MBDA has been awarded a contract from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for the integration of the Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile onto the KF-X future Korean fighter aircraft.

The contract includes integration support to KAI, transfer of know-how and manufacture of test equipment for the KF-X integration and trials campaign.

According to a news release from MBDA:

“Meteor is the world’s most advanced air-to-air missile, and has a unique ramjet propulsion system that allows it to fly further and faster than any other air-to-air missile – allowing it to defeat manoeuvring targets even at extreme ranges.”

Éric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, said:

“We’re very pleased to mark this next and important step in our partnership with KAI and the Korean Defence Acquisition Program Administration. South Korea is a strategic market for MBDA, and we’re proud that Meteor will be providing KF-X with the world’s most potent air-to-air capability.”

Recently, British firm Cobham received a contract from Korean Aerospace Industries Ltd to design and supply a pilot Oxygen System for the future KF-X.

The company say that this represents the fourth contract award Cobham has earned from KAI in support of the KF-X program. Other Cobham solutions selected by KAI for KF-X include Missile Ejection Launchers, a full range of Communication, Navigation and Identification conformal antennas, and external fuel tanks and pylons.

According to a press release from the company:

“Cobham Mission Systems, the market leader in military life support oxygen systems, will be leveraging its latest Next Generation Oxygen Concentrator technology, as well as the newly developed Electronic Seat Mounted Regulator to outfit the KF-X aircraft.  This high-reliability system will not only meet or exceed the current requirements, but will be capable of spiral upgrades as new technologies, such as pilot breathing sensors, are introduced in the future.”

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farouk
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farouk

I read previously that Meteor started out as a British MOD project and had other European countries join. But nowhere can I find details on how much of the Meteor is British?

Anybody able to answer my question?

Callum
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Callum

Based purely from what I can find on Wikipedia and some deductions, the radar is Thales, the fuse is Bofors, the warhead and motor are from German companies, and the control system and the rest are from British companies or UK-based subsidiaries like MBDA UK.

Basically it’s a British missile with the best European components cherry picked from the continent.

Spyinthesky
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Spyinthesky

Indeed. Like most things ‘British’ these days we legislate for it as a project, set requirements and fundamentally very often design these things from concept down during which point it starts to get somewhat more grey as it gets to the more micro managed componentry. And then starts the cherry picking where major components more often than not starts to become far less British in origin. I believe the European propulsion systems almost inevitably originate in Germany now as in this case, as will much of the electronics be European or from even further afield. In that regard Meteor itself… Read more »

Callum
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Callum

I don’t see that as a particularly bad thing. It would be daft of us to ignore more advanced and available allied components just to develop our own domestic version, simultaneously increasing our own costs while making the missile less attractive to for those allies to adopt. The important thing is that we maintain industry as a whole, instead of trying to make every single component British. Take the ramjet motor for example: Rolls Royce are one of the top 3 engine producers on the planet and could certainly have built the motor, but getting them to design a custom… Read more »

700 Glengarried Men
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700 Glengarried Men

Agreed it I’d good to have the best bits from wherever, however this can backfire for instance German blocking exports etc ie the Saudi aircraft orders , so a solution for this should be sought maybe a UK based subsidiary office

Andy P
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Andy P

That all makes sense. Whether folk like it or not, defence is another industry that is about making money. If you can ‘bring in’ another country to the programme to save money and sell them equipment then kerching.

I’m not against a one country weapon system, but they’re getting thinner on the ground, certainly outside the ‘big boys’.

dan
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dan

Most of that range is almost useless since in combat pilots are forced most of the time to VID their target before firing. That will be even more evident with increased use of ECM, EA, ect that will make it very difficult if not impossible for long range sensors to positively ID a target.

Rudeboy
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Rudeboy

If anything with modern IRST its become a whole lot easier to VID a target. But its a reasonable point, in the limited air wars where coalition aircraft have been massively in the ascendancy that has been the rule. The chances of friendly fire have been too high. But would VID have been necessary in the last war when UK forces launched air to air missiles? The Falklands? If Sea Harrier had had Amraam then they’d have been able to use its full capabilities. Anything travelling at speed over East Falkland could have been safely engaged. But Meteor isn’t designed… Read more »

Watcherzero
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Watcherzero

Yes a lot of the time today the pilot wont have VID but will be directed on to the target by AWACS/Ground Radar/Drone, Meteor is designed to be remotely guided to the target area then actively seek a threat. In a full on air war civilian craft will have been warned to stay clear and all allied positions will be shared (or at their own risk be it).

DaveyB
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DaveyB

IF we consider the last major conflict where aircraft took out other aircraft i.e. The Gulf War Part 1. Visual identification had to be carried out, as not all the “Allied” aircraft had the most up to date IFF. Jordan made the decision to ground all its aircraft, Israel patrolled its borders, as did Turkey, Syria and Iran. The aircraft used by Oman, UAE, Bahrain and Saudi did not have the latest NATO IFF. Therefore, the aircraft being detected over Iraq had to be visually identified. It didn’t stop the US or the Saudis using medium range semi-active Sparrows to… Read more »