India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas, has added the 5th generation Python-5 Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) to its air-to-air weapons capability. Trials were also aimed to validate enhanced capability of already integrated Derby Beyond Visual Range (BVR) AAM on Tejas, a DRDO statement said on Wednesday.
The test firing in Goa on Tuesday completed a series of missile trials to validate its performance under extremely challenging scenarios, it said. "Derby missile achieved direct hit on a high speed manoeuvring aerial target and the Python missiles also achieved 100 per cent hits, thereby validating their complete capability. The trials met all their planned objectives," the statement said.
Prior to these trials, extensive missile carriage flight tests were conducted in Bengaluru to assess integration of the missile with aircraft systems on board the Tejas, like Avionics, Fire-control radar, Missile Weapon Delivery System and the Flight Control System.
In Goa, after successful separation trials, live launch of the missile on a 'Banshee' target was carried out.
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, missile hit the aerial target.
The missiles were fired from Tejas aircraft of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) flown by Indian Air Force (IAF) Test pilots belonging to National Flight Test Centre (NFTC).
The successful conduct was made possible with years of hard work by the team of scientists, engineers and technicians from ADA and HAL-ARDC along with admirable support from CEMILAC, DG-AQA, IAF PMT, NPO (LCA Navy) and INS HANSA, DRDO said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the teams of DRDO, ADA, Indian Air Force, HAL and all those involved in the trial, the statement said.
Secretary DD R&D and Chairman DRDO, G Satheesh Reddy appreciated the efforts of scientists, engineers and technicians from various organisations and industry, it was stated.