India’s first designed, developed and productionised fourth-generation light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas has launched an infrared seeking air-to-air missile, which hit the target in a direct hit with precision and destroyed the target.

The test, which takes the aircraft closer to its induction in the Indian Air Force (IAF), was conducted off the coast of Goa in the Arabian Sea.

For its operational clearance, Tejas underwent weapon release flight tests, while Gp Capt Suneet Krishna, who flew the aircraft, commanded the infrared seeker missile through the fire control radar of the aircraft to lock it onto the target.

"The test takes the aircraft closer to its induction in the Indian Air Force."

The target, which was towed by a pilotless target aircraft Lakshya, was launched by a ship from the Indian Navy off the west coast of India.

The team responsible for the successful launch include members from the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC), Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Hindustan Aeronautics, ADE (DRDO), CEMILAC, DGAQA and the Indian Navy worked together.

ADA director and program director combat vehicles PS Subramanyam and Flight Test project director and Air Cmde KA Muthana supervised the operations from the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC).

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India Defence Minister scientific advisor and Department of Defence R&D Secretary Avinash Chander said "with this missile launch from Tejas and successfully hitting the target in the first shot, we have demonstrated the total weapon system capability of LCA Tejas".

With the help of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and HAL as the production partner, DRDO has developed the combat aircraft Tejas.

Defence Technology