Israeli developed Python-5 Withing visual range (WVR) air to air missile was denied clearance to be fired from LCA-Tejas even after successful integration since it failed to clear captive flight vibration stress trials and still now waits pending firing trials. Python-5 WVR was supposed to compliment with the Derby BVR missile to engage and destroy a wide spectrum of threats such as attack aircraft, bombers, cruise missiles UAVs and UCAVs and standoff weapons.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems officials down in India were informed about the decision to keep the firing trials pending and were also given measurement data of the captive flight vibration stress trials for rectification. was informed of the rationale behind the holding of the firing trials of the missile. people familiar with the program have informed that the captive flight vibration stress trials are an important factor that is done to study the effects of the air to air missile reliability and the vibration which derives from the disturbed airflow field around the missile.

In captive flight tests, Python-5 was put through a variety of maneuvers through the flight regime of the aircraft and it was subjected to all possible worst ride and worst possible environment. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems officials had told that they will be conducting laboratory tests which are close to captive flight test so that they can determine ways to fix for the issues but have not been able to come back with the solution but it is expected that the Python-5 is still in the race to be equipped on the Tejas Mk1 and Mk1A when it is ready.

IAF has decided to wait till Python-5 is ready or MBBA’s ASRAAM which already has been integrated with Israeli ELA-2052 AESA Radar for the Jaguar Darin-III program and since same AESA Radar will be used on the Tejas M1A ,ASRAAM can be used as standard WVRAAM for the Tejas fleet even though Russian R-73 WVR has been integrated already it will not be the main WVRAAM for the Tejas fleet in the future. has was informed that excess vibration levels in certain frequencies could be harmful to the missile’s electronics and it is the responsibility of the contractor for designing and making changes to the missile system.


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