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India signs USD700 million deal with Russia for 1,000 additional air-to-air missiles

31 July 2019
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Four IAF Su-30MKI fighters flying in formation. The IAF has ordered 1,000 AAMs from Russia to equip its fleets of Su-30MKI and MiG-29M combat aircraft. Source: Irkut

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed deals with Russia worth about USD700 million for an additional 1,000 air-to-air missiles (AAMs) to arm its fleets of MiG and Sukhoi combat aircraft.

Military sources in Moscow and New Delhi told Jane’s on 30 July that the order for the AAMs, which was placed in early July, is for about 300 R-27 (AA-10 ‘Alamo’) infrared-guided (IR) or semi-active radar-guided, medium-to-long-range missiles; 300 R-73E (AA-11 ‘Archer’) IR-guided, short-range missiles; and 400 R-77 (AA-12 ‘Adder’) active radar-guided, medium-range missiles.

The sources said the R-27R1/ER1 and R-27T1/ET1 variants, which are fitted with semi-active and passive infrared seekers, would arm the IAF’s Sukhoi Su-30MKI and upgraded MiG-29M fighters. Moreover, they said that the R-77 and R-73 AAMs would also be carried by the IAF’s MiG-21 ‘Bison’ fighters.

Some of the R-73s might also arm the IAF’s fleet of Mirage 2000H fighters, but this has yet to be confirmed.

Military sources in New Delhi said the missiles were being acquired under the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) 10-I (Intense) provision, which mandates that all three military services stockpile ammunition and stores for 10 days of “intense warfare”.

The AAM procurements are being carried out under the recently enhanced financial powers of the three services, which enable them to make ‘emergency’ materiel purchases of up to INR5 billion (USD72.7 million) each time to maintain prescribed war wastage reserves (WWR)

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