Monday, September 17, 2012

Blog Ping: The Meteor Is Ready For Action

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Title*:The Meteor Is Ready For Action
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Description:The Meteor programme is near conclusion of the pre-production phase with the first production weapons due by the end of the year, says an article in the September issue of Aerospace International and reproduced on Royal Aeronautical Society's Aerospace Insight Blog.

The Meteor, the new beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) system being developed for the Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale, is fitted with external air intakes and air ducts which are closed until the missile is clear of the launch aircraft. After the weapon has been dropped, the engine is started. Once the missile has achieved spontaneous sustained ignition in the initial boost phase, the air intakes are opened, enabling the weapon to transition to ram-combustor ignition and then to continuous throttle control.

Meteor has been test flown aboard a Eurofighter Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale. The pre-production guided firing campaign was conducted at a number of test ranges, including Vidsel in Sweden, the Hebrides in Scotland and Parc Aberporth in Wales. The test firings were conducted from a Gripen and a Tornado fighter, including firing at targets flying at altitudes both above and below the aircraft, as well as at different altitudes aiming at slow and fast-moving targets approaching and moving away. The trials included testing how well the missile released from the aircraft, how the missile seeker coped with finding targets through 'clutter' and the robustness of the launching aircraft's airframe while manoeuvring before and after launch. The firing campaign also tested the missile against both missile countermeasures and electronic protection measures (EPM).

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