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Photo Credit: AirPra@Aero India 2023 / ASRAAM mounted on the wings of Jaguar Darin-III

In a move towards self-reliance in defense technology, India took a significant step in 2021. Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) signed a licensing agreement with MBDA, Europe’s leading missile manufacturer, to establish a facility for the final assembly, integration, and testing (FAIT) of the Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) within India.

BDL anticipates significant orders from the IAF in the coming years (FY2026-27) for the ASRAAM, specifically to arm the LCA-Tejas Mk1A fighter jet. This domestic production of the ASRAAM signifies a crucial step towards self-sufficiency in air defense technology for India.

The Jaguar aircraft of the IAF were the first to be equipped with this cutting-edge missile. However, future plans hold even greater promise. Previously, the IAF relied on direct imports from MBDA for arming its Jaguar jets with ASRAAMs. The new licensing agreement empowers India to produce these missiles domestically, reducing dependence on foreign suppliers and fostering a robust domestic defense industry.

The ASRAAM is a new generation close combat missile designed for exceptional performance. Thanks to its large rocket motor and aerodynamic design, the ASRAAM offers superior speed and agility in aerial engagements. The ASRAAM’s design ensures it can effectively engage targets at a significant distance.

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