The Indian Air Force’s frontline Sukhoi-30 fighters may be substituted with Israeli Derby air-to-air missiles. This could be following the incident in February in which an Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-21 was shot down, supposedly by a U.S.-made AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile).
A former IAF fighter pilot, Sameer Joshi said: “The PAF surprised the IAF by launching air-to-air missiles from inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The AMRAAM effectively outranged the IAF air-to-air missiles which did not get a command to launch.” Pakistan was able to knock down the Indian jet from a long range. Apparently, the Russian R-77 missiles do not have the same range and cannot battle with targets more than 80 kms away.
India is now looking to Israel, from whom it has purchased numerous weapons, such as the Heron drone and the Derby, a radar-guided, beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile with a range of 50 kilometers (31 miles). To counter AMRAAM-armed Pakistani F-16s, the IAF is looking at the improved I-Derby, which features a more radar seeker and – most importantly – a 100-kilometer (62 mile) range.