The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to arm its fleet of Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighters with the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems I-Derby ER (extended range) beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) once the service phases out its ageing Russian-made Vympel R-77 (AA-12 'Adder') AAMs by 2021-22.
Official sources told Jane's that the IAF is in talks with Rafael to acquire the active radar-guided I-Derby ER, which has a range of 100 km, adding that the procurement process for the missiles could be finalised "imminently".
The latest developments come after the fire-and-forget I-Derby ER missile, which features a software-defined radar seeker and a dual-pulse solid rocket motor, was selected to be the primary AAM to arm the IAF's indigenously designed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) following successful test-firings in July 2018.
An earlier version of the Derby, which can be configured as a surface-to-air missile, is also part of the IAF's 18 Spyder-SR air-defence systems acquired from Rafael in 2008-09 for an estimated USD1 billion.
Delivery of the Spyder-SR systems, which included 750 Derby missiles, began in 2012 and was completed three years later.
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