Issue Vol. 26.4 Oct-Dec 2011 | Date : 14 Dec , 2012
EXOCET AM39 and MICA on Rafale
The collateral damage in the drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan are a constant reminder that the use of precision air-to-ground weapons is still beset with problems. Results have shown that even in an area where there is complete dominance of the air space and no threat from ground-based surface-to-air missiles, the use of precision weapons can cause serious collateral damage.
The Fulda Gap, a region between the former East German border and Frankfurt was strategically important during the Cold War as a possible route for the Warsaw Pact armour to break out in the event of war in Europe. A whole range of aircraft and weapon systems were developed by the West to counter this possible armour offensive and to minimise the threat to NATO aircraft from the formidable integrated air defence system of the Warsaw Pact forces. I Both the West and the erstwhile USSR developed aircraft and weapons to enhance offensive capability and reduce vulnerability of their own forces. Although this combat scenario was never tested, it provided the technological impetus for the development of sophisticated air launched Precision Guided Munitions (PGM).