35’s until meteor is integrated, meteor is still seen very much as an upgrade even over the D model of AMRAAM.
Not sure if they’ve been received and are in use yet though

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

It’s ‘up to 200’. Deliveries should commence next year.

PaulW
PaulW
7 days ago

I wonder how much HMG are being charged to add a European missile to US aircraft? US is going to hate having competition for the aim120 on that airframe. So why no UK software team for F35. Harrier and Tornado saved HMG huge loads of cash with in-service software support. I don’t know about Typhoon. Guess we don’t buy enough to permit the IP transfer.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
7 days ago
Reply to  PaulW

Actually I would bet that the US is hardly going to lose any sleep over integrating some European customer weapons onto F-35. Going on into the future the majority of F-35 sales will be via FMS contracts with an associated weapons contract. US FMS by its very nature of operation favours a US weapons package. As for why no UK software team for F-35 weapons integration, that was never on the cards realistically even as a tier 1 partner. The software architecture back end is the crown jewels and very sensitive US eyes only in certain areas. That is why… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Fedaykin
Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
7 days ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

There is a massive UK software team working on F-35 at BAE Samlesbury….

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
7 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

They don’t have full access to the F-35s software.

dan
dan
7 days ago
Reply to  PaulW

US companies have started testing missiles that will be replacing the AIM-120D. One such missile is the AIM-260. Testing begins this year and operational use scheduled 2022 on the Raptor and Super Hornet. F-35 to follow. Little specifics are known besides a longer range than the AIM-120D and it might include an AESA radar like the new Chinese and Japanese missiles. Raytheon is developing their Peregrine missile with a multimode seeker to replace/compliment AMRAAM and the Sidewinder. It’s under 6ft long and 150pounds so planes will be able to carry more of them either internally or externally.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
7 days ago
Reply to  dan

I just hope that the F35B can carry more than four Meteors if/when required. Even if it’s on the wings. Does anyone know if our AEW and tankers should be able to have done AAM capability? And the UAVs?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
7 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

… Sorry, some bad grammar there…

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
7 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

And all that wasted energy coming out of the back – can’t some bright spark design something to utilise some of this to power up some airborne lasers for both active and defensive measures?

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It can carry more than 4 Meteors in beast mode. LM have shown imagery of a F35A with a pair of AMRAAMs on a twin rack fitted to a single hard point. The F35A had four of these sets under the wings plus a pair of Sidewinders. So including the 6 carried internally, it was carrying 14 AMRAAMs and 2 Sidewinders. The F35C can be configured the same. For some reason LM showed the F35B with only a pair of twin AMRAAMs on the inner hard points with a single AMRAAM on the middle ones, then a Sidewinder on the… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
7 days ago
Reply to  dan

Yes, although strangely I believe that they’re going with a steady-burn rocket motor for the AIM-260 rather than the ramjet on Meteor. I’m not an expert, but my understanding is that Meteor’s ramjet allows it to throttle up and down, allowing it to conserve energy for the terminal phase where it may need to move about rapidly to achieve a kill. A steady burn rocket motor doesn’t allow for that, and towards your maximum range you may not have sufficient fuel to make the sudden moves required to achieve the kill. If Meteor gets the Japanese AESA seeker, then I… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

It’s a shame that we couldn’t get internal carriage for ASRAAM on F-35B

That’s because of the missile, not the aircraft.

Joe16
Joe16
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

I didn’t realise that- I thought that it was getting too complicated to come up with a way of dropping them out of the wepaons bay on an already overcost and overschedule aircraft.
Thanks for the clarification!

Ron5
Ron5
5 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

ASRAAM can lock on to the target on the rail before launch. Can’t do that from the bay. Same for Sidewinder.

Daveyb
Daveyb
5 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

ASRAAM can, sort of. Its called lock on after launch. This is where the target location, track and velocity are fed top the missile in the bay. The missile is launched and turns towards the target, the missile’s IIR seeker then searches for the target, locates it and locks on. It is exactly the same method if the missile is on the rail and the target is behind the aircraft. Thereby giving the aircraft the ability to shoot over the shoulder.

