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The Indian Air Force (IAF) is gearing up to equip its Tejas light combat aircraft with the latest weaponry, thanks to a recent collaboration with the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). This partnership, formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), paves the way for the Software Development Institute (SDI) of the IAF to spearhead the integration of powerful new weapons and sensors into the Tejas Mk1A fighter fleet.

The SDI will play a crucial role in testing and integrating next-generation missile systems like the Astra Mk-III (BVRAAM with 300km+ range), Tara smart ammunition series (250kg, 450kg, 500kg variants), Rudram anti-radiation missiles, Rudram-II air-to-surface missiles, and even the BrahMos-NG next-generation air-launched cruise missile. This comprehensive upgrade promises to significantly enhance the Tejas’ combat capabilities.

This development comes amidst the IAF’s growing reliance on the indigenous Tejas fighter. With 36 Mk1 jets already operational and orders placed for another 83 upgraded Mk1A variants, with more 97 jets to be ordered the Tejas fleet is poised to reach over 200 units, highlighting the IAF’s confidence in the aircraft.

The SDI’s involvement holds particular significance. By taking charge of integration and software development, the IAF gains greater control over the process, potentially streamlining timelines and fostering self-reliance in advanced weapon systems integration. SDI will also play a key role in the Tejas MkII program since most of the weapons mentioned above will also be integrated into the upcoming Tejas MkII fighter jets.

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