India successfully test-fires short-range air-to-air missile off Odisha coast. The 10-km range Russian missile fired from frontline aircraft Sukhoi 30MKI destroys an expendable aerial target validating the weapon’s launch envelope. Russian Close Combat Missile (CCM) tested is rumored to be standard R-73 CCM but no media report had confirmed it.

India had activated two danger zones off the coast of Balasore in the Bay Of Bengal area, one known for A2A firing, the other a target towing range a few days back, and more A2A firing are being planned from 23 Nov – 04 Dec 2020.

Unconfirmed reports, which couldn’t verify have said that this is fresh stocks of R-73 CCM that were supplied by Russia. In 2019, IAF had placed a fresh order for both R-73 and R-77 Air to Air Missiles to restock its AAM Arsenal. Some media reports back then that hinted that India had placed orders for upgraded R-73 CCM which is also known as R-74 in Russia which comes with improved IIR Seeker and ±60° off-boresight then its predecessor.

IAF had decided to arm its Frontline Sukhoi-30MKI fleet with MBDA developed ASRAAM Within Visual Range (WVR) air dominance missile with a range of over 25km but after R-73 was instrumental in shooting down a PAF F-16 in a Close range dogfighter with Mig-21Bis near Line of Control (LOC) last year, IAF had instead decided to rebuff its R-73 arsenal rather than switch to ASRAAM. R-73 also has been credited with a Pakistani Drone Kill which was shot down near the Rajasthan border last year by a Sukhoi-30MKI.

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