By David Oliver
ASRAAM is the Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) in service with the RAF 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 F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter successfully conducted its first firing trials in March 2017 of MBDA’s Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM).
The trials, conducted from both Naval Air Station Patuxent River and Edwards Air Force Base in the USA, were the first time a British-designed missile has been fired from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and the first time any non-US missile has been fired from the aircraft.
The infra-red (IR) guided ASRAAM is also in service the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on the F/A-18 Hornet and following successful trials of the missile on the F-35, ASRAAM is an option for the RAAF Lightning IIs as well as those ordered by South Korea and possibly, Singapore.
In the maritime sector, MBDA showcased its Sea Venom/ANL. It is the new generation, lightweight, medium range anti-ship missile developed for shipborne helicopters of the French and UK navies. Has been designed from the onset as an anti-ship missile, not an adaptation of another capability, Sea Venom/ANL provides high survivability due to its high subsonic propulsion, true sea-skimming flight, and selectable flight profile and terminal manoeuvres.
Soon to be in service with Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters, which are being delivered to South Korea and the Philippines, the Sea Venom is also suitable for legacy Super Lynx helicopters which are is service with several Asia Pacific countries.
Shown for the first time in Asia was MBDA’s MARTE Extended Range (ER) that represents the 3rd generation within the MARTE family of medium-range anti-ship missile systems and is derived from MARTE MK2/S which is already in service with the Italian Navy on its NFH90 and AW101 helicopters. The main difference between the two lies in the introduction of a turbo engine in place of the rocket motor.
The missile belongs to the MARTE MK2 missile system family and is designed to be used on fast jets and new-generation naval versions of European AW101 and NH90 helicopters for operation against naval targets.