The first operational Meteor air force will be Sweden. “We will deliver missiles to Saab this summer, which will be used for Gripen firings in the first half of next year for their own integration program,” Bradford says. “We have a production schedule agreed with Sweden, and that integration program through FMV and Saab backs into the Swedish timeframe, which is about 2014.” In fact, FMV has talked about having Meteor operational on the Gripen by 2013.
France is working to a longer-term requirement than the other European nations, with an in-service date for Dassault’s Rafale expected around 2018.
“On Rafale we have a requirement for when French production deliveries will start,” says Bradford. “We are just completing the first phase of Rafale integration and the next phase will follow next year. That continues for two or three years with a number of firings from Rafale, and we will finish well in advance of the required French delivery program.”