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Typhoons fly first operational mission with Meteor missiles
Typhoon with Meteor missiles. © Crown

Typhoons fly first operational mission with Meteor missiles

RAF Typhoons took off from RAF Lossiemouth on 10th December for the first time with the Meteor Air-to-Air missile during a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) mission.

RAF Typhoons took off from RAF Lossiemouth on 10th December for the first time with the Meteor Air-to-Air missile in defence of UK airspace during a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) mission.

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “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.”

Meteor is a next-generation Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) system with all weather capability to engage a wide variety of targets from agile fast jets to small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and cruise missiles. Its ramjet propulsion system, providing thrust all the way to the target, is designed to ensure the largest No-Escape Zone of any air-to-air missile.

Initial integration of the Meteor and Storm Shadow missiles is part of Typhoon's Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) package. The Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) package includes the final integration of Storm Shadow and Meteor capabilities, as well as the introduction of the Brimstone 2 close air support air-to-surface capability.

The multi-phase Enhancement package, also known as Project Centurion, is designed to give the Typhoon the ground attack capabilities necessary to assume the mission of the Tornado GR4 when the latter is retired from RAF service next year.

In addition to the Typhoon, the Meteor will equip the F-3R standard of the Rafale, the first of which are due to be handed over before the end of the year. It is already in service on Swedish Air Force Gripens. It will also be integrated on the F-35 Lightning II.

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