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The MBDA Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) has successfully completed its first firing trials from the F-35 LIGHTNING II, marking the first time a non-US missile has been fired from the aircraft. The trials, which took place in Maryland and California, were conducted by the integrated test teams, including Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, MBDA and Northrop Grumman.

MBDA is currently under contract to produce the highly capable infra-red (IR) guided air-to-air missile for the UK’s F-35s. ASRAAM’s large rocket motor clean aerodynamic design and Mach 3plus speed give it a high kinematic capability that delivers superior end-game performance compared with other countries’ in-service IR missiles.

MBDA is also under contract for the ASRAAM Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP), to build replenishment missiles for the Royal Air Force’s Eurofighter TYPHOON aircraft. The CSP effort makes use of ASRAAM’s commonality with the CAMM missile family, also being bought by the Royal Navy and British Army, to deliver extensive cost savings across the UK Armed Forces.

The MBDA ASRAAM launching from a US F-35 LIGHTNING II. (Photo: MBDA)

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