India’s Air force took a crucial step forward recently and cleared its Sukhoi-30MKI fleet to be armed with Israeli Derby-ER Beyond Visual Air to Air missile for which one of the Sukhoi-30MKI was used to carry out series of aeromechanical integrity tests that was carried out to assess the mechanical, structural, and electrical compatibility between the missile and the aircraft, and whether vibrations, strain, stress, etc can be handled by the aircraft.

In Phase-I of the Captive flight, trials will involve the Su-30MKI carrying under its wings at one of its six hardpoints a Dummy Derby-ER missiles for multiple 90-minute sorties each, that covers the entire flight envelope of the aircraft. Phase-II will be followed with the actual missile being used in Captive flight minus its warhead and at last, the missile realizes mechanism will be tested before it is cleared to be fired from an aircraft.

India’s first air-to-air missile Astra Mk1 and Derby-ER will now be standard beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) in all fighter fleets, India also has received a fresh batch of upgraded RVV-SD BVRAAM from Russia. All three missile have a range of 110-120km.

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