Pilots from each of the Eurofighter Nations were invited to take part in the METEOR cockpit assessment trials led by BAE Systems at the companies Warton site in Lancashire, England.
Supported by a team of engineers, the pilots flew various missions in a Typhoon simulator redesigned to incorporate METEOR weapon functionality. The trials were successful resulting in a series of recommendations for the final cockpit design.
“One of the most important things to consider when integrating a new missile is to make sure that from a pilot’s perspective it is intuitive to use,” said Steve Long, BAE Systems test pilot who took part in the trials. “In a combat environment there is no room for failure. It has to be intuitive; it has to be fool proof. The trials have involved working through countless scenarios to make sure that the addition of this new capability is designed into the aircraft with the user in mind.”
Talking about the capability METEOR will provide for future Typhoon combat pilots Long added, “METEOR is an incredibly important capability enhancement for Typhoon. As a pilot you want to know you have an advantage, that you have something better than your opponent.
“Having METEOR sat under your wings means you’re stepping into an aircraft that instantly gives you the confidence and reassurance to conduct your mission,” he said.
METEOR, a beyond visual range air-to-air missile manufactured by MBDA, will provide the Typhoon aircraft with cutting edge weapons capability. Featuring advanced air breathing motor technology and the latest electronics to deliver optimum combat performance, METEOR will ensure that Typhoon remains the worlds most advanced multi role aircraft, complementing Eurofighter’s Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile capability.
METEOR has been flown and safely jettisoned from the Typhoon aircraft and a first firing is planned to take place before the end of 2012. In operational service Typhoon will carry METEOR missiles designed to optimize Beyond Visual Range engagement performance.