The United Kingdom and India have signed a GBP250 million deal to equip the Indian Air Force's (IAF's) SEPECAT Jaguar fleet with MBDA's Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), UK government officials confirmed to IHS Jane's on 8 July.
ASRAAM, which will be known as the New Generation Close Combat Missile (NGCCM) in IAF service, was down-selected in preference to the Rafael Python-5 missile. The selection follows the a 2009 request for proposals from the Indian Ministry of Defence for a missile to replace the incumbent R550 Magic 1 SRAAM, which is no longer in production.
Test firings took place with the UK Royal Air Force in 2011 and the Indian Ministry of Defence chose ASRAAM as the L1, or preferred, option in late 2012.
ASRAAM will be fitted to Jaguars upgraded to the DARIN II level and are to be launched off the Jaguar Overwing Missile Launcher pylon, supplied by Cobham.
An MBDA spokesman confirmed the contract had been signed and that the missile would be fitted to the IAF's Jaguars, but refused to elaborate further on the number of missiles involved or the timeframe for first deliveries.
In February 2013 an MBDA official told IHS Jane's that, when used in conjunction with the Jaguar's Elta EL/M-2032 multimode fire-control radar and a helmet-mounted sighting system, ASRAAM would be a "phenomenal capability" for the IAF.
The deal involves a mandated 30% offset obligation. The MBDA spokesman said the company was in talks with a number of Indian companies to provide components for ASRAAM, but that the missile would be assembled at an MBDA facility in northern England.