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The Year End Review confirmed that the NGCCM, identified as the ASRAAM, was successfully tested for the first time in 2023. While the specific aircraft used for the test was not disclosed in the report, it was revealed that the IAF selected the SEPECAT Jaguar Darin-III fighter jets for equipping with this advanced missile system. Additionally, plans are underway to incorporate the NGCCM into the formidable Su-30MKI, a testament to the versatility and adaptability of this cutting-edge weapon.

The ASRAAM, weighing 88 kg, is a Within-Visual-Range (WVR) dominance weapon designed to excel in close combat scenarios. With an impressive range of over 25 km, the missile accepts target information from aircraft sensors such as radar or helmet-mounted sights. Notably, the ASRAAM can also operate autonomously using its infrared search and track system, offering a multi-faceted approach to air-to-air engagements.

The IAF’s decision to opt for the ASRAAM was the result of a thorough selection process that spanned multiple contenders, including the Israeli Python, the German Diehl IRIS-T, and the American Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder. The ASRAAM emerged victorious in the IAF’s evaluation in 2013, solidifying its position as the weapon of choice for bolstering the air force’s close combat capabilities.

In a move to enhance the versatility of its airborne arsenal, the IAF, in collaboration with state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), is engaging in technical discussions with the European firm MBDA. The objective is to integrate the ASRAAM onto the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, further diversifying the platforms capable of deploying this advanced missile.

The Year End Review hints at ongoing discussions regarding the integration of the NGCCM, or ASRAAM, with the Su-30MKI. This initiative underlines the IAF’s commitment to maximizing the operational effectiveness of its existing fleet by incorporating cutting-edge technologies, reinforcing the air force’s position as a formidable force in the region.

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