The Hindustan Aeronautics Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Saab Gripen fighters are likely to be the first foreign aircraft to be armed with the Rafael I-Derby ER air-to-air missile.
Last year Rafael, unveiled the new extended-range version of its BVR (beyond-visual-range) active radar-guided missile, which is equipped with a new seeker that employs an advanced solid-state software-defined radar.
According to the marketing manager of Rafael’s air superiority systems division, the range of the I-Derby ER is 54nm (100km), and it can be carried on rail launchers or on a “shove” pyrotechnic launcher.
The latter deploys the missile from the aircraft’s fuselage, after which the motor ignites, and enables it to carry the missile on centre hard points or those that are located near the fighter’s conformal fuel tank.
He said that while the earlier version of the I-Derby is already carried by the Indian air force’s LCA and Sukhoi Su-30, an effort is being made to allow the integration of the I-Derby ER on these aircraft.
The Rafael official said the main obstacle is the greater weight of the new version.
By: Flight Global
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