The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has completed the final guided firing of the Meteor long-range air-to-air missile from a Rafale omnirole combat aircraft.

The integration flight test involved firing of the Meteor missile at an air target and was supported by Dassault Aviation, MBDA and Thales.

During the test, the Meteor successfully engaged and destroyed a very long-range, high-speed air target named Mirach. 

A Rafale used in the firing was prepared at the DGA's Cazaux Test Center, which marks completion of the full integration flight testing campaign of Meteor onto the Rafale.

Conducted since 2015, the testing campaign has confirmed superior performances of the missile.

The tests evaluated the activation of the data-link between the Rafale and the missile in numerous aircraft flight conditions and electronic warfare environment.

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By GlobalData

Equipped with a ramjet motor, Meteor can be used for very long beyond-visual-range air defence operations and operated in a 'fire and forget' mode.

"Starting from next year, the Rafale equipped with the Meteor will be able to intercept targets at very long range."

Starting from next year, the Rafale equipped with the Meteor will be able to intercept targets at very long range.

The French Air Force and the French Navy are anticipated to replace all the existing fighter aircraft in their inventory with Rafale.

The aircraft can be used for a wide range of missions such as defence and air superiority, close support, deep strike, engagement of surface targets with laser-guided bombs, all-weather stand-off precision weapons, or cruise missiles.

The aircraft also offers anti-ship attack, nuclear strike and real-time tactical and strategic reconnaissance capabilities.