Swedish defense technology company Saab announced it has completed the first test firing of the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) on Gripen E with a “successful end-to-end result on the target.”
The Meteor missile was launched from Gripen E at an altitude of approximately 16500 ft. above the Vidsel test range in northern Sweden.
The trial is the latest in a series of tests conducted by Saab as it nears military type certification (MTC) for the Gripen E in air-to-air operations.
“It feels very good that we have now completed the first test firing with Meteor from Gripen E. It is a very important milestone both for the program and for Saab. It shows that the weapon capability of Gripen is at the absolute forefront,” says Mikael Olsson, head of flight test & verification, Saab.
The company completed development of the Gripen E and its two-seater Gripen F counterpart and is in serial production of airframes for Brazil and Sweden. Brazil has 28 of the new Gripen fighters on order while Sweden ordered 60 airframes in 2013.
“This success is a great demonstration of the close partnership between MBDA and Saab, which after many years of active co-operation continues to go from strength to strength. This trial also excellently shows off our joint ability to rapidly integrate weapon capabilities onto the all new Gripen E,” says Jim Price, MBDA Vice President Europe.
The focus of the flight test program for Gripen E is on continued development and testing of primarily the tactical systems and as well as integration of a variation of weapons, for example Meteor, Saab said.
The Meteor program is one of Europe’s most successful defense collaborations and has seen the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden join together to create this game-changing missile for air combat. The 180-kg Meteor is a ramjet missile capable of travelling at speeds of around Mach 4 and hitting targets at distances of over 100 kilometers. The missile is built by MBDA as prime contractor under an international project.