MBDA doesn’t budge to allow integration of Meteor Air-to-Air missile on Tejas Mk1A
Numerous Attempts by Indian air force (IAF) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to convince European developer and manufacturer of Meteor missiles to allow the missile system to be integrated into India’s LCA-Tejas Mk1A fighter jet has received another setback after MBDA again refused to differ from its stand taken by the company earlier on integration of long-range air to air missile on India’s Tejas Mk1A .
MBDA officials last year had told HAL and IAF that governments of European countries who own majority of the shares in the company have imposed a ban on the integration of long-range Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile on Non-European fire control radars to protect the sensitive technology of the missile system which is considered as the best Air-to-Air missile in the world.
MBDA which also makes ASRAAM Next generation close combat air-to-air missile supplied this missile to be integrated on Jaguar Ground Strike aircraft which are now been upgraded with Israeli ELM-2052 AESA radar which will also serve on-board India’s Tejas Mk1A fighter aircraft but European government restrictions are limited to only Meteor missile system which more or less won’t be making it to IAF’s Sukhoi-30MKI fleet in near future.
ASRAAM will be replacing Russian supplied R-73 WVR AAM on Sukhoi-30 and Tejas Mk1A fighter fleet in addition to Jaguar Ground Strike aircraft. India will be receiving Meteor Air-to-Air missile as a weapon package which was procured for 36 Dassault Rafale fighter jets and it can’t be completely ruled out that in future IAF and HAL will not be able to integrate them on Sukhoi-30 and Tejas Mk1A without external help from MBDA.
The Air Force has plans of equipping the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) with the Meteor missiles to get an edge over its Chinese and Pakistani adversaries but Israeli firms have been chosen for supplying the radar and electronic warfare for the plane.
Pakistan and China don’t have a missile in the range of the Meteor, which has been developed by a European consortium and would be equipped with the Rafale combat planes that are being acquired from France by India.
India has bought a package of European Meteor missiles along with the Rafales and may prove to be game changers due to their beyond-visual-range striking capability of over 100 km.