SOURCE: IDRW.ORG TEAM
IMAGE CREDIT PRANEETH FRANLIN
In recent trials, the LCA Tejas was seen sporting two indigenously developed Astra Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missiles (BVRAAM) under its wings, signaling significant progress in integrating of the missile system onto the locally developed fighter jets.
The Astra missile system, developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), is poised to be a potent addition to the LCA Tejas’ arsenal, bolstering its air superiority and combat capabilities. The recent trials indicate that the integration process is advancing well, and it is anticipated that live missile tests will be conducted from the aircraft in the near future.
The upgraded Tejas Mk1A variant is set to be equipped with an array of advanced missile systems, further enhancing its combat readiness. Alongside the Astra BVRAAM, the Tejas Mk1A will also feature the Israeli Derby missile, offering a versatile mix of long-range firepower. Additionally, the aircraft’s Close Combat Missile (CCM) capabilities will be augmented with the inclusion of the Russian R-73M and Python-5 missiles. The integration of the Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) CCM is also on the horizon, solidifying the LCA Tejas’ prowess in both short and long-range engagements.
While the Derby BVR missile has already received clearance for firing from the Tejas Mk1/1A fighter jets, the eagerly anticipated live trial of the Astra missile is on the horizon. The successful completion of this trial will pave the way for the upgraded Tejas Mk1A to be equipped with this indigenous missile system. Deliveries of the upgraded Tejas Mk1A are scheduled to commence from February 2024, ushering in a new era of advanced combat capabilities for the Indian Air Force.
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