Eastern Times correspondent, Dhaka, 23 January: The Bangladesh Air Force has ordered the Russian-made Kh-31A anti-ship missiles for its upgraded MiG-29BM multi-role fighters that were recently upgraded in Belarus.
As an air launched weapon the Kh-31A is designed to engage surface targets such as warships displacing up to 4,500 tonnes.
According to Rosoboronexport, the Russian arms training company in charge of exporting the Kh-31A it is an active radar seeker, derived from the Kh-31P, is capable of penetrating cohesi, and layered air defence of a large group of ships.
The missiles employ mid-course radar guidance and terminal homing. The Kh-31A is equipped. with the ARGSN-31 jam-resistant active radar guidance system capable of discriminating the target from a dense homogenous group. It is equipped with a penetrating, armour-piercing warhead that weighs 94 kg.
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The MiG-29S Zhuk-ME fire control radar is used for target detection. The missiles are transported and stored in sealed containers.
The Kh-31A anti-ship missile has a maximum firing range of 70km and a maximum flight speed of 1.000 m/s. The operational altitude of the missile is 15,000 metres. Each missile has a launch weight of 610 kg. The Kh-31 has an 80% hit probability against its targets.
The Bangladesh Air Force has started incorporating advanced munitions aboard its air comb platforms. This latest procurement follows the acquisition of Turkish-origin Teber laser guided munitions and Chinese LS-6/250 guided munitions for its F-7BG/BG1 fleet.
The air force is also set to order more advanced BVR air to air missiles from Russia or other Eastern European sources shortly.