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The Indian Air Force (IAF) and state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) are in talks regarding the integration of the Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) onto the Su-30MKI fighter jets. This development comes nearly five years after initial plans for the integration were approved.

The ASRAAM is a Within Visual Range (WVR) missile, designed to provide the Su-30MKI with an edge in close-quarters dogfights. This integration would significantly enhance the aircraft’s air-to-air combat capabilities.

The move aligns with the IAF’s vision of standardizing the ASRAAM across its fighter jet fleet. Integration is already underway on the Jaguar DARIN-III jets, and the LCA Tejas Mk1A is also slated to receive the missile.

The ASRAAM weighs 88 kg and can be guided by information from the aircraft’s sensors, including radar and helmet-mounted sights. However, its autonomous infrared search and track system might require assistance from European developer MBDA, which could be complicated.

The ongoing arms embargo on Russia due to the Ukraine war creates a potential hurdle. Integrating European weaponry onto Russian platforms like the Su-30MKI might necessitate a complete lack of support from MBDA for the autonomous infrared search and track system.

As a test project, two Su-30MKIs are already being outfitted with ASRAAMs. If the trials are successful, the IAF plans to equip its entire Su-30MKI fleet with the missile in a phased manner.

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