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Fighter aircraft Tejas adds Python-5 air-to-air missile in weapon arsenal, DRDO conducts successful trial

Tejas successfully added Israel-made 5th generation Python-5 Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) in its air-to-air weapons capability.

Tejas, Light Combat Aircraft, added the 5th generation Python-5 Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) in its air-to-air weapons capability (Courtesy: Ministry of Defence)

New Delhi: India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas successfully added Israel-made 5th generation Python-5 Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) in its air-to-air weapons capability, after conducting a successful trial on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defence announced on Wednesday.

Trials, carried out by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), were also aimed to validate and enhance capability of Derby Beyond Visual Range (BVR) AAM which was already integrated on Tejas. The test-firing was held at Goa, which completed a series of missile trials to check its 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 per cent hits, validating their complete capability, Defence Ministry informed. The trials met all their planned objectives.

Ahed of the trials, extensive missile carriage flight tests were conducted at Bengaluru to assess the integration of the missile system with Tejas’ aircraft systems, like Avionics, Fire-control radar, Missile Weapon Delivery System and the Flight Control System. At 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 assess 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 the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC). The test involved the team of scientists, engineers and technicians from ADA and HAL-ARDC along with support from CEMILAC, DG-AQA, IAF PMT, NPO (LCA Navy) and INS HANSA.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the teams of DRDO, ADA, Indian Air Force, HAL and all involved in the trial. Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy also congratulated the team of scientists, engineers and technicians from various organisations and industry.

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