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SOURCE: DRDO WITH INPUTS FROM IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Tejas, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) successfully fred Derby air-to-air Beyond Visual Range Missile (BVRM) to expand its fring envelope as well as to demonstrate safe operation of the aircraft during missile plume ingestion into the aircraft engine under worst case scenarios. The missile was launched from LCA Tejas piloted by Wg Cdr Siddharth Singh on 27 April 2018 from the firing range off the Goa coast after exhaustive study of the missile separation characteristics and plume envelope.

Integration of Derby is one of the major objectives of Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of Tejas. Tejas has been designed and developed by DRDO’s autonomous society Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). The aircraft was tracked by two other Tejas aircraft in close formation to capture the firing event in the specially instrumented high speed cameras for detail analysis and comparison with the simulation model for validation.

The entire planning, practice sorties and final fring was carried out by ADA and its National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) officials Cmde JA Maolankar and Gp Capt A Kabadwal; IAF; DG (AQA); HAL and INS HANSA. Based on the successful integration and demonstration, Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA), a unit of DRDO, cleared the series production aircraft of Squadron 45 to be equipped with Derby operational capability.

LCA Tejas has successfully completed a series of captive ?ight trials to clear Derby for the full operational capability in the entire FOC envelope. In the past, Tejas has qualified for the armaments and missile release related trials. Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman complimented DRDO and other agencies involved in making Tejas a world-class aircraft platform. Chairman, DRDO, and Secretary, Department of Defence R&D, Dr S Christopher in his congratulatory message said that with this fring Tejas has achieved another major milestone towards FOC certification.

FOC 

Demonstration of Inflight Refueling Capabilities are only major hurdle which are left to be demonstrated on LCA-Tejas before FOC Certification is granted to the LCA-Tejas Program according to the information provided by sources close to idrw.org  . LCA-Tejas already has completed all Captive flight trials with the AAR probe successfully and also has demonstrated on ground Refueling Capabilities using the AAR probe. Most of the Computer simulations of LCA-Tejas carrying out Inflight Refueling from Ilyushin IL-78  “MARS” (Mid Air Refuelling System) and Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft from various altitudes have been carried out successfully at present aircrafts are performing dry contact trials where AAR probe connect with the aircrafts fuel transfer system but don’t perform actual fuel transfer .