Italian Air Force: test campaign for operational use of the Meteor missile carried out at the UK range

Used for the first time an advanced telemetry system to record and analyze all flight data during the test

10/13/2023 – The first phase of the Operational Testing and Evaluation (OT&E) campaign of the Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) Meteor and the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) took place in recent weeks at the Hebrides Range range in the United Kingdom, conducted by the Air Force as part of the planned operational verification activities of the F-2000A weapon system with the aim of evaluating different types of armament, sensors and capacitive development software, necessary for carrying out the multiple types of mission that the aircraft is called upon to carry out in the Armed Forces.

Following the full operation of a new configuration which allows the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to be equipped with the Meteor missile (Phase 2 of Enhancement bravo – P2Eb), thanks to this first launch campaign it was possible to verify the behavior of the armament in conditions representative of possible operational scenarios, against real targets remotely controlled from the ground.

This first test phase, which will be followed by a second at the end of 2024, was coordinated by the 4th Department of the Air Force General Staff and conducted with the support of a joint team – in technical jargon “Typhoon Operational Evaluation Team (TOET)” – composed of pilots and engineers from the Experimental Flight Department, Weapons Instructors from the Typhoon Operational Groups and Mission Data Specialists from ReSTOGE, assisted by support personnel from all the F-2000A Departments. A synergy at all levels – from pilots to engineers to maintenance technicians – which allowed the activity to be carried out effectively and safely.

The Team conducted tests in flight and on the ground, using for the first time a telemetric version of the missile called Telemetric Operational Missile (TOM) Meteor, which allowed the recording of all flight parameters, essential for verifying the real behavior of the missile. In addition, as a secondary objective, the AMRAAM missile was launched to evaluate the armament in conditions of increasing difficulty.

Photo courtesy Italian Air Force General Staff