Indigenously-build light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas has been cleared to carry the fifth generation Python-5 air-to-air missile as part of its weapons package that would significantly enhance the combat prowess of the jet, officials said on Wednesday.
After a series of trials to validate its performance, Tejas was allowed to carry the missile on Tuesday, they said.
“Tejas added the 5th generation Python-5 air-to-air missile in its air-to-air weapons capability on Tuesday. Trials were also aimed to validate the enhanced capability of already integrated Derby beyond visual range AAM on Tejas,” said an official.
“Derby missile achieved a 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. 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, missiles hit the aerial target,” he further said.
Tejas is manufactured by state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. It is a single-engine highly agile multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft capable of operating in high-threat air environments.