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Video: IAF Tejas fighter jet successfully fires Israeli Python-5 air-to-air missile

Tejas Trainer at 62nd Republic Day Parade. (KuwarOnline/Wikimedia Commons)
May 14, 2021

In an effort to consolidate the number of capable fighters in the Indian Air Force from the indigenous option, India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited-made (HAL) Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) reached another milestone by firing advanced Israeli infrared-guided missiles.

Domestically designed and developed, HAL Tejas LCA is set to carry the Israeli Python-5 Within Visual Range Air to Air Missile (WVRAAM), the Defense R&D Organisation (DRDO) said Wednesday after the IIR seeker installed missile was successfully test-fired, achieving all set parameters for integration with Tejas’s system.

Designed by the Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Python-5 is latest addition to the arsenal belonging to the fifth generation infrared imaging and honing capable missiles. Python-5 has a range of around 20 km and can hit its target at high maneuverable performance.

With mach 4 speed, this missile will be superior addition to the air-to-air combat capabilities of Tejas. The Israeli Derby-I ER BVRAAM, with a 50-km range, was integrated earlier with the fighter.

Apart from Python 5 WVR AAM and Derby1 ER BVR missile, the indigenously-designed Astra BVR Missile is also expected to integrate with Tejas, with world class AAMs, potent AESA radar and DASH 4 Helmet Mounted Display.

HAL Tejas is a light combat aircraft designed by the DRDO lab ADA and manufactured by HAL. It is a fourth-generation aircraft capable of carrying out Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground missions. Its first flight was completed in 2003, and since then, Tejas has flown numerous sorties without a single crash or loss. IAF started inducting the fighter in 2018 and plans to induct more than 100 more to modernize the fleet.