PETALING JAYA: It appears that both the front-runners, Rafale and Typhoon, (in alphabetical order), for the MRCA programme are now being integrated with MBDA’s Beyond Visual Range missile Meteor. Of course the Swedish wild card, the JAS 39 Gripen will be the first to have the missile into service.
Eurofighter yesterday announced that
“FIRST EUROFIGHTER TYPHOON METEOR FIRING TRIAL A SUCCESS
The Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile has been successfully launched from a Eurofighter Typhoon as part of the Future Enhancements Flight Test Programme.
The missile was eject launched from a rear fuselage missile station, which on Eurofighter Typhoon is semi-conformal for aircraft drag and radar signature reduction. The missile motor was fired, providing data that will allow the missile launch envelope to be expanded.
This builds on an earlier series of flight trials, carried out by partner company BAE Systems on behalf of the Eurofighter programme, where unpowered missiles were used to demonstrate safe separation on the missile.
This current package of work begins the full integration of the Meteor missile with all Eurofighter Typhoon systems.
The flight trials were conducted with integrated support from QinetiQ and MBDA at a firing range in Aberporth, Wales, UK on the 4th December.”
Just a month ago, similar test firings were conducted on the Rafale.
It appears that both plane makers are in hurry to get the missile integrated into their respective aircraft as they compete for further orders and off-set some of the advantages their main competitors (Super Hornet and F-35) have over them.
But are both willing to give Malaysia the best price to clinch the order (if and when it happens?) Thats the one hundred million dollar question….