Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tejas Fires Air-to-Air Missile

Just received this from the MoD: The Light Combat Aircraft ‘TEJAS’ program achieved the most significant milestone yet when it successfully test fired the Close Combat Missile R-73 today at the air to air range off Goa coast. The historic event marks the beginning of weaponisation, which is the focus of the current initial operational clearance (IOC) phase of the program. Air to Air missile integration and testing especially on a fly by wire aircraft is a very complex task involving interfaces with aerodynamics, engine air intake, control laws, flight control system, avionics system, electrical and other general system of aircraft. Today’s successful test firing is the culmination of preparatory work under the guidance of Mr. JJ Jadhav, DPD (Weapon Systems) and Mr. Balasubramanyam, AGM (HAL). Accordingly the main objectives of test firing were to validate:

* Safe separation of the missile from the parent aircraft
* Effect of missile plume on engine air-intake
* Functionality of store management system (SMS) including safety interlocks
* Effect of missile plume on composites structures
* Handling quality assessment during missile launch

The historic flight was done on Tejas prototype vehicle PV-1, piloted by the Chief Test Pilot of the National Flight Test Centre ADA, Gp Capt. N. Harish. The test firing was done at 7 km altitude and 0.6 Mach. The flight test was conducted from the mobile telemetry vehicle where all the aircraft, systems and weapon data were closely monitored. Quick analysis of the data revealed that it was a ‘text book’ launch where the systems performance matched the predictions well. The event has proven the capability of the composite team comprising of designers, production agency, certification agency and Flight Test and the user agency (IAF) to integrate and flight test an advanced missile on an advanced fighter aircraft Tejas.

INS Hansa of Indian Navy provided all support for this important flight trial. Photo chase aircraft Sea Harrier was flown by Capt. Yatish Saxena and Cdr. Dalip Singh. The successful missile firing was witnessed by Chief Controller (R&D) Dr. D. Banerjee, Programme Director ADA Mr. P. S. Subramaniam and Director LCA (IAF) AVM B. C. Nanjapa.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

It is really nice to see DRDO being media savvy for a change.
Test carried out at 12 and video available by evening.
Something that would have been unthinkable few years back.

Also shows that DRDO is becoming more confident with the platform. LCA also showed stability while firing the missile. Very impressive considering that LCA stability is governed by the computer.
Also very important to note is that LCA flew with only one store,there by by defaulting changing the center of gravity. Great.

Slowly but steady ... we are reaching our national goal of self reliance :)