Typhoons launch for the first time with the Meteor Air-to-Air missile

RAF Typhoons have launched from RAF Lossiemouth for the first time with the Meteor Air-to-Air missile in defence of UK airspace during a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) mission.

This milestone represents the culmination of many years of research, development and testing to bring this advanced weapon into service on front-line aircraft.

Meteor is a state of the art complex weapon developed by a six nation European partnership led by the UK. It is built and manufactured by MBDA in Stevenage and has created 430 jobs across the country.

The RAF will continue to develop the missile through life, in-step with our International Defence and Industrial partners, supporting the UK Aerospace Industry, while maintaining the UK’s sovereign ‘capability edge’.

The missile system can fly in any weather condition, perform against all current and known future threats; including combat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles/missiles and will eventually operate from the F-35 Lightning aircraft. Crucially, the Meteor and launch aircraft will be networked by a datalink ensuring highly accurate and intelligent air strikes.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This latest missile system demonstrates the next chapter of the Typhoon which will see the jet evolve its ability to target and destroy any airborne threat at great distances. The Meteor missile will provide an unrelenting deterrence to those who wish harm upon the UK and our Armed Forces.

“The RAF’s prized Typhoon Force is unquestionably now the cornerstone of British and NATO military power. It has proved itself in combat roles over Libya, Iraq and Syria, protecting UK skies and overseas territories, and providing critical support to our NATO Allies in Eastern Europe.”

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