The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has successfully carried out the first in-service ‘lock after launch’ firing of an advanced short-range air-to-air missile (ASRAAM).

A direct hit was achieved from an F/A-18 fighter aircraft, at low level and typical fighter speed, at a target located behind the fighter at a range in excess of 5km.

The engagement simulated a ‘chase down’ situation by an enemy fighter and successfully demonstrated the potential for an all-round self protection capability of the ASRAAM.

This capability is inherent on all platforms that provide pre-launch ‘over the shoulder’ designation information such as F/A-18, Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 JSF.

An Air Combat Group spokesperson said that the demonstration was a great credit to the RAAF.

“This demonstration of ASRAAM capability is a major step forward for the RAAF and greatly increases the lethality of ACG’s F/A-18 fleet,” the spokesperson said.

The ASRAAM programme entered service with the Royal Air Force in 2002, and has been deployed on Tornado, Typhoon, and will shortly be deployed on the F-35 JSF.

By Daniel Garrun.