Aiming at enhancing the striking range of its combat aircraft, the Indian Air Force is planning to procure long-range missiles to hit hostile fighter jets without engaging them in close aerial combat.
A request for information (RFI) has been issued by the IAF for long-range stand-off missiles fitted with light warheads which can take out enemy fighters from beyond visual ranges, IAF officials said.
"After the induction of force multipliers such as the AWACS and aerostat radars, we can pick up enemy aircraft from a long distance and such missiles can be used to eliminate them without going close to them," an IAF official said.
The IAF already has long-range missiles such as the Russian R-27 (70-130 km) and the R-77 (100 km) for use with MiG-29 and Su-30. The DRDO is also developing an air-to-air missile, Astra, with a range of 80-100 km.
Recent reports have also suggested that the IAF has shown interest in procuring the Novator K-100 missile from Russia with a range of 300-400 km.
In the RFI, the IAF has stated that the missile should be lightweight with a long range, having "re-attack" capability and its warhead should be light and must have precision strike capability to minimise collateral damage.
The IAF wants that the missile system should be capable of operating in both day and night and adverse weather capability and must have adequate anti-jamming measures in it.