Indian Air Force test fired Russian air-to-air missile

The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully test fired a Russian beyond visual range air-to-air missile on June 19, destroying a Banshee target Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

Indian Air Force test fired Russian air to air missile A target system, the Meggitt Banshee UAV, that has been used by the IAF as target for the firing test of the Russian air-to-air missile (Picture Source: Meggitt)

The missile has been fired from a frontline combat aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI (Su-30MKI). The aircraft took off from Kalaikunda air base in West Bengal and fired the beyond visual range air-to-air missile after taking several sorties, hitting its target (a UAV Banshee) over the Bay of Bengal. While the whole exercise was carried out by IAF personnel, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) provided all logistic supports.

“Two fighter aircraft were engaged in the exercise. One was used as an attacker and the other as a chaser. After the attacker fired the missile, the chaser tracked its movement and firing precision. The entire exercise was conducted in a real-time scenario,” said an official of the IAF.

The missiles used for the test were selected randomly from the lot. “Several more rounds of tests of the missile using a combination of aircraft including MiG and Mirage have also been planned in next two days,” the official added.

The Russian missile has been procured by India for IAF in order to develop a multi-layered aerial shield for cities against strikes by manned or unmanned air vehicles flying at low and medium altitudes.