On 28th April 2015, teams from the French Ministry of Defence, Dassault Aviation andcarried out the first guided firing of the long-range missile against an air target from a combat aircraft. The test flight followed earlier missile separation trials carried out on the rafale in 2013 and 2014. The recent firing was performed from a two-seat variant over the missiles test range in Biscarosse near Bordeaux. The recent firing represents an important milestone in the integration of onto the in line with the development of the aircraft in the next standard. The first missiles will be delivered as of 2018 to equip the s of the French Air Force and Navy.
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[ismember]With a throttleable ramjet motor and ‘fire and forget’ firing mode, Meteor is a ‘Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) intended for air defence operations at ranges up to 150 km. Relying on extended range capabilities offered by theAESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array), able to detect and targets hostile aircraft at very long range, The Rafale, equipped with Meteor air-to-air missiles will be able to intercept such targets well beyond the range of current MICA missile used with the Rafale for combat and self defence. According to the developer , Meteor is designed to enable network-enabled operation through a weapon data link, which enables remote targeting, offering effective operation in dense electronic warfare environments.
The result of a cooperation between, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK launched in 2003, Meteor is a federated programme enabling the consolidation of the European defence industry and technology base associated with the missile sector. The missile is being integrated on several European platforms, including Eurofighter Typhoon, Gripen. Beyond 2020 the the missile will be integrated into the Lockheed martin F-35 Lightning II weapon system.
The main industrial partners ofUK, the industrial prime contractor for the programme, are , Italy, (Sweden), Bayern-Chemie (a fully owned subsidiary of Deutschland) and Inmize (Spain).[/ismember]