According to the Royal Air Force, the AIM-132 ASRAAM has never before organized a firing campaign of air-to-air missiles. [Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile] Such a size.
In fact, according to a press release issued on October 22, Eurofighter Typhoons no.[F]II[AC]6[B]IX[B]3[F] As well as the Test and Evaluation Force, it recently took part in a ten-day exercise in the Hebrides archipelago, north of Scotland. They were joined by F-35Bs from No. 207 Squadron.
In total, the aircraft involved in the exercise shot down 53 Banshee target drones with their AIM-132 ASRAAM short-range and infrared-guided missiles. The RAF’s aim was to “build the confidence” of its pilots by giving them the “experience” of a live fire but also experience of its mechanics.
“Making airplanes and missiles is important for younger people [notre] Troops. It gave them an opportunity to understand the challenges of live ammunition firing training, especially since they had to maintain a high level of concentration due to the added risks involved with armed aircraft, No. A weapons technician from IX Squadron summed it up.
RAF Typhoon & Lightning jets conducted the largest mass launches of sophisticated short-range missiles. Within 10 days, pilots from 8 different squadrons successfully launched a total of 53 missiles at target drones. Full story: https://t.co/K3CUwD0Dig pic.twitter.com/az0aV8bzu4
— Royal Air Force (@RoyalAirForce) October 22, 2022
One pilot quoted by the RAF spoke of a “fantastic experience”. “Watching the missile disappear into the sky in front of me was an unforgettable moment. The speed at which ASRAAM missiles can travel is truly impressive. It gave me an appreciation of the capabilities of the missile and an insight into how it can be used in a real combat scenario,” he said.
As opportunities to launch such air-to-air missiles are rare, this type of training is particularly important, with the RAF focusing mainly on air-to-ground missions in recent years. As a reminder, the first time an AIM-132 ASRAAM was fired in action was back in December 2021, when a Typhoon shot down a “hostile” drone over Syria.
The RAF did not specify the version of the missiles fired during the exercise. However, ASRAAM Block 6 is unlikely [soit la dernière version développée par MBDA, ndlr] This type of “complex munition” has only recently been used on the Typhoon as it has achieved initial operational capability. The difference of this model with previous models is that it does not have any American components.
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