Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Tejas, India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, added the 5th generation Python-5 Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) in its air-to-air weapons capability on April 27, 2021. The test firing at Goa completed a series of missile trials to validate its performance under extremely challenging scenarios.
The missiles were fired from Tejas aircraft of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) flown by Indian Air Force (IAF) Test pilots belonging to National Flight Test Centre (NFTC). The successful conduct was made possible with years of hard work by the team of scientists, engineers and technicians from ADA and HAL-ARDC along with admirable support from CEMILAC, DG-AQA, IAF PMT, NPO (LCA Navy) and INS HANSA.
Trials were also aimed to validate enhanced capability of already integrated Derby Beyond Visual Range (BVR) AAM on Tejas. Derby missile achieved direct hit on a high-speed maneuvering aerial target and the Python missiles also achieved 100% hits, thereby validating their complete capability. The trials met all their planned objectives. Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has congratulated the teams of DRDO, ADA, Indian Air Force, HAL and all involved in the trial.
The Rafael Python is a family of air-to-air missiles (AAMs) built by the Israeli weapons manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Originally starting with the Shafrir (dome or protective cloak), the missiles were given the western name of “Python” by the parent company for export purposes Since then, it has been further developed and evolved into the Python-4, Python-5, Derby and also, the SPYDER, an advanced ground-based air-defence system.