SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.
India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas, will get Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) Within Visual Range (WVR) Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) to its weapons capability next year. ASRAAM will be the third WVR missile added to the Tejas aircraft. Earlier this year 5th generation Python-5 Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) acquired from Israel was tested and cleared for operational usage by the IAF.
Tejas aircraft had successfully fired the Vympel R-73 air-to-air missile for the first time way back in 2010 but IAF had opted for Israeli Python-5 as its standard WVR missiles but following delays in captive flight trials due to flutter issues with the missile, there were delays in certifying the missile on the Tejas by two years.
Earlier this year, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and MBDA, UK agreed to establish a facility for the final assembly, integration, and test (FAIT) of advanced short-range air-to-air missile (ASRAAM) in India that is expected to commence operations by the year 2022-23.
BDL plans to manufacture ASRAAM at its Bhanur Unit for domestic needs and also export in the future through MBDA. IAF had acquired ASRAAM for the Jaguar fleet now has plans to use it as a standard WVR missile system on other types and Tejas will be the first to get them after the Jaguar fleet. Tejas in near future will operate, Three Within Visual Range (WVR) Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) that are of Russian, Israeli and British origin that will also be followed by India’s Astra-IR missile for Medium-Range interceptions and Astra Mk1 and Astra Mk2 for Beyond Visual Range interception soon along with Israeli Derby BVRAAM that is already integrated.
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