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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

The Advanced Short Range (ASRAAM) Air-to-Air Missile integrated on IAF’s SEPECAT Jaguar attack aircraft locally at the HAL facility is ready for the first test firing of the missile soon. as seen in the above picture, Jaguar’s have Overwing pylons for quick missile separation. Jaguar strike fighters are low-flying aircraft and the threat is projected to come from higher altitudes, so two missiles are carried on the Jaguar’s over wing stations. ASRAAM will be replacing older R.550 Magic Close Combat Missile (CCM) for self-defence.

The 2.9 meter-long, 88 kg missile has a range of over 25km and near 50km which borderlines Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile range. IAF will equip ASRAAM only on its DARIN III upgraded Jaguar strike fighters which will continue to serve till 2034.

IAF which operates around 120 Jaguar attack aircraft has decided not to upgrade them with new and more powerful engines and instead will start retiring the first lot of non-upgraded aircraft from 2020 onwards. DARIN III upgrades are been performed on air-frames which were manufactured by HAL in the ’90s and still have a lot of flying time left in them.

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