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Indian Navy MiG-29s Get Israeli Rampage Standoff Weapon

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Indian Navy MiG-29s Get Israeli Rampage Standoff Weapon


Two photos that have appeared on social media confirm that the Rampage missile is now in the hands of the Indian Navy, specifically on its Russian-made MiG-29K/KUB Fulcrum carrier-based fighters.

One of these photos — seen in the tweet embedded below — shows an example of the missile carried on a special pylon on the inboard underwing station on one of the MiGs. The pylon and missile have calibration markings of the kind used for weapons release trials.

The other photo, shown below, dates back to at least August this year. It shows Indian Navy personnel examining a Rampage missile in a hangar, alongside a visiting delegation from the United Arab Emirates, with more MiG-29K/KUB jets arranged behind.

Considering how long at least one of these photos has now been in circulation, it’s surprising, to say the least, that the Indian acquisition of the Rampage, and efforts to integrate it on the Russian-made fighter, has not been more widely reported.

First breaking cover back in 2018, the Rampage was developed by Israeli Military Industries Systems, or IMI Systems, in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), as an air-launched derivative of IMI Systems’ ground-launched Extended Range Artillery guided artillery rocket, or EXTRA. Development was likely accelerated by what appear to be only minimal changes to the weapon’s external design for the air-launched role, primarily the addition of a reinforced section of the centre body that includes the attachment lugs.

Said to be able to hit targets more than 90 miles away, the Rampage has been identified as a likely weapon for the Israeli Air Force, especially bearing in mind that country’s cross-border campaign against Iranian-backed militants. Here, a standoff capability is of great importance, all the more so when also dealing with more complex air defence systems, as in Syria, for example. While there have been rumours of Israeli use of the Rampage, this remains unconfirmed and it’s clear also that the weapon is being very squarely aimed at export customers, too.

At this point, India is the first confirmed operator of the Rampage, and it would seem to offer a number of advantages over other long-range air-launched weapons in the Indian armoury.

Using a GPS-assisted inertial navigation system (INS) guidance system, the Rampage is said to be effective even against hostile jamming or other efforts to interfere with GPS receivers. Bearing in mind the kinds of high-tech adversaries that India might find itself fighting against — chiefly China and Pakistan — electronic warfare attacks are a very likely prospect in future conflict scenarios.

With its range of 90 miles or more, the Rampage can be launched outside the engagement envelopes of many short- and medium-range air defence systems, dramatically improving the survivability of the host aircraft.

At the same time, thanks to its rocket motor, the Rampage is a notably fast weapon, making it better suited to striking time-sensitive targets, which might even include mobile air defence systems or mobile ballistic missiles, providing their coordinates can be established in the required timeframe. According to IMI Systems, the Rampage can hit a target out to its maximum range in as little as five minutes.

As an air-launched version of a ground-launched ballistic weapon, the Rampage is also likely cheaper than more traditional air-launched standoff weapons, like the Israeli-made Crystal Maze standoff missile, and the French-supplied SCALP-EG cruise missile, both also used by India.

The integration of the Rampage on the MiG-29K/KUB should also not be a big issue, especially important for India and its varied fleet of combat jets of British, French, Russian, and domestic manufacture. When it was first announced, IMI Systems suggested that the weapon was suitable for integration on various U.S.-made and European jets, as well as the MiG-29. More recently, there have been unconfirmed reports that the United Kingdom has also been evaluating the Rampage, for possible integration on the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The 2019 Balakot confrontation provides one possible example of the kind of contingency in which India might call upon the Rampage. In February 2019, the Indian Air Force conducted a bombing raid against terrorist training camp across the border in Pakistan. Analysis of post-strike imagery suggested that there may have been no damage to the target at all, or perhaps only limited superficial damage.

With its ability to deliver an airstrike at short notice and from a considerable standoff distance, the Rampage would seem to offer notable benefits in this kind of scenario, allowing targets to be hit inside Pakistan, even from within Indian airspace.

Since the MiG-29K/KUB can also operate from the decks of Indian Navy aircraft carriers, these aircraft can also launch the Rampage against targets without having to take off from known airfields. It would not, however, be well suited for use against warships, or other moving targets, maritime or otherwise.

However, fixed targets such as command centres, communications nodes, military depots, airfields, and any other high‐value well‐protected objectives would be at risk from the Rampage. Hostile air defences, such as surface-to-air missile sites, would also be key targets, with the missiles potentially being used in this way to clear a path for follow-on strikes. The potential to fit optional unitary or blast/fragmentation warheads would also increase the range of targets that could be attacked.

The Rampage is also suitable for use in urban scenarios, IMI Systems says. Since it comes down almost vertically onto its target and delivers a relatively small warhead, this reduces the chance of collateral damage and also the ability to hit targets around tall buildings.

The Indian Navy received a total of 45 MiG-29K/KUB fighters, ordered in two batches, although the type has suffered from well-publicized serviceability and maintenance issues, including a shortage of spare parts. With a view to long-term replacement of the Russian-made jet, New Delhi has already earmarked the Dassault Rafale M as its next carrier-based fighter.

