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The Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking to develop a low-cost cruise missile (LCCM) that can be launched from fighter jets, MALE/HALE Class UAVS, and even attack helicopters. The missile is expected to have a range of 100-150 kilometres and will be used to take out low-priority targets.

The IAF is studying the Russian-Ukraine war, where precision-guided munitions (PGMs) and subsonic cruise missiles have been used extensively by the Russian Air Force. This has led the IAF to explore the development of a low-cost cruise missile that can be used to strike targets at a standoff distance.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has already proposed a range of low-cost cruise missiles, including the SAAW, which could be developed with a small turbojet engine and a rocket booster. However, it is also possible that a completely new program may be sanctioned.

The development of an LCCM would be a major boost for the IAF, as it would provide the force with a cost-effective way to engage low-priority targets. The missile would also be able to penetrate enemy air defences, making it a valuable asset in future conflicts.

Key Features of the Proposed LCCM

  • Range of 100-150 kilometres
  • Can be launched from fighter jets, MALE/HALE Class UAVS, and attack helicopters
  • Low-cost
  • Precision-guided
  • Can penetrate enemy air defences

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