Inches closer to get final operational clearance.
New Delhi: Indigenously-developed light combat aircraft Tejas successfully fired a Derby air-to-air beyond visual range (BVR) missile off the Goa coast on Friday, demonstrating its overall capability as an effective combat jet, and inched closer to receive final operational clearance.
The firing was preceded by an exhaustive study of the missile separation characteristics and plume envelope.
Now Tejas has successfully completed a series of captive flight trials to clear the Derby for full operational capability in the entire final operational clearance (FOC) envelope. In the past, Tejas has qualified for the armaments and missile release related trials.
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.
Officials said the successful launch of the BVR missile will expedite issuance of the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) to the aircraft developed by state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Aeronautical Development Agency of DRDO.
DRDO chief and Secretary, department of defence R&D Dr S. Christopher said that with this firing, LCA Tejas achieved another major milestone towards FOC certification.
“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 on Friday from the firing range off the Goa coast after exhaustive study of the missile separation characteristics.
The aircraft was tracked by two other Tejas aircraft in close formation to capture the firing event in the specially instrumented high speed cameras for detailed analysis and comparison with the simulation model for validation, a press release said.
Based on the successful integration and demonstration, Regional Centre for Military Air worthiness (RCMA), a unit of DRDO, has cleared the series production aircraft of Squadron 45, to be equipped with Derby operational capability.