Panaji/New Delhi: India`s indigenous Light
Combat Aircraft `Tejas` on Tuesday successfully completed
air-to-air close combat missile firing tests, ahead of its
clearance for induction into the IAF.
The tests for firing of R-73 missiles took place at the
INS Hansa naval air base in Goa where the LCA detachment is
currently based as part of the last phase of its flight
trials, the DRDO said.
"As a run up to the impending achieving of Initiation
Operational Clearance (IOC) and release to service, a Tejas
detachment has been operating from INS Hansa in Goa,
conducting the last phase of flight trials.
"One of the main objectives of the current phase of
flight trials was clearing the firing envelope of air-to-air
close combat missile from the Tejas," a DRDO statement said.
The R-73 missile, which is the chosen air-to-air close
combat missile for supersonic Tejas, is integrated with the
on-board Digital Stores Management System (SMS) and Open
Architecture Mission and Display Computer.
The missile selection is performed from the high
resolution Multi Function Display (MFD) pages integrated with
the sophisticated on-board avionics. All these equipment form
the IOC standard of avionics, it said.
The test-firing was done from the Tejas LSP-4 aircraft
piloted by Group Captain George Thomas, Group Director (Flight
Test Operations) of the National Flight Test Centre at the
Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).
The test aircraft was accompanied by a chase Tejas
piloted by Group Captain Suneet Krishna. This critical test
was closely monitored and controlled by Test Director Wing
Commander Toffeen, supported by safety pilot Group Captain
(retired) R R Tyagi from the mobile telemetry positioned at
the test location.
The data and video from the test aircraft were also
available at the base station in Bangalore through a dedicated
fibre optic link set up for this purpose, the statement said.
"This flight test demonstrated important requirements of
the user like safe separation of the missile from the test
aircraft, no missile plume-effect on the engine operation,
avionics and weapon system functionality and safety
interlocks, aircraft handling quality assessment during
missile release, and effect of missile plume on the composite
structure," DRDO officials said.
More firings of the missile are planned during the
current week leading to close combat missile firing envelope
clearance for the Tejas.