The Meteor was conceived in the mid-1990s as the European answer to the American AIM120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). The UK, France, Sweden, Germany, Italy and Spain participated in the programme to create the missile with superior range and kinematic performance than the AMRAAM.
The 190-kg missile has a range of around 150-km and features both impact and proximity fuses. Its fragmentation warhead detonates on impact or at the optimum point of intercept.
The Meteor's outstanding feature is its variable flow, solid fuel ducted ramjet (SFDR) motor. A solid fuel ramjet is similar to a solid fuel motor, but since it gets its oxidiser from the atmosphere, a solid fuel ramjet missile can have 3 times the range of a solid rocket motor- powered missile.
A conventional air-to-air missile powered by a solid fuel rocket motor attains its highest possible energy level shortly after launch and then maintains the same high energy level for the duration of its rocket motor burn, consuming its entire fuel in one continuous unmodulated burn cycle. On completion of the burn cycle, the energy level of the missile decays rapidly. If the missile reaches its target with its rocket motor still burning, it can cope with any evasive manoeuvre performed by its target. After rocket motor burn out, the missile's ability to cope with evasive manoeuvres reduces rapidly.
A conventional beyond visual range (BVR) missile optimises its engagement e