Eurofighter Typhoon with Meteor missile
Thus, all European-made 4.5-generation fighters including JAS-39 Gripen, Rafale and the latest Eurofighter Typhoon have been equipped with the aforementioned extremely powerful air combat weapons.
Not stopping there, the fifth-generation stealth fighters F-35 Lightning II are and will be serving in the air force of European countries that are expected to receive this weapon in 2024, currently writing part software for platform compatibility is being deployed.
With the Meteor missile, the European Air Force is expected to gain an absolute advantage over Russian-made fighters, especially the Su-30SM, Su-35S, or even the Su-57 stealth fighter.
The MBDA manufacturer introduced, Meteor is an extremely advanced air-to-air missile (BVRAAM – Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile). This is the product of a joint venture of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, of which MBDA – a UK-based arms manufacturing company is the main contractor.
Rafale jet with meteor missile
The Meteor rocket is equipped with a supersonic static jet engine that consumes less propellant thanks to its flexibility to operate, both as a jet engine in the atmosphere and as a booster in the space environment. This makes the Meteor rocket engine not need to carry much oxygen to burn the first stage liquid hydrogen fuel to be put into operation.
Meteor missiles can be used to destroy all kinds of targets beyond the visual range, day and night, in all weather conditions. In addition, Meteor missiles are also capable of ensuring high speed throughout the orbit and good defense against the impact of enemy electronic warfare systems.
The important thing is that Meteor not only achieves absolute range but can also end the “game” of enemy aircraft extremely quickly. This is due to the ability to concentrate enough energy in the last phase of the flight to strike a maneuverable target. “No Escape Zone (NEZ)” is the term for an area in which enemy aircraft will not be able to use pure agility to avoid missiles.
Saab Gripen with Meteor AAM
According to the manufacturer, Meteor creates a “Zone of No Escape” 3 times larger than conventional missiles, up to over 100 km on a maximum range of 185 km.
With the ability to pursue targets, Meteor is capable of 5 times more damage than conventional missiles such as the US’s AIM-120 AMRAAM advanced medium-range air combat missile or Russia’s R-77.
Thanks to a supersonic static jet engine that can throttle more or less energy, Meteor conserves energy until the very end, rather than expending much during launch or the cruise phase.
Therefore, when approaching the target, BVRAAM just needs to maintain a faster speed, the target aircraft has almost no chance of survival.
While the supersonic static jet engine ensures improved approach speed, range and agility, especially in the most important final stage of hitting the target, an onboard data link system allows Meteor to update information as it approaches the object.