Leveraging its status as a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), India is very keen on arming its Mirage-2000 aircraft with the best-in-their-class long-range meteor missiles, claims reports.

After Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman chased the F-16s of Pakistan on his MiG 21 Bison, and shot one down with his R-73 and R-77 missiles, during the dogfight on 27 February soon after IAF attacked the Balakot terror camps, the necessity to equip more of our fighter jets with long-range missiles is being felt.

Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi promptly went on to say, “The whole nation is feeling the need to have Rafales at the moment. Had we possessed Rafales in our inventory, the result would have been different” at an event organised soon after the unfolding of hostilities between the two countries.

In a move to maintain absolute air superiority over its hostile western neighbour, the IAF is going to have a combination of BrahMos NG, Astra, Israeli Derby, Meteor and SCALP missiles among others on its front line combat aircraft. India is working hard with the makers of Meteor missiles to equip them to the indigenously developed Tejas LCAs to make them more lethal. The three squadrons of Mirage-2000s are now getting upgraded extensively.

The 36 Rafales India is buying as of now, will be equipped with the Meteors and SCALP missiles, thus envisaging an edge over its two hostile neighbours in the west and north. As China is not a member of MTCR, it does not have any missiles in its armoury that can match the Meteors, at least as of now.