Great India Drive

MBDA strengthens Indian Air Force

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MBDA strengthens Indian Air Force

Wednesday, 09 October 2019 | Agencies

MBDA strengthens Indian Air Force

By providing solutions, which ensure both industrial sovereignty and the best of military equipment, the organisation is adhering the idea of Make in India with great success

With a strong reputation as a reliable partner that has supported the Indian Air Force for over 50 years, European missile firm MBDA understands the importance of operational capability and sovereignty for the IAF. Thus, the company is strongly committed to Make in India to deliver both industrial sovereignty and the best of military equipment to the country. Local firms now supply key components for new missiles. The company continues to deepen its relationship with India, as seen by the recent formation of a joint venture with long-standing partner Larsen & Tourbo to deliver a series of important missile programmes.

With exciting times ahead as the highly-capable Rafale joins the IAF’s inventory, these new aircraft come armed with a potent suite of weapons from MBDA. Unquestionably, the most famous is the Meteor, the ramjet-powered and network-enabled beyond visual range air-to-air missile that is recognised as a game changer for air combat. Meteor’s throttleable ramjet engine provides sustained high-supersonic power, making it the only missile capable of chasing manoeuvring enemies at even the longest of ranges.

No less game-changing for the IAF is the SCALP, stealthy air-launched cruise missile that also forms part of the Rafale weapons package. This potent weapon will give the IAF an unrivalled and flexible tool to conduct deep strike missions at long ranges against even the most protected of hostile targets. MBDA also manufactures the Brimstone and SPEAR strike missiles. Both lightweight missiles (Brimstone weights 50 kg and SPEAR 100 kg), they feature advanced dual-mode guidance that allow them to engage moving, manoeuvring targets in all weather conditions, either autonomously or with operator in loop control.

Brimstone is the best anti-armour missile in the world, being able to be salvo-fired against multiple targets and excelling at defeating even the best protected armoured vehicles with the latest defensive aid systems. It’s also unique for being truly multi-platform, being able to arm fast jets, helicopters, UAVs, land platforms and naval vessels.

SPEAR builds on the capabilities of Brimstone, but this mini-cruise missile is able to strike targets over 140 km away. With an enhanced seeker and two-way datalink, this intelligent weapon is able to defeat even the most sophisticated of air defence systems, be they on land or sea.

Another MBDA weapon, MICA provides both the Rafale and the newly-upgraded IAF Mirage 2000 aircraft with a uniquely flexible approach to air combat. MICA is the only missile in the world featuring two inter-operable seekers (active radar and imaging infrared).

There is also the ASRAAM, the Next-Generation Close Combat Missile. With its large rocket motor and clean aerodynamic design, it has unrivalled speed and resultant aerodynamic manoeuvrability and range. The missile gives it a high kinematic capability that delivers superior end-game performance for within visual range air combat. The ASRAAM missiles are significantly enhancing the battle capability of India’s Jaguar bombers, giving them unrivalled self-protection ability to penetrate hostile airspace.

Working with HAL, integration of the Mistral ATAM system on the Dhruv helicopter and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has been successfully completed. Utilising the same weapon across different platforms not only gives extra aircraft benefit but there are also major savings and operational benefits to be found in maintaining common equipment stockpiles. For example, utilisation of the Mistral missile on India’s helicopter platforms that provides a bridge to their use in a ground-based VSHORAD role, where the missile is fully compliant with India’s requirements and outperforms the capabilities of its rivals.

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