Beyond Visual Range combat may not be a new phenomenon but seeing the modern doctrines of air to air combat , it can be considered to be the most effective tactic for achieving a kill in an air to air duel. Since the basic tactic of seeing the enemy and killing the enemy by our own self being out of enemy's reach is what the latest trend stimulates us to follow, nations across the world intending to achieve self sufficiency in weapon development are pursuing the development of missiles that are capable of hitting the target which is even away from the line of sight of naked eyes.
The era of Beyond Visual Range combat began with introduction of Sparrow missiles of the USAF. These missiles were simply semi active guided, where radar of the fighter would 'paint’ the target with high power radio waves which when reflected from enemy fighter would be used as 'feed’ for the seeker of the missile. To achieve this, radars would need to achieve a 'lock-on’ on the enemy fighter. As a counter tactic against a lock on by the enemy a defending fighter would then try to out maneuver the missile by flying close to ground through valleys and mountains to break lock-on. With passage of time newer missiles having 'infrared guidance’ came into existence which would home-in on reflected radiation coming from heated parts of a target aircraft, the most significantly heated part was the exhausts of jet engine. These kind of missiles relieved the launcher aircraft from following the missile, because earlier for missiles using radar guidance it was needed that target should be constantly painted in an order to guided the air to air missile. Now with heat seeking missiles available one can just shoot and scoot. But heat seeking missile's drawbacks came into foray when flare decoys were introduced. The flare decoys were heated balls of fire released by the defending aircraft in an order to divert the attention of heat seeking missiles to the flare and hence get saved. This problem could be addressed only when if we have a radar guided missile which does not need constant guidance from the aircraft which is firing it.