A Saab Gripen E fighter operated by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) carried out the first test fire of a Meteor air-to-air missile.
The test took place at the Vidsel Test Range in northern Sweden at an altitude of approximately 16,500 feet (5 kilometers), Saab reported on August 30, 2022. The missile hit its target.
“It feels very good that we have now completed the first test firing with Meteor from Gripen E,” said Mikael Olsson, Head of Flight Test & Verification at Saab.
Sweden already introduced the Meteor on the JAS 39 Gripen fighter in April 2016 but has only now carried out a test launch. The Gripen E is the latest variant of the JAS 39.
The Brazilian Air Force, which ordered 40 Gripen E fighters, is also slated to receive a batch of Meteor missiles.
Developed by MBDA within the framework of cooperation involving France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy, Spain, and Germany, the Meteor is a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM). The weapon has a range of over 150 kilometers (90 miles) and can reach Mach 4 speed.
The Eurofighter Typhoons in service with the British Royal Air Force added the Meteor to their arsenal, in December 2018. It was recently adapted to the French Air Force Dassault Rafale F3R in March 2021, and the Spanish Air Force Typhoon Tranche 2 in January 2022.
Italy and the United Kingdom are also working to integrate the missile respectively on their F-35A and F-35B fighters. Entry into service is slated for 2027.