Beyond the Indian Navy’s MiG-29K/KUB, there are unconfirmed reports that integration is also underway on the Indian Air Force’s fleet of Su-30MKI Flanker multirole fighters, which make up the backbone of its combat fleet. The Indian Air Force’s own MiG-29s would also appear to be very suitable candidates for the Rampage, especially once integration on their naval counterparts has been completed.

Last month, details emerged of plans to arm Indian Air Force MiG-29s with a long-range standoff weapon (SoW), intending to integrate this within 12 months of a contract being signed for the related weapons racks. Interestingly, the requirement is described as providing a parallel capability to the Indian Navy’s own long-range standoff weapon, i.e. the Rampage.

Faced with powerful Chinese and Pakistani air defences, including long-range surface-to-air missiles, the Rampage would appear to be a very useful lower-cost option to expand India’s air-launched standoff strike capability. It will be interesting to see which other Indian platforms it might be added to and whether more export customers emerge.





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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’


NEW DELHI: India tested its nuclear capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designed to have a strike range of 3,500 km, for the second time in six days on Friday. The missile test, as the one conducted on January 19, was undertaken from an undersea platform in the shape of a submersible pontoon off the coast of Andhra Pradesh according to a report by Rajat Pandit of TOI.

The solid-fuelled K-4 missile is being developed by DRDO to arm the country’s nuclear-powered submarines in the shape of INS Arihant and its under-development sister vessels. INS Arihant, which became fully operational in November 2018 to complete India’s nuclear triad, is currently armed with the much shorter K-15 missiles with a 750 km range.

“The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,” said a source.

India has the land-based Agni missiles, with the over 5,000-km Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile now in the process of being inducted, and fighter jets jury-rigged to deliver nuclear weapons. But INS Arihant gives the country’s deterrence posture much more credibility because nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles are considered the most secure, survivable and potent platforms for retaliatory strikes.

Once the K-4 missiles are inducted, they will help India narrow the gap with countries like the US, Russia and China, which have over 5,000-km range SLBMs. The K-4 missiles are to be followed by the K-5 and K-6 missiles in the 5,000-6,000 km range class.

The 6,000-ton INS Arihant, which is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core, in turn, is to be followed by INS Arighat, which was launched in 2017. The next generation of nuclear submarines, currently called S-4 and S-4*, will be much larger in size.





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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%

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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%


India has received clearance to upgrade 84 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will result in 78% indigenization after the upgrade

In a significant step towards bolstering its military might with indigenously developed technology, India is poised to witness its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets evolve into a domestic platform. Speaking at a recent lecture.

The upgrade program is being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in partnership with the Indian Air Force and other partners. The upgrade is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the upgrade. The upgrade is part of India’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its primary fighter aircraft, it refers to as the “Super Sukhoi”.

This initiative is a part of a larger effort by the Indian Air Force to modernize its ageing fleet. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari asserted the critical role of an offensive air force as demonstrated in current global conflicts and emphasized India’s move towards an indigenized arsenal. To this end, the IAF has been proactive, from upgrading its Mirage 2000 to enhancing its MiG-29 fleet.

In summary, the IAF’s commitment to updating their combat forces with the latest technology, including shifting to fifth-generation fighter jets, ensures operational preparedness and a strong deterrence capability. The gradual indigenization of its air fleet marks a pivotal shift in India’s defence landscape, reducing dependency on foreign imports and fostering technological sovereignty.





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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace

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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace


According to unconfirmed reports, Armenia is a top contender for an export order for Akash SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

While there is no official confirmation because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed the report further added.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria reported TOI.

The Akash export version will also be slightly different from the one inducted by the armed forces. The 100-km range air-to-air Astra missiles, now entering production after successful trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, also have “good export potential”, said sources.

Akash is a “tried, tested and successfully inducted systems”. Indian armed forces have ordered Akash systems worth Rs 24,000 crore over the years, and MoD inked a contract in Mar 2023 of over Rs 9,100 crores for improved Akash Weapon System

BDL is a government enterprise under the Ministry of Defence that was established in 1970. BDL manufactures surface-to-air missiles and delivers them to the Indian Army. BDL also offers its products for export.

Akash Weapon System

The AWS is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) Air Defence System, indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In order to meet aerial threats, two additional Regiments of AWS with Upgradation are being procured for Indian Army for the Northern borders. Improved AWS has Seeker Technology, Reduced Foot Print, 360° Engagement Capability and improved environmental parameters.

The project will give a boost to the Indian missile manufacturing industry in particular and the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as a whole. The project has overall indigenous content of 82% which will be increased to 93% by 2026-27.

The induction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-reliance in Short Range Missile capability. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding outgo of precious foreign exchange to other countries, increasing employment avenues in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through components manufacturing. Around 60% of the project cost will be awarded to the private industry, including MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system, thereby creating large scale of direct and indirect employment.





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