Missiles Exports to Take off in the Shadow of Rafale’s Sales

Two months ago, the Rafale succeeded at firing Meteor’s missile, manufactured by MBDA.

The Meteor, showcased on MBDA’s static and equipped on Rafale’s fighter at Paris Air show, is longer than 3 meters with a diameter of 0.178 meter, and has an operational range higher than 100 km. The missile can be launched from different platforms such as the Rafale, Typhoon, Gripen or even F-35 fighters.

MBDA’s Meteor is the next generation Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) system designed to revolutionise air-to-air combat in the 21stCentury.

Guided by an advanced active radar seeker, Meteor provides all weather capability to engage a wide variety of targets from agile fast jets to small UAVs and cruise missiles. It is designed to meet the most stringent of requirements and is capable of operating in the most severe environments. 

According to MBDA, the weapon is also equipped with a data link communication. Aimed at meeting the needs of a network centric environment, Meteor can be operated using third party data, enabling the pilot to have the most flexible weapon system.

Meteor’s stunning performance is achieved through its unique ramjet propulsion system – solid fuel, variable flow, ducted rocket. This ‘ramjet’ motor provides the missile with thrust all the way to target intercept, providing the largest No-Escape Zone of any air-to-air missile system. To ensure total target destruction, the missile is equipped with both impact and proximity fuses and a fragmentation warhead that detonates onimpact or at the optimum point of intercept to maximise lethality.

In May 2015, after buying 24 Rafales, Qatar decided to order 160 missiles Meteor for its future aircrafts as well as Egypt, that bought a large batch of those missiles in the framework of the Rafale’s contract.

In addition, Sagem has confirmed during Paris Air Show, the export of AASM missiles, a Precision-Guided Munitions, for Egypt. Deliveries are scheduled at the end of 2016. This missile will complete the armament of Egyptian’s aircrafts and will provide, with its large operational range, an important advantage to hit moving targets with an impressive precision for all weather, day and night. 

Pierre Kfouri

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