On May 11, 2017, indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, successfully test fired Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile. The success of this test asserts that LCA Tejas can now be loaded with missiles having BVR capabilities.
- LCA Tejas fired the missile to strike a manoeuvrable aerial target. The test was conducted to assess the integration of the Derby BVR missile with avionics, fire-control radar, launchers and missile weapon delivery system of Tejas. The missile fired by Tejas directly hit the target, testifying that all on-board systems performing satisfactorily.
What is a BVR Missile?
Abeyond-visual-range missile (BVR) air-to-air missile has a strike range of 20 nautical miles (37 km) and beyond.
- In order to achieve such phenomenal range in air, a BVR missile is powered with a booster rocket motor anda ramjet sustainer motor.
- It is capable of tracking its target and can even acquire its target during flight.
- These days, BVR missiles are integrated with systems which can alter the course during flight based on transmitted inputs.
- Sparrow 1 mounted on the US Navy’sjet fighter aircraft Skyknight in year 1954 is considered as the first operational BVR missile.
About LCA Tejas:
LCA Tejas is an indigenously-built single-seat, single-jet engine fighter aircraft.It has been designed by Aeronautical Development Agency(ADA) and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
- The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme was initiated to replace India’s ageingMiG-21
- Tejas has been optimised primarily for manoeuvrability and agility. It is the smallest and the lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft of its class.
- It has been designed to carry a range of air-to-air, air-to-surface, precision guided and standoff weaponry.
- First squadron of LCA Tejas was inducted into Indian Air Force in year 2016. This squadron has been named ‘Flying Daggers’.
- Name “Tejas” (meaning ‘radiance’ in Sanskrit) was given by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.