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  dan

I’m not sure how the AIM-260 will get the very long range its stated to get, if it’s packaged in a body of similar dimensions to the AMRAAM? The General in charge of the project has stated it will not be ramjet powered. But it may be similar to the Chinese PL15 where it uses a dual pulse rocket motor. However, a dual pulse motor only gives it boost and sustainer phase. The sustainer is a misnomer as the sustainer only lasts for a short period. So even if the missile is boosted to Mach 5, after 100 miles its… Read more »

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
7 days ago

Good. Meanwhile the Russians have developed a hypersonic air-air missile with an extremely long range. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-37_(missile). Took along time though, first flight took place back in 89′, got suspended and then restarted!

Last edited 7 days ago by Goldilocks
dan
dan
7 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

I always take what the Russians say with a big grain of salt. Just the other day they said they intercepted all the air to ground missiles the Israelis fired the other day in Syria. Strange that somehow the targets the Israelis were going after were still stuck. lol

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

So it’s essentially like a lot of present Russian programmes, dusted off Cold War programmes that the USSR never finished before the collapse. Basically a missile designed to fight a war 40 years ago.

Pete
Pete
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yep..but by the time the F35 and Meteor are integrated it will be over 25 years since LM were selected to supply the F35 and it will be 30 years since the competition that resulted in the Meteor missile got underway. The timescales on these projects is just astounding.

Was having a giggle to myself thinking that in the same timescales the Royal Navy carriers went from Fairey Swordfish to Phantom F4

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago
Reply to  Pete

very good point actually, so the cutting edge is all really a bit…..shall we say middle aged.

Pete
Pete
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Lol…well that makes me very much old age…!

James
James
7 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Does any evidence exist that they generate this plasma cloud allowing them to fly at hypersonic speeds within the lower atmosphere?

I understand they can do hypersonic speeds at very high altitude in a thin atmosphere but how have they managed to crack the major issue of air resistance when no one else has?

David A
David A
7 days ago
Reply to  James

Doesn’t the plasma cloud generate whenever hypersonic speeds occur? what benefit is the plasma cloud to the Russian missile? was it not the reason why a hypersonic probe was designed for the space program to push the shock wave away from the vehicle?

James
James
6 days ago
Reply to  David A

I have no idea thats why I am asking. If the Americans, Chinese, Indians etc etc can all send vessels into space why have none of these cracked hypersonic capability in the lower atmosphere and only the Russians ‘apparently’ have?

Considering these seem to be ideas which originated way back in the USSR days the likes of the US research teams have had more than long enough to both develop the capability and counter it but they appear to have no answer to the hypothetical problem.

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  James

Because they can’t, physics can be a bitch sometimes! You can make a missile travel at hypersonic speeds at near to sea level. However, you will have to overcome two major factors. The first is the thermal load caused by air resistance. This will be a lot higher than at say 80,000ft due to the density of the air, plus the added bonus of more debris and water held in the lower air. Secondly there is drag. Drag is proportional to airspeed. Therefore as the air is much denser at sea level, therefore the drag will also be a lot… Read more »

James
James
6 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Thank you for the technical explanation. Ive read various articles and hypothesis on how the hypersonic work, the mass majority seem to agree as you state they are only able to be hypersonic at very high altitude to reach an area quickly. Then drop out of the higher atmosphere at a supersonic speed to manoeuvre onto the eventual target. Which despite all the hype (pardon the pun) of said systems existing air defense systems will have time to target and take out such missiles as ultimately they are no quicker than normal missiles in the terminal phase. A reason why… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
5 days ago
Reply to  James

The T45s Sampson and S1850M have a limited elevation. Both radars used electronic beam steering from a phased array. In general a phased array has a limit of +/-45 degrees from the boresight in elevation. The T45s radar arrays are leant back to something like 20 or 30 degrees. This gives the look up angle of 65 to 75 degrees. Which means they have a dead zone above this angle. It is no different with the Arleigh Burkes hull placement of their phased array panels. It to will have a dead zone above the ship. There are a number of… Read more »

Netking
Netking
5 days ago
Reply to  James

Not having a go at you but are we really saying that all the untold billions and technical resources directed towards the development of these make them no better than existing missiles?

