Saab has announced it successfully conducted the first test firing of the radar-controlled air-to-air MBDA Meteor missile from a Gripen aircraft at the end of June 2013, making Gripen the first combat platform to fire the Meteor.

During the test, two Meteor missiles were fired from a Gripen at a remote-controlled target, successfully demonstrating separation from the aircraft and the link function between the aircraft and missile, and the missile’s ability to lock in on the target.

The test firing of the BVRAAM (Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile), designed to be fired from Saab Gripen, Eurofighter and Dassault Rafale fighter jets, was also used to verify the command support that has been developed for the pilot.

The Meteor is developed through a European collaborative project between Sweden, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK to enable engagement of airborne targets at long distances, with work led by the UK Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation.

The test team included representatives from Saab, FMV and British MBDA. Additional tests will be conducted in autumn 2013 so that delivery of the new capabilities can be made during 2014.

This article was first published on the Strategic Defence Intelligence website. For more information, please click here.