New Delhi: In a major milestone, indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has successfully fired an air-to-air beyond visual (BVR) range missile, demonstrating its overall capability as an effective combat jet, and inched closer to receive final operational clearance.
Defence Ministry officials said the test firing of the missile from a Tejas jet was carried out yesterday off the Goa coast and it met all operational requirements. Earlier, Tejas was given clearance for deployment of armaments and other missiles.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) had ordered 40 Tejas Mark-1 version and a request for proposal (RFP) was issued to HAL by the IAF in December for procurement of another batch of 83 Tejas at a cost of around Rs 50,000 crore.
“The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) successfully fired Derby air-to-air BVR Range missile to expand the firing envelope as well as to demonstrate safe operation of the aircraft,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
It said the missile was launched from the LCA piloted by Wing Commander Siddharth Singh yesterday from the firing range off the Goa coast after exhaustive study of the missile separation characteristics.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman complimented the DRDO and other agencies involved in making Tejas a world-class aircraft.
DRDO Chairman S Christopher said with this firing, the Tejas has achieved another major milestone towards FOC certification.
“Integration of Derby, a BVR class missile, is one of the major objectives of Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of LCA Tejas,” said the ministry.