India's LCA Tejas cleared to carry Python-5 air-to-air missile

India LCA Tejas Python5 missile
India's LCA Tejas fires Python-5 air-to-air missile.

Recent successful tests have confirmed that India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas can now launch Israeli Python-5 air-to-air (AAM) missiles, according to the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

The tests also validated the enhanced capability of the Israeli Derby Beyond Visual Range (BVR) AAM missile that has already been integrated into the Tejas."The test firing at Goa completed a series of missile trials to validate the performance under extremely challenging scenarios. The Derby missile achieved direct hit on a high-speed maneuvering aerial target and the Python missiles also achieved 100 percent hits, thereby validating their complete capability. The trials met all their planned objectives," said the Ministry of Defence.

According to officials, the recent shooting campaign was preceded by extensive missile carriage flight tests to assess the integration of the Python-5 missile with Tejas onboard systems, like Avionics, fire-control radar, missile weapon delivery system and the flight control system.

Python-5 missile live firing was conducted to validate target engagement from all aspects as well as beyond visual ranges. "In all the live firings, the missile hit the aerial target," the press statement said.
The missiles were fired from a Tejas assigned to the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and flown by Indian Air Force (IAF) Test pilots belonging to National Flight Test Centre (NFTC).

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: DRDO

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