Recent trials have showcased a significant stride in the integration of the Astra Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) onto the indigenous LCA Tejas fighter jets. Under its wings, the LCA Tejas proudly carried two indigenously developed Astra missiles, marking a notable advancement in its combat capabilities.
Developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the Astra missile system stands poised to fortify the LCA Tejas' aerial dominance and combat prowess. These successful trials indicate a promising trajectory in the integration process, with live missile tests anticipated in the near future.
The forthcoming Tejas Mk1A variant is poised to usher in a new era of combat readiness with an array of advanced missile systems. In tandem with the Astra BVRAAM, the Tejas Mk1A will showcase the versatile Israeli Derby missile, elevating its long-range firepower capabilities.
The augmentation of the Close Combat Missile (CCM) capabilities is equally impressive, as the Russian R-73M and Python-5 missiles will further enhance short-range engagements. Notably, the Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) CCM integration is on the horizon, further underlining the LCA Tejas' prowess across both short and long-range combat scenarios.
The Derby BVR missile has already received the green light for firing from the Tejas Mk1/1A fighter jets. In anticipation, the eagerly awaited live trial of the Astra missile is poised to illuminate the path ahead. Successful completion of this milestone trial will pave the way for the upgraded Tejas Mk1A to be armed with this formidable indigenous missile system.
Commencing deliveries from February 2024, the upgraded Tejas Mk1A will usher in an era of advanced combat capabilities for the Indian Air Force. This decisive leap reaffirms India's dedication to bolstering its defense capabilities with indigenous technological excellence.