ASRAAM was developed from the earlier SRAAM project in partnership, originally with the USA. When the US services opted for the AIM-9X Sidewinder, ASRAAM was developed in co-operation with Germany. It is a short range, highly maneuverable dogfight IR guided AAM with helmet mounted sight for off-boresight targeting. ASRAAM will replace the Sidewinder (as shown in the photo above) in RAF service.
The origin of ASRAAM lies in a Hawker Siddeley Dynamics project called "Taildog". Taildog dates back to the mid 1970s to a study called QC.434 and was intended to have no aerodynamic controls, relying on Thrust Vector Controls in the rocket exhaust. These were small vanes that flipped into the exhaust jet, deflecting the thrust and changing the missile direction. Taildog, and the later SRAAM were intended to be carried in tube launchers. Such was the maneuverability of Taildog and SRAAM that one round is said to have almost collided with the Hunter launch aircraft during trials. ASRAAM is finally entering service with the RAF in 2002 after more than 25 years development, having lost the TVC and is now pylon launched.
A later Anti-radiation version of SRAAM was called SRARM, but this was not proceeded with. One feature of SRARM is its ofset nose. Why it has the peculiar nose profile is unknown.