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Technical trouble forces UK to delay SPEAR 3 first firing

21st June 2022 - 17:00 GMT | by Tim Martin in Belfast

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Concept art of MBDA's SPEAR 3 air-to-surface missile (Image: MBDA)

Technical issues are preventing the UK from meeting its original timeline to test-fire the MBDA SPEAR 3 weapon set for entry into service on F-35B fighter jets.

The UK MoD has revealed that the first firing test of MBDA’s Selective Precision Effects At Range Capability 3 (SPEAR 3) air-to-surface weapon from an RAF Eurofighter Typhoon will not take place as planned this year, but instead go ahead in 2023.

‘The first guided firing is now scheduled for 2023 due to technical considerations and programme complexity,’ an MoD spokesperson told Shephard  in a statement, without elaborating further.

The firings are designed to de-risk the new weapon ahead of future integration on UK F-35B fighter jets and are scheduled to take place at the FMV's test range in

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