The Indian Air Force is all set to deploy ASRAAM heat seeking close combat air-to-air missile in its Sukhoi Su-30 MKI Fighters, Livefist has reported. The IAF is currently in the final stages of the programme to mate the British missile system with Russian-origin Sukhoi fighter jets.
A pair of HAL-built Su-30 MKI jets have gone through required modifications in software to deploy the MBDA ASRAAM missile, top IAF sources were cited in the report as saying.
The move comes after IAF successfully integrated the missile system with its Jaguar deep penetration strike jets. The ASRAAM integrated Jaguars are part of IAF’s £250 million contract with United Kingdom’s MBDA in July 2014. The modified Jaguars are to be declared operation ready this year.
According to the report, the IAF is intending to fully replace the Su-30 MKI’s current close combat missile, Russian Vympel R-73, with the ASRAAM in a phased manner.
The ASRAAM-armed Su-30 would be reportedly declared ready around the same time as the Jaguars, and will make use of the same test cycle.
National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) was tasked with the checking the stability of the ASRAAM on the Su-30 airframe at its Bengaluru wind-tunnel.
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