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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Rafael Advanced Defense System developed ER Derby-I BVR (Beyond Visual Range Missile ) will be ready for integration trials on leading fighter jet particularly, Mirage-2000, Sukhoi-30MKI and LCA-Tejas if Indian Air Force (IAF) desires so said company official as IAF plans to replace Russian made R-77 BVRAAMs on frontline fighters like Sukhoi-30.

A previous version of I-Derby BVRAAM with a range of 50 km already has been integrated with the LCA-Tejas Mk1 fighter jets but this missile stock came from existing inventory procured for Navy’s Sea Harrier jets which now have been long retired and some I-Derby BVRAAM came from Spyder-SR Air Defense system inventory.

I-Derby ER on offer to IAF is an extended range version of the Derby that increases range to 100 km which uses a dual-pulse solid rocket motor which doubles its range to over 100km twice over than the previous version. Rafael claims I-Derby ER can offer 80% operational capability of the framed European-manufactured Meteor missiles that have a range of about 150 km at fraction of the cost.

IAF plans to use Indigenous Astra and I-Derby ER as frontline BVRAAM in Mirage-2000, Sukhoi-30MKI, and LCA-Tejas fleet till Astra Mk2 is available. Sources close to idrw.org informs us that the I-Derby ER order might be in limited numbers to meet interim operational requirements till Astra Production is gradually raised in the next few years.

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