While Indian Air Force plans to conduct no hold barred User Trials of India’s first indigenously developed Beyond Range Air-to-air missile Astra Missiles in few days to gauge the performance of the missile system in real threat operational environment, makers of LCA-Tejas have decided to start working on integrating Astra BVRAAM into LCA-Tejas soon.

Limited Serial Production lot of 50 Astra BVRAAM which has entered production at the recently opened production facility by Defence minister Arun Jaitley will exclusively be used to train pilots to understand strength and weakness of the missile system so that it can be used at optimal level and initial lot will also be used for integration work with other fighters in IAF fleet .

Once the Limited Serial Production is exhausted user defined minor software and hardware modification will make its way to Production lot which will be ordered in Bulk. IAF plans to integrate Astra BVRAAM into its Interceptor fleet of Sukhoi-30, Mig-29, and Mirage to replace their expensive imported BVRAAMs.

Sources close to have informed had initial captive flight trials should start onboard LCA-Tejas by mid of next year and if trials go without any hiccups then the Radar integration along with flight trials should commence by end of next year or early in 2019.

As Production rate of LCA-Tejas picks up, makers of LCA-Tejas wants to introduce Astra BVRAAM to LCA-Tejas as a Cheaper alternative to imported Israeli Derby BVRAAM since plans to integrate Russian R-77 Air-to-Air missiles have been dropped indefinitely due to the high price quoted by Russians to hand over Source codes of R-77s to help integrate with LCA-Tejas.


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