New Delhi: Aiming at enhancing the striking
range of its combat aircraft, the Indian Air Force is planning
to procure long-range missiles to hit hostile fighter jets
without engaging them in close aerial combat.
A request for information (RFI) has been issued by the
IAF for long-range stand-off missiles fitted with light
warheads which can take out enemy fighters from beyond visual
ranges, IAF officials said here.
"After the induction of force multipliers such as the
AWACS and aerostat radars, we can pick up enemy aircraft from
a long distance and such missiles can be used to eliminate
them without going close to them," an IAF official said.
The IAF already has long-range missiles such as the
Russian R-27 (70-130 km) and the R-77 (100 km) for use with
MiG-29 and Su-30. The DRDO is also developing an air-to-air
missile, Astra, with a range of 80-100 km.
Recent reports have also suggested that the IAF has
shown interest in procuring the Novator K-100 missile from
Russia with a range of 300-400 km.
In the RFI, the IAF has stated that the missile should
be lightweight with a long range, having "re-attack"
capability and its warhead should be light and must have
precision strike capability to minimise collateral damage.
The IAF wants that the missile system should be capable
of operating in both day and night and adverse weather
capability and must have adequate anti-jamming measures in it.