Significance of air-to-air missiles
Beyond Visual Range has become the new mantra where the “dogfight” was once the reigning doctrine in air warfare. It is an evolution dictated by the advent of the potent Airborne Warning and Command Systems (AWACS) aircraft with its external rotating radar dome capable of tracking scores of aircraft and missiles even while scanning for more.
It helps fighter aircraft home in on the enemy in an airborne command post configuration and is generally considered a very valuable target, the elimination of which could cause major gaping holes in a nation’s air defence network. Since the AWACS would normally stay well behind its own lines to scan the skies over several hundred kilometres and direct own aircraft to enemy targets, it became imperative that a means to reach it should be created. Hence, the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missiles (BVRAAM) is the solution.
In the sub-continental context both China and Pakistan have AWACS aircraft in their fleets. The Pakistanis, given their narrow strategic depth, can be easily reached if they have to o
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