The four nations have finally signed a deal to integrate MBDA’s Meteor air-to-air missile.
The long-awaited signature, at the Paris air show on June 18, means that the Eurofighter consortium can now push ahead with the integration of the new missile onto the aircraft. The deal was signed with the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) in the presence of senior ministers from Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K., the partner nations on the program.
Alberto Gutierrez, CEO of Eurofighter, says, “These latest developments confirm the growing momentum of the Eurofighter enhancement program, which is delivering real capability to our customers.”
The Meteor will be integrated with the aircraft’s current mechanically scanned radar system, and later with the advanced, electronically scanning radar (E-Scan).
MBDA is now gearing up to put the missile into production. In mid-May, the German government reportedly approved the purchase of 150 of the missiles for €240 million ($377 million), and other nations are expected to follow suit. Late last year,completed test firing of a single Meteor from one of the instrumented trials aircraft off the coast of Wales.
BAE Systems is carrying out the first trial installations of E-Scan radar on the. The company is modifying its test and trials aircraft, IPA5, based at Warton, Lancashire, to support the E-Scan radar development program. The company says these trials are in conjunction with Euroradar, which is developing the Captor-E radar for the Eurofighter consortium nations.