Tuesday, March 10, 2020

How the IAF plans to get the edge back from Pakistan on air-to-air strike capability

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has initiated the process to acquire and induct the first batch of the indigenous all-weather Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile – Astra – as it aims to recapture its edge over its Pakistani counterpart in air-to-air capability.

To add to its options, the IAF is also in the process of integrating the Israeli I-Derby Extended Range missile on its frontline fighter aircraft, the Su 30 MKI.
These missiles along with the already inducted MICA medium range BVR, and the long-range Meteor missiles will form the backbone of India’s air-to-air strike capability.

“We have initiated the process to acquire the first batch of the Astra missiles. Since it is indigenous, we will be procuring them in batches,” an IAF officer told ThePrint.

During the aerial duel between India and Pakistan on 27 February last year, the IAF had felt the chinks in its air-to-air armour with the Pakistanis having had the edge in this sphere.

Pakistan’s F16s were armed with the AIM-120 C-5 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile), which has a higher capability than that of the medium range R-77 used by the Su 30 MKI and the MICA used by the Mirages.
09/03/20 Snehesh Alex Philip/Print
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