New and Innovative Long-Range Capability
Royal Air Force (RAF) TYPHOONs launched carrying the MBDA METEOR air-to-air missile for the first time in a Quick Reaction Alert mission on 10 December.
RAF TYPHOONs maintain a constant state of readiness to defend UK sovereignty. The introduction of METEOR brings a new and innovative long-range capability and further enhances TYPHOON’s already potent arsenal. This year they have been scrambled for a variety of incidents, including intercepting Russian bombers approaching British airspace.
“This latest missile system demonstrates the next chapter of the TYPHOON, which will see the jet evolve its ability to target and destroy any airborne threat at great distances. The METEOR missile will provide an unrelenting deterrence to those who wish harm upon the UK and our armed forces [….] The RAF’s prized TYPHOON Force is unquestionably now the cornerstone of British and NATO military power. It has proved itself in combat roles over Libya, Iraq and Syria, protecting UK skies and overseas territories, and providing critical support to our NATO Allies in Eastern Europe,” commented British Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson.
“RAF Quick Reaction Alert TYPHOON fighters are now armed with the most advanced air-to-air missile in the world, the MBDA-developed ramjet-powered METEOR. Another huge leap forward in capability for the TYPHOON Force, which is proud to continue defending the UK and our allies, 24/7,” added Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier.
The missile system is a worthy investment, as it can fly in any weather condition, perform against all current and known future threats – including combat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and missiles – and will eventually operate from the F-35 LIGHTNING II aircraft. Crucially, the METEOR and launch aircraft will be networked by a datalink, ensuring highly accurate and intelligent air strikes.
“TYPHOON was designed from day one to integrate the very latest technology as it is developed. The declaration of METEOR on TYPHOON is a fantastic success and reinforces TYPHOON’s position at the forefront of military technology [….] With it comes the beyond visual range air-to-air capability that provides the force commander with more options and ensures that the pilot can be in positioned at far greater range when engaging. We know TYPHOON is already a highly-advanced, flexible, trusted and proven platform. What we are doing now is really unleashing its full potential [….] Today’s news is thanks to a pan-European collaboration between our people, the RAF’s Test and Evaluation Squadron and our Eurofighter partner companies in Germany, Italy and Spain,” explained BAE Systems’ Eurofighter Capability Delivery Director, Andy Flynn.