SOURCE: Anand SG / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
In less than three years from now, by mid-2019, India will gain a regional edge when it comes to the most crucial aspect of Aerial combat scene with induction of Meteor BVR Air-to-air missile which will come equipped on French supplied 36 Rafale fighter jet ordered from Dassault Aviation by India.
India is spending close to 710 million Euros in procuring cutting edge next generation weapons suite for its Dassault Rafale fighter jet. The main highlight of this weapons arsenal will be Meteor Air-to-air missile which is described by many as the worlds’ most advanced air-to-air missiles.
Meteor missiles have been called game changer that puts India way ahead of China in Pakistan when it comes to Air-to-air missile capabilities. Both China and Pakistan at present do not have any weapons in the same class that could really tilt the balance in their favour during aerial battles.
Meteor is designed to knock out enemy aircraft more than 100km away with better precision than any other BVRAAMs with similar range. Meteor is considered significant stand-off combat capability that could give Indian aircraft an edge in Beyond Visual Range scenario.
What makes Meteor more deadly is that it uses ramjet engine which propels the supersonic missile to Mach 4 mid-flight their by enforcing a ” No escape zone ” which is three times larger than an American Aim-120D which has similar range to Meteor.
Targeted aircraft once in ” No escape zone ” cannot escape from Meteor solely on speed or manoeuvrability and will require active seeker jamming of the missile to deceive it and hope that chaffs fired will fool the missile’s radar.
Meteor missile might also see service with 272 Sukhoi-30MKI operated by Indian air force since MBDA which makes this missile already has offered India to integrate them into Sukhoi-30MKI. A deadly combination of BVRAAMs like Astra/Meteor/R-77 on Sukhoi-30MKI will tilt aerial battles heavily in India’s favour.