Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Royal Air Force Typhoons launched from RAF Lossiemouth for the first time with the Meteor air-to-air missile during a Quick Reaction Alert exercise for airspace defense.
The Meteor long-range missile has been developed by a consortium of six European nations lead by the United Kingdom. The primary contractor for the weapon, which is expected to perform against "all and known future threats," is MBDA.
"This latest missile system demonstrates the next chapter of the Typhoon which will see the jet evolve its ability to target and destroy any airborne threat at great distances," Gavin Williamson, United Kingdom defense minister, said in a statement. "The Meteor missile will provide an unrelenting deterrence to those who wish harm upon the U.K. and our armed forces."
The Meteor radar-guided missile is an advanced design with a range of more than 62 miles and a ramjet propulsion system. Designed to be able for launch in volleys against multiple targets and evade jamming, it is expected to arm exported F-35 Lightning II's in several partner countries as well.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is the U.K.'s primary Quick Reaction Alert fighter for defending its domestic air space in the mainland and the Falkland islands. It is a multi-role fighter capable of air superiority and ground attack missions with partial stealth capabilities.
The aircraft is built by a consortium of European defense companies and has been adopted by several European nations. The U.K. currently has more than 70 Typhoons in active service.