India’s ingenious Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas, has successfully completed integration of I-Derby. Israeli defense contractor, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, has successfully completed integration of I-Derby beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile on Tejas. The test firing of these missiles are scheduled towards the end of this year.
According to Rafael, the new missiles will become the aircraft’s primary air-to-air missiles, once they pass all required tests. The last series of integration tests happened in May at Chandipur Integrated Test Range in Odisha. An official from MoD commented,
The objective of the test was to assess the Derby integration with aircraft systems on board Tejas, including the aircraft avionics, fire-control radar, launchers and missile weapon delivery system and to verify its performance. A safe separation was followed by missile guidance towards RADAR acquired target. The flawless launch was demonstrated with all on-board systems performing satisfactorily and the missile scored a direct hit on the target with complete destruction of it. The test firing achieved all its planned objectives.
The Derby integration is a huge step towards clearing the BVR capabilities of Tejas. The missile, which has a fire-and-forget guidance system, has an approx range of 50 km and a speecd of Mach 4. Rafael believes that on a later stage the aircraft can be fitted with an advanced version of the same missile that has a range of 100 km. The weapon can be fired from missile rail launchers that are fitted under the aircraft’s wings or by using a “shove” pyrotechnic charge.
In addition to these, Rafael is also preparing to offer the Spike ER air-to-surface missiles to meet the growing demand of missiles in Indian helicopters.