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LCA Tejas adds 5th gen air-to-air missile to its weapons capability

Test firing validated performance under extremely challenging scenarios, says DRDO

Indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LAC) Tejas added the 5th generation Python-5 Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) to its air-to-air weapons capability after successful trials, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said on Wednesday.

“Trials were also aimed to validate enhanced capability of already integrated Derby Beyond Visual Range (BVR) AAM on Tejas. The test firing at Goa completed a series of missile trials to validate its performance under extremely challenging scenarios,” a DRDO statement said.

Derby missile achieved direct hit on a high speed manoeuvring aerial target and the Python missiles also achieved 100% hits, thereby validating their complete capability, it said. “The trials met all their planned objectives.”

Missile carriage flight tests

Prior to these trials, extensive missile carriage flight tests were conducted at Bengaluru to assess integration of the missile with aircraft systems on board the Tejas, like avionics, fire-control radar, missile weapon delivery system and the flight control system. At Goa, after successful separation trials, live launch of the missile was carried out on Tuesday.

“Python-5 missile live firing was conducted to validate target engagement from all aspects as well as beyond visual ranges. In all the live firings, missile hit the aerial target.” The missiles were fired from Tejas aircraft of the Aeronautical Development Agency flown by the IAF test pilots from the national flight test centre.

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