MBDA secures UK ASRAAM contract
MBDA will produce ASRAAM infra-red guided air-to-air missiles for the UK’s F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jet under a £184 million contract with the UK Ministry of Defence announced on 16 August.
Designed and manufactured in the UK, ASRAAM is an advanced heat-seeking weapon which will give Royal Air Force and Royal Navy F-35B Lightning II aircraft the ability to defeat current and future air adversaries.
The missile will be carried on the external pylons of the F-35B – there is scope for integration fit within the internal weapons bay in future.
The missile has both lock-on-before launch and a lock-on-after launch mode to carry out engagements on targets that are outside the missile’s field of view at launch.
MBDA is currently under contract for an ASRAAM capability sustainment programme for the Typhoon fast jet and this new order will see MBDA manufacture an additional stockpile of an updated version of the weapon, allowing F-35 combat jets to use the missile beyond 2022.
Work to integrate the new missile onto the UK’s F-35 fleet will be carried out under a separate contract.
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