An anti-radiation missile (ARM) is a missile designed to detect and home in on an enemy radio emission source. Anti-Radiation Missiles are similar to normal Air to Surface or Surface to Surface Missiles but they have an advantage that they are armed with either passive radar homing seeker or active radar homing seeker Typically these are designed for use against an enemy radar, although jammers and even radios used for communications can also be targeted in this manner. Most ARM designs to date have been intended for use against ground-based radars. Commonly carried by specialist aircraft in the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) role.
Anti-radiation missile (ARM) can also be used in another role it is called Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD). In DEAD, you go after both the radars and the launchers themselves and destroy them even if they are not radiating. Often, SEAD escort aircraft also carry cluster bombs, which can be used to ensure that, after the ARM disables the SAM system’s radar, the command post, missile launchers, and other components or equipment are also destroyed to guarantee that the SAM site stays down.
Pakistan has three types of ARMs
1. LD-10 (Chinese)
2. CM-102 (Chinese)
3. MAR-1 (Brazilian)
Now will explain each system one by one first is LD 10
1. LD-10: SIPRI reports that Pakistan received LD-10 anti-radiation missiles from China in 2014 and 2015. These missiles were ordered in 2011. The missile is smaller than the anti-radiation version of YJ-91, but like YJ-91, it is also supersonic. LD-10 is like AGM-88 HARM in terms of usage, but its size and range are less, weight around the same as PL-12 and range is 70 to 100 KM and carries a 20 KG warhead.
2. CM-102: It has a range of 100 kilometres. It is mainly used to attack enemy’s various air defense, guidance, and fire control radars, and are used for air defense suppression. It has maximum range of 100 km and it can carry a warhead of 80kg with an accuracy of over 7m.
3. MAR-1: It is designed to suppress enemy air defenses (SEAD) by targeting surveillance radars and fire-control radars. It has an operational range of 60 to 100km it can carry a warhead of 90kg
PAF uses JF-17 Thunders Mirage llls (ROSE) and Mirage Vs (ROSE) as Platforms to deliver these weapons. PAK NAVY can use its fleet of Type 054A frigates to deliver these weapons on enemy’s Naval SAM defenses.
The main threat for Pakistan in coming future will be the acquisition of S-400 system by our arch rival India. S-400 has operational range from 120 to 380 KMs depending upon the version of missile being used. Meanwhile anti-radiation missiles (ARMs) under use by Pakistan have max operational range of 100 to 120 KMs so it won’t be easy for PAF to destroy S-400 system by using SEAD or DEAD tactics because S-400 will engage any Pakistani jet even before it will get into the killing range of anti-radiation missile (ARM). PAF will need to improvise and get into the killing range of its anti-radiation missile (ARM) without getting detected by the S-400 system. This can be achieved by low level flying but S-400 can detect even low flying objects so PAF will have to find a solution to counter S-400 as soon as possible.
The impact of the Indian S-400 on Pakistan may be viewed on three distinct stages: during peace, post incursion like the Balakot raid and when war is declared.
The technical experts estimate the effective range against maneuvering targets at low altitude is much less, even down to 20Kms for smaller targets hugging the terrain.’ The 40N6 missile purported range of 400 Kms is not yet operational and is plagued by multiple problems in the developing and testing stages. For the S-400 to engage targets at 400Kms even for large aircraft, it must be able to see over the radar horizon (OTH), because of the earth’s curvature.
If Pakistan is unable to contain and repel Indian aggression through conventional means because of the S-400 defensive umbrella, the likelihood of the employment of nuclear weapons will rise exponentially.
Pakistan can use its arsenal of anti-radiation missile (ARM) against Indian SAM defenses like SPYDER, AKASH and MAITRI because their operational range is less than 45 KMs. Pakistan can also utilize this arsenal to destroy Indian communication networks and on field command posts.