India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas, has added the 5th generation Python-5 Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) to its air-to-air weapons capability. The trials conducted on April 27 were aimed to validate enhanced capability of the already integrated Derby Beyond Visual Range (BVR) AAM on Tejas.
The test firing in Goa on Tuesday completed a series of missile trials to validate its performance under extremely challenging scenarios, it said. 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. Prior to these trials, extensive missile carriage flight tests were conducted in 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. The missiles were fired from Tejas aircraft of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) flown by Indian Air Force (IAF) test pilots belonging to National Flight Test Centre (NFTC).
The successful conduct was made possible with years of hard work by the team of scientists, engineers and technicians from ADA and HAL-ARDC along with admirable support from CEMILAC, DG-AQA, IAF PMT, NPO (LCA Navy) and INS HANSA. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the teams of DRDO, ADA, Indian Air Force, HAL and all those involved in the trial, the statement said.