• Recently, India’s Indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas has added capability of firing Israeli-origin Python-5 air-to-air missile (AAM) after concluding successful tests.
  • The same set of tests were also aimed to validate the enhanced capability of the already integrated Israeli-origin Derby beyond visual range AAM on Tejas.
  • The tests were conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Important points:

  • It has been developed by the Israeli defence company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It is the newest member of the Python family.
  • This fifth generation air-to-air missile provides the pilot engaging an enemy aircraft with a revolutionary full sphere launch capability.
  • It can be launched from very short to beyond-visual ranges with greater kill probability, excellent resistance to countermeasures, irrespective of evasive target manoeuvers or deployment of countermeasures.
  • It is a dual use missile suitable for air-to-air and surface-to-air missions.
  • It is powered by a solid propellant rocket engine. The propulsion system provides a speed of Mach 4 and an operational range of more than 20 km.
  • It is also equipped with lock-on-before launch (LOBL) and lock-on-after launch (LOAL) capabilities.

Light combat aircraft tejas:

  • Tejas is a single engined, light weight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter.
  • The indigenously-developed aircraft has been manufactured at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
  • It is designed to carry a range of air-to-air, air-to-surface, precision-guided, weapons.
  • Beyond Visual Range AAM
  • A beyond-visual-range missile (BVR) is an air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) that is capable of engaging at ranges of 37 km or beyond. This range has been achieved using dual pulse rocket motors or booster rocket motors and ramjet sustainer motors.
  •  In addition to the range capability, the missile is also capable of tracking its target at this range or of acquiring the target in flight.
  • Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) technology enables the fighter-pilots to shoot precisely at the enemy targets which are beyond their visual range.


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