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The LCA Tejas Mk1 has recently been spotted with the ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile), marking it the third Close Combat Missile (CCM) under testing for the platform. This development follows the successful testing and validation of the Russian R-73 and Israeli Python-5 CCMs. The integration of these three different CCMs from distinct countries and manufacturers significantly enhances the Tejas Mk1’s combat versatility and complicates adversaries’ countermeasures due to the diverse infrared (IR) sensor technologies and functionalities of each missile system.

Modern aerial warfare relies heavily on electronic countermeasures (ECMs) that can potentially jam or confuse missile guidance systems. By incorporating three distinct CCMs, the Tejas Mk1A makes it more difficult for adversaries to develop a single, effective countermeasure.

R-73 (Russia) is a well-established, high-g maneuvering missile boasts excellent close-range combat capabilities. Its robust design and Proven compatibility with helmet-mounted display systems, enhancing pilot targeting capabilities and comes with High off-boresight capability with a wide field of view.

Python-5 (Israel) is Renowned for its advanced infrared seeker and helmet-mounted cueing system, the Python-5 offers exceptional lock-on-after-launch capabilities and comes with 5th Gen dual-band (IR+CCD) imaging seeker with extremely high off-boresight capability for Full-Sphere Envelope.

ASRAAM (USA) that will be latest addition brings a combination of superior range and maneuverability to the table. Its all-aspect seeker allows for engagement from various angles, making it a versatile option for beyond-visual-range (BVR) and close-in combat. ASRAAM also comes with a Superior speed and 25km+ range, allowing engagements from longer distances and higher off-boresight angles.

This diversification in CCMs provides the Tejas Mk1A with several advantages, since With each missile possessing unique characteristics like seeker head technology and maneuverability profiles, enemy countermeasures become more complex. Pilots can select the most suitable missile based on the specific combat scenario. The diverse range offered by these missiles allows the Tejas to engage targets at varying distances and under different combat situations.

Tejas pilots will have a wider range of options depending on the combat situation and target characteristics. For instance, the R-73’s maneuverability might be ideal for a close-in dogfight, while the ASRAAM could be preferred for a near BVR engagement.

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