File photo of Meteor installed on German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon |
File photo of Meteor missiles displayed in front of German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon |
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New Delhi: The Indian Air Force is keenly considering arming the Mirage 2000 aircraft with potent long-range Meteor missiles as the 27 February dogfight highlighted that Indian aircraft were outranged by Pakistan Air Force in aerial combat.

With the Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile Meteor, the balance will once again tilt in India’s favour the way it happened during the Kargil war in 1999 when the Pakistan Air Force did not dare to close in because India had better air-to-air missiles.

On 27 February, at the Line of Control (LoC), Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets, armed with AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, had targeted India’s frontline fighter aircraft Su-30 MKI.

The Indian fighters, armed with R-73 and R-77 air-to-air missiles, could not target the F-16s because they were outranged as the F-16s were fired from a distance of about 45 km from the LoC.

It is only when a Mig-21 Bison, flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, chased an intruding Pakistani fighter jet across the LoC that it got a lock on and shot it down.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had later said that if the IAF had Rafale fighter jets, then the outcome would have been different.

Top IAF officials told ThePrint that it indeed would have been the case.

“Rafale armed with Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile Meteor would have been a huge deterrent as no Pakistani aircraft would have dared to come close by at least 100 km,” an official said.

Also read: India inducts Chinook helicopters, adds muscle to military along China border

Mirage 2000 armed with Meteors

The IAF, which is upgrading three squadrons of Mirage 2000s, is now keenly thinking about integrating the Meteor on them.

Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile Meteor |
Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile Meteor |

“The Meteor on the Mirage is something which we are keenly looking into. When the upgrade deal was signed with Dassault Aviation for the Mirages, the Meteor was still in the developing phase. And hence this would be a fresh deal. We are looking into the cost-effectiveness and other issues,” a top IAF source told ThePrint.

The Air Force is looking at a combination of BrahMos NG, Israeli Derby, Meteor, indigenous Astra, R-73 and R-77 to gain aerial superiority.

“There is no class of missiles in Pakistan and China that can match the Meteor at this point of time. However, China is investing heavily on indigenous cruise missiles and long-range missiles. Any missile that China will make will eventually get into the hands of Pakistan,” another IAF source said.

The Indian Air Force had the upper hand during the Kargil war because Pakistan did not have a BVR, but India did. However, since then, they have acquired the AMRAAM, which tilted the balance in their favour.

Also read: Not IAF pilot error but HAL upgrade tech glitch suspected in Bengaluru Mirage 2000 crash

IAF’s plan for Meteor on Su-30 MKI and Tejas goes kaput

The IAF’s initial plan to equip the Su-30 MKI and the Tejas with Meteor has gone kaput because the European firm, MBDA, refused to integrate them.

The MBDA told the IAF that it cannot integrate the missile, with a range of over 120 km and a no-escape zone of 60 km, on a Russian platform or the Tejas, which uses Israeli radar.

However, following heavy negotiations between the European firm and the IAF, the MBDA has agreed to reconsider once indigenous AESA radar, manufactured by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is installed on board the Tejas Mark 1A or Mark II.

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21 Comments Share Your Views


  1. This is for Mr Khan from Pakistan …….yeah u are right bro ultimately it is the man behind the machine that matters which was truly demonstrated by our pilot in a vintage Mig 21 to knock down yr F 16’s……….wait a while Rafaels are on the way !

  2. All said & done I feel after balakot Pakistan did dare to blow out our military installations it is separate issues they we’re shaken away by our fully alert & prepared forces but had the adversary been China maybe things wud have
    been different & I feel our air Force desperately needs to upgrade, it is a relief we are getting the Rafaels in a few months time but the govt shud without wasting much time give a follow-up order for another 36 Rafaels to pose some credible defence against China & we shud upgrade our forces keeping China in view & Pakistan will be taken care of automatically.

  3. As usuall like fake surgical attacks and self created events like palwama and bambai attacks , claimed victory of Kargil by india is also fake. It was only media which blufed the indian nation.
    In kargil war indians were given heavy loses and they were unable to fly that territory to provide logistics to ciachin. The area was captured by pakistan. Here indian media again blufed the indian nation with wrong statements.
    In fact pakistan gaind some loses when nawaz shraif, the traitor, ordered the pak army to withdraw to sarisfy bill clinton.

  4. I salute to the paid media and journalists for crafting the story against India ( Hatred to present govt. can force them to to write anything. Here also Mig 21 bison has been converted to Sukhoi 30 MKI. It would be more proper to put a disclaimer that the story has no links with real incidents.

  5. I feel so pity when the Indian media hides facts from its public and the public also believes in fantasies. Be it known that the pilot’s skill surpases everything no matter what the platform is. My message to IAF is you better look into bettering the training of your pilots.

  6. First correct yourself.
    Su30mki has beyond visual range missile that is r-77 vympyl. And it has range around 80 km. Also made in india ASTRA missile having range up to 110 km.
    On 27 Feb scenario was different pakistan airforce were using AWAC aircraft. Radar of a AWAC radar can detect a target from up to 400 km. AWACs can also send the target data to a another aircraft and with the help of this data other aircraft can fire a beyond visual range missile.

    On 27 Feb su 30mki also fired missile but every aircraft has counter electronic jammer and also flares to confuse a incoming missile.
    That is why in BVR fight we can’t hit single target.
    But in within visual range fight (between F16 and Mig 21) the killing of aircraft is totally depends on pilot skill and also agility of aircraft.
    You can not say SU30 mki was outranged and outgunned. You can’t imagine what happens in real war at sitting at your home.

    You can only give your opinion. Next time I will request to the IAF that when ever this type of conflict happen please send one of the media spokesperson in war plane.

  7. If nothing happened, y pakistan reacted? Are pakistanis so dumb to react to norhing? Anyway it is good for us.We can keep bombing ur targets and u keep denying.

  8. It is not known how the defence plannings are being discussed openly.!!

    Is it for adding some air to government propaganda?

    It is not at all a healthy sign for a country. There should be some alarm from Indian Military

  9. We can not understand when China is adding missiles up to range of 200 miles in their aircraft when we are forced to negotiate for the missiles up to the range of 120 KM only? Why not our Tejas are equipped with 200 Km range of missiles. We like to know whether do we have such range of missiles what China actually have for the air combat?

  10. Yes Mbda has agreed for Tejas with Uttam AESA radar can get meteror . Anyway india need atleast another 36 Rafales to minimal defend chinese aggression.

  11. It shows great Chivalry and presence of mind on the part of Wing Commander Abhinandan. Grateful to him.

  12. How naive to think Russian missiles are inferior to the American. It’s like entire Russian Air Force is dud Infront of America.


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