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22 August 2016

MBDA Wins £184 Million for ASRAAM

MBDA on 16 August announced a contract valued at £184 million from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for ASRAAM missiles to equip the Royal Air Force’s F-35B LIGHTNING II combat aircraft. The number of missiles covered by the contract remains classified.

MBDA’s ASRAAM will be carried on the external pylons of the F-35B whilst design and space provision is preserved for internal integration fit within the internal weapons bay and thus remains an option for the future. The missile has both lock-on-before launch and a lock-on-after launch mode to carry out engagements on targets that are outside the missile’s field of view at launch. (Photo: MBDA)

The highly capable infra-red (IR) guided air to air missile will be the first British designed missile to enter service on the F-35. MBDA is currently under contract for an ASRAAM capability sustainment programme for the Eurofighter TYPHOON in British service, which will assure the benefits accruing to deploying a single IR missile across the combat fleet.

ASRAAM is in service with the RAF on the TORNADO and TYPHOON and, in time, the F-35B serving both the Fleet Air Arm and the RAF. Overseas users include the Royal Australian Air Force on the F/A-18 HORNET and it is on order for the Indian Air Force’s JAGUARs.