IAF To Get Long-Range Air To Air Missiles

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is scouting the global arms market for
stand-off missiles for its modern fighter jets to shore up their
capability to shoot down enemy aircraft beyond visual range, an officer
said Monday.

The IAF has issued a request for information (RFI) to global
manufacturers of stand-off missiles fitted with light warheads that are
capable of hitting enemy planes without engaging them in close
dogfights, the officer said here.

“Such missiles become very potent when linked with airborne early
warning and control systems (AWACS) that provide inputs on enemy
missiles and aircraft beyond visual range. We do possess AWACS and we
can make best use of these missiles,” the officer added.

The IAF, in its specifications for the missiles, has sought a
high-accuracy, precision strike weapon to avoid collateral damage. With a
guidance system for both its midcourse and terminal stages after being
launched, the missile will be a day-and-night weapon with all-weather
operational capability.

Stand-off missiles, which are fired from beyond visual range, allow the
fighter jets to remain out of the offensive range of the enemy aircraft.

A ground-based training simulator along with multi-media training
packages, dummy training missiles, captive training missile pods and
storage-cum-maintenance infrastructure also form part of the system the
IAF is searching for.

The IAF’s MiG-29 and Sukhoi SU-30 combat jets already operate
Russian-origin R-27 medium-to-long-range missiles and the R-77 medium
range missiles. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
is also developing an air-to-air missile, Astra, with a 100-km range.