Procurement: June 11, 2002

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The European missile house remains in disorder. The Germans and Italians are working together on Armiger, an anti-radiation missile designed to be carried by Tornado ECR electronic warfare aircraft. This is to replace the US-built HARM missile in 2012. But the two nations are also working with the US on upgrades of HARM. The British want to develop an anti-radiation version of the Meteor air-to-air missile, which would make Armiger unnecessary, but there are problems. Meteor-ARM must fit into the conformal weapons stations of the Eurofighter Typhoon, meaning it will have only half of the range of the Armiger (designed to be carried on a launch rail). And it gets worse. The Meteor program, which won a nasty fight with an upgrade of the US AIM-120 AMRAAM, is going nowhere because the Germans (who are to fund 21% of the programs) cannot get the funding out of their own parliament (which balked at funding the A400M transport program, nearly crashing it). If the Germans don't fund Meteor, that program will collapse, leaving the Eurofighter Typhoon to swallow its pride and carry the AMRAAM or derivatives of it.--Stephen V Cole


 


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