MBDA announced it has commenced deliveries of a quantity of ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile) air-to-air missiles for integration onto the United Kingdom’s Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II fighter jet. The first missile was delivered during January in conjunction with BAE Systems.
These test missiles will be used during 2016 for a series of flight trials and air-launched firings that are a key step towards the initial operating capability of the aircraft by the United Kingdom. The trials will include environmental data gathering, safe separation from the aircraft, weapon integration with the F-35B Lightning II’s on-board systems, and lastly, weapon firing trials involving the engagement of targets. These integration activities will take place at both the Naval Air Station Patuxent River and Edwards Air Force base in the USA.
ASRAAM is in service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) on the Tornado and Typhoon combat aircraft, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on the F/A-18 Hornet and on order for the Indian Air Force’s modernised Jaguar jet.