Saab’s Gripen E multirole fighter aircraft has successfully completed a test flight with the Meteor active radar-guided beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM).
During the test flight conducted from Saab’s airfield at Linköping, Sweden, the Gripen E jet was integrated with two MBDA-built Meteor missiles, designated 39-8.
The current trial is part of the weapon integration project being carried out under the Gripen E test programme.
Following this, Saab intends to continue flying the aircraft with different configurations, gradually increasing the flight envelope.
Saab Gripen experimental test pilot Robin Nordlander said: “The aircraft continues to perform as smoothly as we have seen throughout the whole flight test phase flying with external stores.
“I’m really looking forward to the upcoming steps in the flight test programme, taking us closer and closer to completing weapon integration. Meteor makes Gripen E extremely capable in the air dominance role.”
The Meteor BVRAAM can successfully engage a range of air targets autonomously both during the day and at night, as well as in adverse conditions and harsh electronic warfare scenarios.
The ramjet propulsion system of the radar-guided missile provides it with high-speed performance and increased energy to defeat fast, moving targets at a very long range.
In July 2016, Saab’s Gripen C/D aircraft became the world’s first combat jet to be operational with the Meteor BVRAAM.
Known as MS20, the operational upgrade was certified, approved and implemented into service by Saab, the Swedish Air Force and Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration (FMV).
Built as an upgraded variant to the Gripen C/D multi-role jet, the 15.2m-long Gripen E fighter features ten pylon stations that allow the aircraft to carry reconnaissance pods, weapons, and external fuel tanks.