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UK announces a $52 mn investment for MBDA's Meteor air-to-air missile

World Defense & Security News - United Kingdom
UK announces a $52 mn investment for MBDA's Meteor air-to-air missile
The UK Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon, has today, April 21, announced three new missile contracts worth a combined USD690 million for state-of-the-art Meteor air-to-air missile, Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) and Sea Viper missile systems at MBDA Stevenage.
UK announces a 52 mn investment for MBDA s Meteor air to air missile 640 001A Meteor BVRAAM missile fired from a F-35 Lightning II fighter jet
(Credit: MBDA)
"The deal ensures our Armed Forces have the best equipment available to protect the new Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers and the extended fleet from current and future threats," the UK Defence Ministry said in an official release.

The USD690 million contracts will sustain over 130 jobs with MBDA in the UK, with missile modification and service support being carried out in Stevenage, Henlow, Bristol and Bolton.

"This substantial investment in missile systems is vital in protecting our ships and planes from the most complex global threats as our Armed Forces keep the UK safe. Backed by our rising Defence budget, these contracts will sustain high skilled jobs across the UK and demonstrate that strong defence and a strong economy go hand in hand," the British Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon, said.

As part of a USD52 million contract, the Meteor air-to-air missiles will arm the UK’s F-35B Lightning II squadrons. It will provide the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy with a world beating missile that can engage with targets moving at huge speed and at a very long range. The weapon will enter service on Typhoon with the RAF in 2018 and the F-35B from 2024, and will be used on a range of missions including protecting the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers.

"MBDA is delighted by the continued trust placed in us by the Ministry of Defence and the British military. The contracts announced today for Meteor, CAMM and Sea Viper will help protect all three UK Armed Services, providing them with new cutting-edge capabilities and ensuring their current systems remain relevant for the future. They will also help to secure hundreds of high-skilled people at MBDA UK and in the UK supply chain, maintaining the UK’s manufacturing base and providing us with a platform for exports," Dave Armstrong, Managing Director of MBDA UK, added.

Meteor is a next generation, Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM). The weapon’s development has brought together six nations with a common need to defeat the threats of today as well as those of the foreseeable future. Initially developed for Europe’s new generation of combat aircraft: Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale, Meteor is also being integrated on the F-35 Lightning II.

Meteor’s stunning performance is achieved through its unique ramjet propulsion system - solid fuel, variable flow, ducted rocket. This throttleable ramjet motor ensures that the missile has maximum thrust when it is most required, namely at the end game leading up to target intercept. As a result, Meteor features the largest No-Escape Zone of any other current or planned air-to-air missile system. Guided by an advanced active radar seeker, Meteor provides all weather capability to engage a wide variety of targets from agile fast jets to small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and cruise missiles.