印度空军现在拥有的中距离空空导弹分别为：俄罗斯的 R-27 REI能够在35公里的距离上索定目标。而射程更远的是R-77 和法国的 R-550 射程在60公里。
Air Force Looks For Long Range (120Kms) BVR Missiles
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To maintain its unchallenged dominance in beyond visual range (BVR) combat in the South Asian region, Indian Air Force has embarked upon a major plan to acquire longer range air-to-air missiles.
India's dominance in offensive air superiority operations is being dented by the supply of similar BVR missiles to Pakistan by the US in government-to-government sales.
This sudden move has spurred IAF officials to make quick efforts to purchase 120-km range air-to-air missiles. The acquisition of such missiles, which sport ramjet propulsion, will make IAF the lone Air Force in Asia to have such an unparallelled capability, top IAF officials said.
Acquisition of these missiles is being undertaken in tandem with moves to induct combat aircraft with active phased array radars.
The new 40 Sukhoi-30 advanced version MKI, whose purchase in a deal worth 2.6 billion dollars has been cleared by the government, and 126 medium range combat aircraft, tenders for which are expected to be floated by this month-end, will be equipped with the new radars, officials said.
These new radars will for the first time give the IAF the capability to detect targets as far as 300 km away and the means to fire such longer range air-to-air missiles.
Till now, the IAF had an unchallenged dominance in beyond visual range combat with its array of MiG fighters equipped with R-27 REI and R-27 RETs missiles with a target lock-on of 35 km for close combat and the longer range R-77 and French R-550 Magic Mantra missiles capable of shooting down targets 60 km away.
But the recent decision of the US administration to clear the supply of AMRAAM and AIM-9M Sidewinder beyond visual range missiles to Pakistan has eroded the IAF's dominance in air combat, officials admitted.
The US government has cleared the sale of AMRAAM and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles worth 240 million dollars to Islamabad to equip its new batch of 50 F-16 fighters.
"There are moves also to start indigenous development of such long-range missiles by DRDO with possible foreign collaboration," a DRDO sources said.
With the induction of three Phalcon airborne early warning and control aircraft between November this year and 2009, the IAF would get the capability to conduct and control airborne operations upto 400 km inside hostile airspace.
The new Su-30MKI, which India would be acquiring by 2009, would be equipped with Ibris active phased radars which will transform the fighters into a dedicated information weapons platforms.
Thanks to a large number of fighter exercises carried out with foreign Air Forces, IAF pilots have mastered beyond visual range combat even in an AWACS environment. "The pilots are all agog to train with longer range BVR missiles," an IAF official said