European missile maker MBDA will line up its latest missile systems in the upcoming Aero India, focusing on equipping its weaponry systems to all branches of the Indian armed Forces after arming Indian Air Forces’ Rafale fighter jets with game-changing missile systems. The biennial Aero India-2023 show is scheduled at Air force station Yelahanka from 13 to 17 February in Bengaluru.
The company will be highlighting its entire range of missiles and missile systems. The weapon systems that arm the IAF’s latest Dassault Rafale combat aircraft will be at the centre stage during the Aero India show. The most famous of these weapons is the Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile, widely recognised as a game changer for air combat. The Indian Air Force is receiving this unrivalled system on its new Rafale aircraft, and it is also proposed to similarly arm the naval Rafale M offered to the Indian Navy. Besides the Meteor, MBDA will display SCALP, a deep-strike cruise missile and MICA, nicknamed “silent killer, ” a potent air combat missile for Rafales. MICA is also part of the upgrade package for the IAF’s Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft.
MBDA will also be exhibiting the work it performs in Coimbatore on MICA missiles and MICA missile launchers with L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd, a joint venture with Larsen & Toubro – delivering Make in India projects in support of Atmanirbhar Bharat, informed the company. According to the company’s statement, MBDA is proposing all these potent weapons and the famous Exocet AM39 air-launched anti-ship missile for the Rafale M for the new Indian aircraft carrier. EXOCET probably ranks as the world’s best-known anti-ship missile. It is fitted in the submarine variant, SM39, delivered to the Indian Navy to arm its Scorpene submarines – Project 75. According to MBDA, the AM39 version can be launched from Maritime Patrol Aircraft, strike fighters such as the Rafale M, and medium to heavyweight helicopters. Already in service, this latest generation EXOCET features 3D waypoints, a low sea-skimming flight profile and the ability to strike coastal land targets and ships.
Some of the technologies during the aero show will include those supplied to the Indian Air Force, such as ASRAAM– dogfighting new generation close combat missiles delivered to Jaguar fleet and will soon also enhance the new Tejas LCA MK1A’s capabilities. The IAF’s upgraded Jaguar fleet is the first aircraft to receive ASRAAM, with integration currently underway on LCA Mk1A and potentially other IAF platforms in the future.
Mistral ATAM system – has been integrated on the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), and the final integration is being done on the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). MISTRAL ATAM has been delivered to India to equip the HAL’s weaponised version of the Advanced Light Helicopter, the ALH Rudra. The system is based on two launchers, each deploying two MBDA air-to-air Mistral missiles. The same system has successfully undergone integration on the LCH platform, also manufactured by HAL. MBDA and BDL have signed an agreement for the establishment of an assembly line for Mistral missiles in India.
The battlefield weapon system, AKERON MP, is the only fifth-generation anti-tank missile available in the world, and it has been designed for dismounted infantry as well as for integration on combat vehicles; it will also be showcased in the Aero Show. ATGM5 will further develop the technologies pioneered in AKERON MP in India for the specific operational requirements of the Indian Armed Forces, the company claimed.