Saab recently conducted the first test firing with the advanced 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. Meteor from MBDA is an unmatched BVRAAM that can operate in in the most contested environments. It can successfully engage a wide variety of targets, from fighter aircraft to small unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles at unrivalled ranges. 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.
“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.
“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 programme 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 Meteor is a European active radar guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) developed and manufactured by MBDA. It offers a multi-shot capability, and has the ability to engage highly maneuverable targets, such as jets, and small targets such as UAVs and cruise missiles in a heavy electronic countermeasures (ECM) environment with a range far in excess of 100 kilometres (54 nmi). A solid-fueled ramjet motor allows the missile to cruise at a speed of over Mach 4 and provides the missile with thrust and mid-course acceleration to target intercept. The Meteor programme is one of Europe’s most successful defence collaborations and has seen the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden join together to create this game-changing missile for air combat.
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab AB. The Gripen has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire flight controls. Later aircraft are fully NATO interoperable. A major redesign of the Gripen series, previously referred to as Gripen NG (Next Generation) or Super JAS, now designated JAS 39E/F Gripen began deliveries to the Swedish and Brazilian Air Forces in 2019. Changes from the JAS C to JAS E include a larger fuselage, a more powerful engine, an increased weapons payload capability, and new cockpit, avionics architecture, electronic warfare system and other improvements.