The United Kingdom (MOD) has awarded MBDA a contract to pave the way for the integration of the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) on its new F-35 stealth fighters.
This contract helps de-risk the integration effort and includes the mixture of test assets, productionisation and engineering work needed to support Meteor’s compatibility and use from F-35. This is excellent news for the UK’s F-35 Lightning II force, which is planned to be armed with the game-changing Meteor missile in the 2020s.
The test assets being contracted today encompass the usual suite of test missiles required for an aircraft integration program. Contract scope also includes the role change kits for the UK’s common Meteor stockpile for both Typhoon and Lightning.
This contract follows-on from the successful firing trials of MBDA’s Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) from the F-35 earlier this year. ASRAAM is being integrated onto the F-35 as part of the aircraft’s Block 3 SDD program.
Also set for future integration onto the F-35 is MBDA’s SPEAR precision surface attack missile. Meteor and SPEAR are advanced weapons that complement the ‘5th gen’ F-35, bringing networked capability with stand-off – both weapons are key elements of the UK’s carrier strike capability in the future.
With a significant presence in five European countries and within the USA, in 2015 MBDA achieved a turnover of € 3 billion with an order book of € 15.9 billion. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems.
MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development.
MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Leonardo (25%).