Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Origin: United Kingdom
Parent System: AIM-132 ASRAAM
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2002
Total Production: ?
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Description: The AIM-132 ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile) missile has been designed to provide excellent performance in short range air-to-air engagements. The ASRAAM has been selected by the United Kingdom and the Australian Air Force for their Tornado F3, Harrier, F/A-18 and Eurofighter-Typhoon aircraft.
The ASRAAM features an advanced IR seeker (128x128 resolution) and the capability to operate in heavy ECM environments. It receives the target coordinates from the aircraft's sensors (radar and IRST), the pilot's helmet mounted sight or even from its own IR imaging sensor in the search and track mode. Its high speed and maneuverability provides the ASRAAM with a high kill probability once fired. ASRAAM has a single blast fragmentation warhead detonated by impact and laser proximity fuze.
The Russian AA-11, the American AIM-9X and the German IRIS-T missiles are the AIM-132 ASRAAM foreign counterparts. United Kingdom and Australia remain as the only known operators for ASRAAM as of September 2004. In the near future, it will undergo integration work on the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter weapon system to meet the requirements of the British Armed Forces.
On August 20, 2004, the ASRAAM short range air-to-air missile was cleared for operational service with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Four F/A-18 equipped squadrons were armed with the ASRAAM missile. The procurement contract was signed in November 1998. A classified number of missiles were transferred from the UK to Australia between 2000 and 2003. A total of 20 test firings were carried out in the United States and Australia prior to official entry into service.
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