Asraam Enters Service with Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 Hornet with four AIM-7, four AIM-9 and two ASRAAMs
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE News Release (126/2004) issued by the Government News Network on 20 August 2004
A ceremony today at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base in Williamtown marked the official entry into service of MBDA’s Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile system (ASRAAM).
Congratulating MBDA and the RAAF, Lord Bach, Minister for Defence Procurement, said “I am delighted to hear that the missile has entered into service with the RAAF. ASRAAM is the most advanced air-to-air missile in the world and I am delighted that the RAAF has decided to use this to enhance the capability of their F/A-18 Hornet aircraft. This is an important milestone for ASRAAM and a major breakthrough as this is the first MBDA weapon system to be integrated onto a US combat aircraft“.
ASRAAM, a rail launched missile which is compatible with any aircraft currently carrying Sidewinder or AMRAAM, is already in service with the UK’s Royal Air Force. It was developed under a UK MOD contract to equip the RAF’s Tornado F3 and its Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft. This weapon system will also be fitted to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for the UK RAF and Royal Navy.
Present at the ceremony on Friday 20 August were the Australian Defence Minister, Robert Hill, and Air Marshall Angus Houston, Chief of the Australian Air Force.
ASRAAM, a rail launched missile, compatible with any aircraft currently carrying Sidewinder or AMRAAM, is already in service with the UK’s Royal Air Force. It was developed under a UK MOD contract to equip the RAF’s Tornado F3 and its Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft. This weapon system will also be fitted to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for the UK RAF and Royal Navy.
ASRAAM’s high speed is achieved by means of a combination of low drag and rocket motor size. By using a 166mm (6.5ins) diameter motor, compared with other missiles which use a 127mm (5ins) motor, ASRAAM has approximately 70% more thrust and can maintain a high speed throughout its flight time.
Designed to outmanoeuvre target aircraft in short-range aerial engagements and to allow launch at high off-bore sight angles during such engagements, ASRAAM is a highly agile missile. The exceptional manoeuvrability is provided by a sophisticated control technique achieved using innovative body lift technology coupled with tail control.
ASRAAM provides a pilot with the ability to effectively engage targets from gun range to near Beyond Visual Range. The pilot can cue the missile using a Helmet Mounted Display, Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) or aircraft radar.
ASRAAM’s maximum range is uncontested, and no other short-range air-to-air missile comes near to this capability, providing the ability to passively home beyond the limits of visual range and well into the realm traditionally thought of as Beyond Visual Range. Combined with its very high speed, this makes ASRAAM the ideal weapon to win the Within Visual Range combat regime.
With an annual turnover exceeding E2 billion, a forward order book of over E14 billion and over 70 customers world wide, MBDA is a world leading, global missile systems company. MBDA currently has 45 missile system and countermeasure programmes in operational service and has proven its ability as prime contractor to head major multi-national projects.
MBDA is jointly owned by BAE SYSTEMS (37.5%), EADS (37.5%) and FINMECCANICA (25%).
That sorta looks like a giant dildo with fins.
As long as its good I dont give a crap about its looks.
How does it compare to the AIM9x?
Are we using this particular type of missile yet? If so, I've not heard much mentioned about it. I keep hearing about the AIM-9X, but it seems in many respects that this is a superior weapon. Or is this missile not so much a replacement for the Sidewinder as it is a missile to bridge the gap between the Sidewinder and the Sparrow/AMRAAM?
At any rate, I hope the US Air Force develops another new air-to-air missile and dubs it the AIM-133 "ASSHAT"! You know, just in honor of us. LOL.