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Eurofighter throws weight behind Meteor missile programme
29 November 1999
The Eurofighter Typhoon consortium has thrown its weight behind the Meteor missile programme in the increasingly bitter fight for the next generation of Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missiles (BVRAAM). At stake is a large export market and the future of air to air missile technology in Europe.
The Meteor is a missile being developed by Matra BAe Dynamics, the 50/50 joint venture between British Aerospace and Matra of France. Other team members are Alenia Marconi Systems, LFK, Casa, Saab and Boeing. Competitor Raytheon leads a team offering a BVRAAM that is based on its own in-service, flight proven products.
A large part of the case being put for the Meteor is that it will create and maintain thousands of premium jobs across Britain and the rest of Europe by developing the technology base and securing European control over Eurofighter exports.
Raytheon points to the numerous European partners in its team, including Shorts Missile Systems, Aerospatiale, Diehl, ARC, Thomson-Thorn Missile Electronics and Fokker Special Products as proof of its intention to allow most of the production to be carried out in Europe.
Now Brian Phillipson, managing director of Eurofighter GmbH, has said, "Eurofighter GmbH has expressed a clear preference for the Meteor weapon system. Meteor is by far the highest performing weapon system available to Eurofighter, and the only offering that fully utilises the exceptional sensor and avionics capabilities of the aircraft.
Designed specifically for Eurofighter, Meteor is being designed to maximise the aircraft's capabilities to make it more than a match for anything that flies now or in the foreseeable future.
"Eurofighter with Meteor can be offered as a package satisfying most customers' expectations of receiving a total capability from a single supply source. This creates an export package - under the control of European governments - that we can offer to a growing list of potential customers around the world," he continued.