IAF to get Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (ASRAAM)

Last Updated: July 12, 2019

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IAF to get Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (ASRAAM)
12 July 2019 Current Affairs: The Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to adopt Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), a new European visual range air to air missile, across its fighter fleet. 
The first firing is expected by the end of 2019. This first firing would be the first over the wing launched missile in the IAF inventory. All missiles are fired from under the wing.

Objective:
IAF aims to expand its Su-30 fleet with a proposal to build 40 more jets under license at HAL’s Nashik facility. The Indian government has formally requested Russia to extend the production license.

IAF Contract:
The adoption is a part of a £250 million IAF contract with MBDA, UK. The contract was signed in July 2014. The ASRAAM-armed Jaguars will be declared operationally ready by the end 2019.
Reason: India is well into testing its indigenous beyond visual range air-to-air Astra missile but its weapons program doesn’t include a close combat air-to-air missile.
When did India decide to buy? After a contest that involved the Israeli Python, the German Diehl IRIS-T and American Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder, the IAF  chose the ASRAAM in 2013 and decide to add it to its fleet.

About ASRAAM
The Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) of MBDA, European Arms manufacturers company, has been approved for fitting on Jaguar jets is currently undergoing integration. ASRAAM is used as a Within Visual Range (WVR) air dominance missile with a range of over 25km.
For IAF, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had built about 145 Jaguars for the IAF, of which around 120 are in service, and 80 jets will continue till 2025-30. A plan to get a new more powerful engine has been long delayed.

Indian Air Force (IAF):
The primary mission of IAF is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict.
Part of: Indian Armed Forces
Headquarters: New Delhi 
Commander-in-Chief: President Ram Nath Kovind
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS): Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh
Vice CAS: Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria

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