Tejas, Indian Air Force's indigenous supersonic jet, is well on its way to becoming one of the most potent fighters in the four-plus generation combat aircraft class. The Tejas took a step by successfully firing the Israeli Derby Air-to-Air Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile off Goa coast. It was a text book launch and the mission achieved a direct hit to kill. All systems onboard the aircraft performed satisfactorily and the missile completely destructed the designated target, a remarkable achievement indeed.

The successful test expanded the firing envelope as well demonstrated safe operation of the Tejas during missile plume ingestion into the aircraft engine under worst case scenarios. With this launch, Squadron 45 "Flying Daggers" is equipped with tremendous strike capabilities The "Flying Daggers" pilots will be firing Derby in the coming days as well, sources said.

Earlier trials evaluated Derby's integration with aircraft systems onboard Tejas, including the aircraft avionics, fire-control radar, launchers and missile weapon delivery system. During earlier tests, the Derby air-to-air BVR missile was fired in radar-guided mode towards a manoeuvrable aerial target.

All about Derby BVR missile:

-Derby is a short to medium range BVR Air-to-Air missile
-Developed jointly by Israeli armament development agency Rafael and Israel Aircraft Industries has a maximum effective range of about 50 km
-Derby is an active radar air-to-air missile for the fighter aircraft and has the capability to be launched at a target day or night and in all weather conditions
-It has look-down/shoot-down capability, fire and forget mode and an advanced ECCM tailored to the customer's operational requirements
-The missile's light weight allows it to be adapted to various modern fighter aircraft
-It is a dual-use missile (air-to-air and surface-to-air).
-The missile has a launch weight of 118 kg, is 3.8 metres long, wingspan of 64 cm and a diametre of 16 cm

The entire planning, practice sorties and final firing was carried out by DRDO's autonomous society – Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and its National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) officials of IAF, Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and INS HANSA.

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