The Meteor missile is universally recognized today as one of the best long-range air-to-air missiles. With a mass of only 185 kg, and 3.65 m in length, it operates in the size category of the American AIM-120 AMRAAM and the Russian R-77, for superior performance.
However, it is more compact and lighter than the Chinese PL-15 (230 kg) while offering a comparable range and speed. And, if the Russian R-37M, with its announced range of 400 km and its speed of Mach 5, surpasses on paper the Meteor and its speed of Mach 4 for a given range greater than 150 km, it is also heavier ( 600 kg) and imposing (6 meters), to the point of being able to be carried only by the Su-35s and the Mig-31.
The Meteor missile, one of the most efficient in its category today
It is therefore in no way surprising that the Meteor is today a real success having been chosen to date by 14 nations to arm their Typhoon, Rafale and Gripen. Its performance is such that certain countries link the acquisition of European devices to the concomitant delivery of this missile (as was also the case of the SCALP cruise missile for Egypt).
Not only is the Meteor missile efficient, but it is also inexpensive, compared to its competitors. Indeed, public data allows us to estimate the unit price around 2 million euros, where the AIM-120C-8 for example, would cost $2.5 million per unit, while being significantly less efficient. .
A new missile for the GCAP program
However, the Japanese authorities have announced, as part of the GCAP program in partnership with the United Kingdom and Italy to design a 6th generation successor to the European Eurofighter and the Japanese F-2, the development of a new missile air-air intended to be “more efficient and less expensive” than the Meteor .
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