LCA Tejas completes bombing trials
The LCA Tejas has made another big step towards operational clearance, completing a two-day routine of weapons trials at the desert field firing range in Pokhran, Rajasthan. The trials involved three Tejas platforms (LSPs 2, 3 and 5) deploying a series of weapons, including laser-guided 1,000-lbs bombs and unguided bombs. The tests were a continuation of weapons deployment trials that took place at Pokhran in September last year.
The aircraft has so far proven weapons delivery using its secondary sensor, a laser designator pod, but not from its primary multimode radar. The Tejas is scheduled to undergo sea trials shortly, at which point certain missile tests could be expected. While the Tejas has already conducted a few tests of the R-73 close combat missile, it is yet to prove itself with any beyond visual range weapons, specifically the Rafael Derby and the Vympel R-77.