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The Indians install F-35 missiles in the old Jaguar - Did they cancel the need of acquiring Greek Mirage?

Following a new upgrade to its 1970s Sepecat Jaguar attack aircraft, the Indian Air Force is studying the possibility of integrating advanced missiles into these aircraft. Does this negate the need for countries like Greece to acquire Mirage 2000-5 fighters?


Indian "Jaguars" are getting deadlier

The Indian Air Force is the only one in the world that still operates the Jaguar aircraft, a platform developed by Britain and France as an aircraft ideal for strikes deep inside enemy territory. Recently, New Delhi modernised the aircraft with a major upgrade package called DARIN-III that included new electronics that enhance the Jaguar's offensive and navigational capabilities.

Now, the Indian Air Force is studying two proposals made by defence companies to modify and re-equip two Jaguar aircraft with next-generation missiles. Along with the new missiles, the aircraft will also be fitted with new electronic systems, including an on-board imaging (HMD) system.


A foreign defence source reports that the missiles proposed to arm the attack aircraft are of the ASRAAM type, i.e. the leading short-range air-to-air missiles of the French company MBDA. These weapons will be combined with on-board imaging systems, which will enhance the pilot's peripheral awareness as well as his targeting capabilities. These systems are installed on the pilots' masks to provide them with real-time critical data.

As far as the French ASRAAM missile is concerned, let us inform you that it is a weapon with an infrared navigation system that can track targets within the line of sight. The missile weighs 88 kilograms and has a range of more than 25 kilometres. This munition has already been integrated into the Eurofighter Typhoon, Tornado and F/A-18 aircraft, and will soon be integrated into the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighter.

Does it negate the need for additional Mirage 2000-5s? 



Although the ASRAAM air-to-air missiles will give the Indian Jaguars the ability to hit targets in the air like fighters, i.e. to engage in aerial combat, we are dealing with aircraft designed specifically for bombing enemy targets deep inside enemy territory. In the Indian Air Force they undertake exactly this very specific role, which is why they are still kept fully operational 125 units.

Given this, it is not correct to compare the Jaguar with the Mirage 2000-5. It is quite possible that New Delhi will want to acquire Greek fighters too, especially considering that not many Jaguars will be equipped with ASRAAM missiles.

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