Business / Industry Sectors
India looks to Israel for new fighter’s air-to-air missiles
04/02/2015
The Indian air force wants Israeli-made air-to-air missiles to hang under the wings of its new fighter aircraft. The Indian government has yet to make the final selection between the French Dassault Rafale and the Russian Sukhoi Su-30

At this stage in its procurement process, the Indian air force wants Israeli-made air-to-air missiles to hang under the wings of its new fighter aircraft.

The Indian government has yet to make the final selection between the French Dassault Rafale and the Russian Sukhoi Su-30. But all indications are that there is a consensus among professionals about the air-to-air weapon.

If the SU-30 is eventually selected to be the backbone of the Indian air force, the intention of New Delhi is to equip it with two Israeli-made, combat-proven air-to-air missiles.

Both are manufactured by Rafael: one is the Python 5, a fifth-generation air-to-air missile; and the other is the Derby active radar missile.

Python 5 has a length of 3.1m (10ft) and diameter of 16cm, and weighs 105kg (230lb). It can carry an 11kg high-explosive fragmentation warhead equipped with an active laser proximity fuse.

The missile features a new electro-optical infrared seeker with high off-boresight capability. The infrared seeker scans the target area for the threat and locks on for terminal chase after the target is identified.

It employs a dual-waveband focal plane array (FPA). The FPA ensures the attainment of small, low-signature aim-points during day or night in clear and cloudy conditions. The highly advanced image and signal algorithms guide the missile towards the target.

Python 5 is also equipped with lock-on before launch (LOBL) and lock-on after launch (LOAL) capabilities. In LOAL mode, the target information is transmitted from the launch aircraft to the missile.

The missile offers a high hit probability and excellent resistance to countermeasures. It can even engage targets capable of performing evasive manoeuvres. The full sphere launch capability allows 360° engagement around the launch aircraft, while the all-aspect/all-direction attack ability ensures the simultaneous destruction of multiple targets.

The Derby is a beyond visual range (BVR), medium-range active radar homing missile. It is 3.6cm long, has a diameter of 16cm and weighs 118kg. The warhead weighs 2kg.

What is currently a clear-cut selection of the air-to-air missiles for India’s next fighter aircraft is only likely to change if the platform deal includes a “must-buy” clause for systems.

 

Source: FlightGlobal

 

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