Saab have successfully completed a test flight by a Gripen E aircraft with the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) for the first time.
The flight included two Meteor missiles and was operated from Saab’s airfield at Linköping, Sweden say the company.
“The aircraft continues to perform as smoothly as we have seen throughout the whole flight test phase flying with external stores. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming steps in the flight test programme, taking us closer and closer to completing weapon integration. Meteor makes Gripen E extremely capable in the air dominance role”, said Robin Nordlander, Gripen experimental test pilot, in a release.
This test with Meteor is a part of the weapon integration progress in the Gripen E test programme and marks an important milestone for the aircraft. The next step is to continue to fly with different configurations and gradually expand the flight envelope.
Last year, a Typhoon jet successfully completed a simultaneous firing of two Meteor missiles as part of the programme to integrate the weapon on to the aircraft.
The test was conducted using Airbus Defence & Space Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) 4 with the support of BAE Systems, Eurofighter GmbH, MBDA and the Ministry of Defence.
The trial was used to test successful engagement of targets and the simultaneous two-way data link between two missiles and the aircraft. The data gathered follows a series of six successful Meteor firings conducted from Typhoon in 2016. Following loading activity at BAE Systems’ Military Air & Information site, in Warton, UK, the trials took place over the UK’s Hebrides Range.
Meteor brings both aircraft types an unparalleled air-to-air engagement capability. The missile is an active radar guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile developed by MBDA. Meteor offers a multi-shot capability against long range manoeuvring targets in a heavy electronic countermeasures (ECM) environment with range well in excess of 100 kilometres (62 miles).