India’s defence ministry has signed a £250 million ($428 million) contract with MBDA to equip its Sepecat/Hindustan Aeronautics Jaguar strike aircraft with the company’s ASRAAM short-range air-to-air missile. A company source has confirmed the signing, but declined to provide any further specifics.
The ASRAAM has been designated as the “new generation close combat missile” (NGCCM) by the Indian air force. MBDA says the weapon “will provide both close combat and near beyond-visual-range capabilities” for the aircraft. “Part of the Jaguar upgrade programme involves integrating a HMD [helmet-mounted display], and here ASRAAM can offer proven digital interface and functionality.”
New Delhi issued a request for proposals in 2009 to replace the obsolete Matra-produced Magic 550 1 carried on the Jaguar’s over-wing rails. MBDA’s offering overcame competition from Rafael’s Python-5 missile, emerging as the winner in 2012.
MBDA’s success builds on a 2012 order for 493 Mica missiles to replace life-expired Matra S-530D and Magic-II missiles as part of an Indian air force Mirage 2000 upgrade. Worth almost €1 billion ($1.3 billion), the weapons will be delivered between 2015 and 2019.