James
James
5 days ago
Reply to  Netking

What untold billions exactly? Russian billions with virtually no evidence they work?

If Russia has put untold billions into the technology is no way on this planet the US has not been doing the same or also developing ways to counteract them. Which being said why arent we seeing the fruits of said labor? It doesnt add up.

Netking
Netking
5 days ago
Reply to  James

That is the point i’m trying to make. US officials have stated multiple times that the Russian and Chinese hypersonic programs are real and they have no defense presently. And yes the US has been spending billions on developing it’s own hypersonic weapons. Again, the first US hypersonic weapon is scheduled to be operational in about a year. Check out the link below.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2021/02/09/us-army-begins-equipping-first-unit-with-hypersonic-capability/

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago

I’m a bit tired and overworked and somehow managed to read that as the middle of the century……

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Haha… Let’s hope not!!! 😁 C’mon Britain!! Get crackin’!!

David A
David A
7 days ago

George. I think it’s about time you bigged-up the Sabre engine = https://www.reactionengines.co.uk/beyond-possible/sabre
It will eventually end up being used for military purposes!

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 days ago
Reply to  David A

Team Tempest announced that Rolls Royce (RR) and Reaction Engines (RE) were collaborating over the aircraft’s future propulsion system. Its speculative, but it’s unlikely to be the actual Sabre combination engine. But more likely to include a form of RE’s heat exchange pre-cooling the air feed a variable cycle jet engine, whilst using the aircraft’s fuel as the cooling medium. Even this would give a significant boost to the power and efficiency of a variable cycle jet engine. As part of RE’s test bed for the pre-cooler, they used a RR jet engine for proof of concept. It dramatically improved… Read more »

David A
David A
6 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I think they can’t afford to ignore this technology. To drop the inlet temperature so much means a big density boost and now they have fixed the issue with the inlet icing means this could be a game changer. I still wonder how they protect the heat exchanger from FOD and how much turbulence is created by the inlet which no doubt will cause a drop in thrust. I worry that this will end up the way of so many previous UK inventions where some other country ends up taking the credit. Glad they are considering this for Tempest, at… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
5 days ago
Reply to  David A

If we are considering a military exo-atmospheric application, then the Sabre engine will be required, if its endo-atmospheric then the Scimitar engine would be better, as it removes the closed cycle rocket part of the engine and just keeps the turbo-compressor core and bypass ramjet. First thing to clarify is that the Scimitar engine is a hypersonic engine designed to cruise at Mach 5+ and is not a jet engine. It does not use the burnt exhaust gas hitting a power turbine to spin the compressor. But instead uses the Liquid Helium cooling medium to spin a turbine that then… Read more »

David A
David A
4 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thanks for the analysis. I too could not understand why they were considering fuel as the cooling medium. Passing fuel through a heat exchanger will require high filtration and if they plan to use the fuel for combustion will not meet the need for fuel mass flow. I suspect it may do away with the fuel/oil heat exchanger though as pre-heating the fuel will prevent ice build-up in the main filter. Why not use Helium and pass the HE through the fuel tanks to remove the waste heat as they do with waste hydraulic heat? Shock cone is proven tech… Read more »

Something Different
Something Different
6 days ago

Obviously it’s be great if the missile entered sooner but the meteor/F35 combination seems potent.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 days ago

It can be understated that a F35 will have when armed with both Meteor and Asraam. Both of these missile will hugely benefit from the F35’s sensors and its low observability. The aircraft’s sensors means it will detect other aircraft before its detected, then use missiles that are beyond the targets ability to fire back. To have any real chance they really need to get within visual range. But then Asraam will outrange their short range IR guided missiles. This means the F35 pilot can dictate how and when to engage or not. As a matter of fact if two… Read more »

Positroll
Positroll
1 day ago

Meteor got finally fitted to the German Eurofighters, too …
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjCbbgyGQkE