Tuesday, January 4, 2011

France Orders First 200 Meteor Missiles

French defence minister Alain Juppé welcomed the order for 200 Meteor missiles, long-range, air-to-air weapons that will equip the Rafale combat aircraft operated by the French air force and naval aviation. Meteor is a joint cooperative effort between France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The contract was awarded, on behalf of France’s Directorate-General for Armaments (DGA), by its British counterpart and program leader, Defence Equipment & Services (DE&S), to MBDA-UK.

The first Meteor missiles will be delivered to France in 2018.

This future missile, fitted with a ramjet, is intended for air-defense missions. It will intercept targets at ranges of several tens of kilometers, and will operate alongside the current MICA missile, which will be used at shorter ranges for self-defense and close-in combat.

Meteor is intended to engage threats such as modern combat aircraft fitted with MICA-type missiles or with ramjet-powered air-to-air missiles.

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