MBDA has commenced delivery of our Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (ASRAAM) Air Dominance Missile for the integration onto the United Kingdom’s F-35 B.
MBDA delivered the first ASRAAM missile to the United States Navy in January in cooperation with BAE Systems, the UK’s F-35 weapons system integration lead. ASRAAM is the Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile and is already in service with the UK Royal Air Force on the Tornado and Typhoon, the Royal Australian Air Force on the F/A-18 Hornet and on order for the Indian Air Force’s Jaguars. The missile flies at over Mach 3 and its sleek, agile airframe, powerful motor, sophisticated seeker and software are designed to defeat current and future countermeasures.
MBDA’s ASRAAM will be the first UK missile to arm the F-35B, and its integration within the F-35’s System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase will provide UK Royal Air Force and Royal Navy F-35 with a proven capability to defeat air-to-air targets. ASRAAM is currently in service with the Royal Air Force as its Within Visual Range (WVR) Dominance weapon. The weapon is also in operational service with the Royal Australian Air Force on its F/A-18 Hornet.
British Defense Minister Philip Dunne welcomed the news from MBDA saying:
“The upcoming work to integrate the MBDA Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile onto the F-35 Lightning aircraft will provide a state of the art weapon for both our RAF (Royal Air Force) and Royal Navy pilots. The integration of this missile also demonstrates the success of the UK Defense industry’s contribution to the wider F-35 program…”
MBDA’s ASRAAM testing missiles will be used for flight trials and air-launched firings, which are key steps towards achieving the Initial Operating Capability on the aircraft, as required by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense. The trials will include live weapon firing to engage a variety of targets as well as integration with the F-35s onboard systems and environmental data analysis. Integration trials are scheduled to begin in mid-2016 at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Maryland and Edwards Air Force base in California.