The Indian Air Force (IAF) will equip its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs, which form the backbone of its fighter fleet, with a new missile.
The missile, which has a range of over 250 kilometers, is capable of hitting ground targets like air force bases, munitions storages, defense sites, etc.
The long-range of the missile will allow the fighters to hit targets from stand-off ranges. Experts say this will allow the fighters to take out targets across the Line of Control with Pakistan and the Line of Actual Control with China from within territory under Indian control.
While the Ministry of Defence has not confirmed the development, some experts believe the missile Su-30 MKIs are being equipped with is the Rampage long-range precise air-to-ground supersonic missile.
Built by Isreal's Elbit Systems, Rampage is a long-range, autonomous, stand-off weapon with high survivability and operational flexibility.
The fire-and-forget missile is equipped with GPS/INS guidance navigation flexibility with anti-jamming capabilities. It can be used in day and night settings and adverse weather conditions.
"Its focal precision prevents collateral damage at a lower mission cost than other existing solutions. Operable either as a stand-alone system or via an avionic system, Rampage supports video transmission on RS-170 interface and wireless communication," Israel Aerospace Industries says.
In April 2019, Isreal used Rampage in combat for the first time. The Israeli Air Force used the missile to strike a rocket production and storage facility in Masyaf, Syria. The facility was likely run by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and protected by S-300 and S-400 air defense systems, a report from the CSIS Missile Defense Project Team says.
"The IAF [Israeli Air Force] fired Rampage missiles from F-16 aircraft to target a rocket production and storage facility in Masyaf, Syria. Imagery released by the geospatial intelligence firm ImageSat International shows the destruction of the missile warehouse," it says.
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