Score another one for Australians after inventing the didgeridoo and koala teddies: Their Air Force just got the first missile that can kill enemy fighters behind their F/A-18s, converting the hunter to (dead) prey.
Imagine this: You are Chinese MiG pilot chasing a Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 fighter jet. All of the sudden, you see the flash of a fired missile under its wing, which leaves you scratching your head. After all, you are the one chasing the guy ahead and he doesn't have anything in front. So for a brief moment you wonder until you see the missile turning around towards you, which is probably the last thing you are going to see in your life, seconds before getting engulfed in flames. Good bye, sucker.
That's exactly what the Australians did the other day for the first time ever, without grilling a Chinese pilot: One of their new ASRAAM (Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile) was fired at a target behind the wing-line of one of their F/A-18 Hornets. The chasing plane was located at more than three miles behind the Hornet, resulting in a direct kill.
What does this mean? Basically, that you don't need to be Maverick to survive up there as long as you have a full load of these missiles. According to the company, the new ASRAAMs give full-around protection. But then again, all these fighters are going to be irrelevant soon. [Defense Tech]